ArtWalk on Canada Day?
That’s the risky proposition the Nelson and District Art Council’s new executive director Sydney Black faced when starting her position earlier this year.
But after teaming up with the Chamber of Commerce and expanding the mandate of the 28-year-old institution, she’s convinced this ArtWalk will be the biggest and best yet.
“We’ve joined forces with the chamber, so we’re actually listed as a Canada Day event this year,” said Black, noting the primary activities will take place from 5 to 8 p.m.
“People who want to go downtown and experience Nelson on Canada Day will have their pick of 18 venues that are featuring work from over 30 artists.”
Those artists include L.V. Rogers students, mentored by teacher Jason Peil, who will showcase their work in the youth centre. Black said the experience was educational for the kids involved.
“They got the opportunity to learn about everything from pricing, to naming their work, to looking at applications and how you can apply for arts funding.”
During the event local songstress Melody Diachun will perform live jazz in the street with her husband Doug Stephenson while Slava Doval and her dance crew take over Baker St.
There will be a face-painter, a community chalk project, storytellers, clowns and performances from Discover Circus.
“It’s been amazing to see the talent Nelson has been continually producing over the last 28 years,” Black said. “This is a summertime experience.”
Black says the arts council is in a time of transition, and she’s excited about a number of upcoming developments.
“We’ve got an artist residency coming up, a dance teacher showcase, and we’re starting to really get ingrained in the Cultural Development Committee so we can sort out ways to support arts in this community. I think the arts council is getting ready to explode.”
The arts council AGM, which will also be an opportunity for artists and venues from ArtWalk to meet, will be held at Sage Tapas and Wine Bar on Tuesday at 5 p.m. But first Black’s got to pull off her first ArtWalk, a task she feels up to.
“I think it’s really exciting to see what ArtWalk’s grown from and I’m excited about where it’s going.”