The Slocan Lake Arts Council (SLAC) is reaching out to encourage local painters, musicians, sculptors, writers and crafters to sign up to connect with their fellow artists and the wider community.
The council is publishing a new online directory as a kind of one-stop shop for the arts in the valley.
“It’s a much-needed resource for our growing and changing community,” says Martine denBok, president of the arts council. She says the directory will “give the local community and visitors a central place where they can learn about and connect with our incredible pool of artists in one convenient location.”
DenBok says that will raise the exposure for all participating artists and increases the potential for employment and networking with other regional arts organizations looking for BC talent.
“Alternatively, a local person looking for a special locally made gift or a musician for an event, can browse potential artists and purchase, hire or commission works directly,” she adds.
DenBok says the directory is overdue. As SLAC expands its offerings of workshops, concerts and gallery shows, it wants to make sure that local artists are being given their opportunities to be seen, heard and supported, she says.
“The Slocan Valley is abundantly rich with many different artists, but we aren't connected with all of them,” she admits. “We'd like to diversify and expand our programming to stay fresh and to keep people engaged, learning and growing from the various experiences that art can provide for us.”
And there will be spin-off benefits, she predicts.
“We want our local youth to grow and be uplifted and inspired through new cultural and artistic experiences,” she says. “In order to do this, we need to be better connected so we can inform our local artists of the opportunities that are available to them, be it grants from local and government sources, or direct employment or opportunities from the arts council.”
The directory will be updated with annual drives to attract new artists, but registration is available anytime. Maintenance of the directory will be an annual check-in via email to all participants.
To encourage artists to participate now, SLAC is dangling a little carrot with a contest – every artist that registers prior to July 15 will have their name put in a hat to win a $50 gift certificate to Cowan's or Eddy's Music.
To sign up for the directory, visit slocanlakeartscouncil.ca.
John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice