Shred Kelly performs at the final Music in the Bay show of 2018, co-ordinated by FACES, a non-profit group that works under the umbrella of the Arts Council for the South Shuswap. (File photo)

Family support fuels FACES arts programming in South Shuswap

Non-profit endeavours to be inclusive, not cost-prohibitive

Barb Brouwer


It’s all about the arts at FACES, a non-profit and registered charity operated through the Arts Council for the South Shuswap.

Arts council executive director Karen Brown says the South Shuswap is no longer home only to retirees and continues to grow as a family community.

Upon arrival to the area in 2011, Brown discovered that among the many available activities, there were no arts opportunities.

“It seemed odd to me that such a vibrant community teeming with artists and musicians, didn’t have programming in the arts for families” says Brown.

Established in 2012, FACES became part of the arts council’s programs in 2014 and offers programming in dance, visual art, music, voice and theatre for children and adults.

In order to make the programs available, Brown writes several grants over the year.

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“We’ve received support over the years through the Province of BC Gaming Branch, BC Arts Council, the Shuswap Community Foundation, SASCU, Creative BC and the CSRD,” she says. “The granting support comes after years of community building at the local and provincial levels, and grantors understand the value of contributing to community programming, especially when families are involved.”

Brown also credits the success of the FACES program to the strong support of area families.

“The parents understand that we are a non-profit organization and that we work hard to include everyone,” she adds. “We do not want cost to be a prohibitive factor when it comes to the arts.”

This year, the dance program will be in collaboration with the acclaimed Shuswap Dance Centre.

“FACES will remain under the non-profit umbrella of the Arts Council but will welcome some of the highly skilled instructors from the dance centre,” Brown says, noting the Salmon Arm studio also carries a full line of tights, leotards, shoes and other attire.

Information and fall schedules are posted online at, where online registration or downloadable forms are available.

Information is also available on a dance camp to be offered by former FACES instructor Emily Pugsley from Aug. 12 to 16 in the studio located downstairs at Carlin Hall.

The Arts Council is also responsible for many other South Shuswap initiatives, including Music in the Bay, The Small Hall Winter Crawl and the South Shuswap Children’s Theatre. As well, the council plays a small supporting role in the success of the Shuswap Artisan Market in Sorrento.


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