Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer                                The Salmon Arm Arts Centre’s Nikki Webber and Diana Pratt-Johnson share a moment of Canadiana in front of Tatianna O’Donnell’s Drive Through, STOP!, one of the art works on display in the gallery’s current presentation, Beginning of the Long Dash: Fifteen artists in dialogue with iconic Canadian people, places and images. More exhibitions celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday will be presented during upcoming months.

Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer The Salmon Arm Arts Centre’s Nikki Webber and Diana Pratt-Johnson share a moment of Canadiana in front of Tatianna O’Donnell’s Drive Through, STOP!, one of the art works on display in the gallery’s current presentation, Beginning of the Long Dash: Fifteen artists in dialogue with iconic Canadian people, places and images. More exhibitions celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday will be presented during upcoming months.

Gallery celebrates Canada in 2017 exhibitions

Country’s heritage is explored through many facets of art

Canada is home to a flourishing art scene and this community is no exception.

Salmon Arm Art Gallery has designed their entire 2017 exhibition celebrating, challenging, exploring and re-imagining Canada with a series of exhibitions, including the current “Beginning of the Long Dash an exhibition featuring 15 artists in dialogue with Canadian icons.

An audio piece by Sicamous artist Daryl Kehler introduces the visitor to the exhibition with a 90-second digital mashup of CBC radio and TV sounds. From there, visitors will experience interpretations of Tim Horton’s, the Friendly Giant, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen.

Artists also tackled maple syrup, the lumberjack, the fur trade, the Hudson Bay blanket, moose and the beaver.

One can crawl into the tent installation by Vernon artist Joanne Sale and watch the shadows of a quiet camping moment. Falkland wood carver Lottie Kozak explores the Haida image through her sculptures. A community knitting project called 150 Toques towers above the visitors.

The exhibition runs until April 22, gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 4pm.

Next up is “Why I Love Canada,” an open exhibition for artists aged 15 to 24. This exhibition challenges young artists to identify and communicate what parts of the Canadian identity are loved and appreciated, and what parts are neglected and need attention.

“What young people value in the nation is what helps all of us plan for the future,” says Tracey Kutschker, executive director of the art gallery. “Up to 100 works of mixed media weave a story for visitors about how youth see their place in this nation.”

The exhibition opens at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 28 and runs until May 27.

A 150 Voices youth video project created by young artists aged 15 to 29 premieres at the Salmar Classic Theatre at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 30.

“150 Voices” is a collaborative effort of collecting interview footage, animated shorts, original music and artwork from dozens of young people, then edited together into a 30-minute work of film art. Everyone is welcome to attend, admission is by donation.

The idea to explore the views of Canadians at this time and place came from Salmon Arm Secondary Jackson campus student Ayden Clark, says Kutschker.

The Arts Centre then helped co-ordinate a group to start the process by interviewing friends, family, neighbours and coworkers and ask them five questions about Canada: Why do you love Canada? What makes Canadians unique in the world? What does Canada have that no other country has? What do you want the world to know about Canadians? What do you imagine for Canada’s future? The answers were recorded on video and collected for the film.

Concurrently, animation workshops were held to teach youth some basic skills in stop-motion and classical animation, encouraging each participant to submit animated shorts to the project. The resulting film is a work of art created by young people to document where we are in this sesquicentennial year.

The film’s executive producer is the Shuswap Community Foundation, says Kutschker.

“Their early support and encouragement allowed training and equipment purchases to happen,”she says. “Faster Than Light Computing also joined the team early, helping with the purchase of a dedicated project computer.”

The Arts Centre also offers thanks to the Salmar Community Association, SAS Parent Advisory Council and Community Foundations Canada for their sponsorship.

This film is available to be screened at other Canada 150 events in the Shuswap throughout the rest of the year. Look for it on July 9 at the opening celebration of Haney Heritage Park’s Montebello Museum.

It will also accompany the Animation Camp Film Festival on Friday, Aug. 11 at Salmar Classic Theatre.

More information on this and all Canada 150 exhibitions and projects can be found on salmonarmartscentre.ca/Canada150.

Five more exhibitions involving artists such as Chris Cran, Lisa Figueroa, Valerie Rogers, Linda Franklin and Herald Nix will take place later in the year, along with one that features Aboriginal artists from across the country.

Look here for updates.