Arts council president Lona Heinzig and vice-president Ryan Kurz tell CSRD directors about the need for an arts council in South Shuswap.

Arts council president Lona Heinzig and vice-president Ryan Kurz tell CSRD directors about the need for an arts council in South Shuswap.

Arts council wins regional district nod

Lona Heinzig and Ryan Kurz went to the Feb. 19 board of directors meeting to ask for $24,478 in support

Their thunder was stolen but they were happy nonetheless.

Lona Heinzig and Ryan Kurz went to the Feb. 19 board of directors meeting to ask for $24,478 in support for the newly minted Arts Council for the South Shuswap.

When they arrived for their 10 a.m. delegation appointment, they were told the money had already been approved with other grant-in-aid requests.

A bit flustered by the news , the two were invited to proceed with their presentation.

“As parents, we have recognized a need for  local arts and cultural programming in, not only the South Shuswap, but the entire region,” said Kurz. “Visual, performing and literary arts, together with festivals and cultural events, are integral to the creation of a rich and vibrant environment in which to live and raise children.”

Kurz explained that, like many families, he and Heinzig wanted to have their respective children take part in activities, but were challenged by having to drive to the bigger centres of Salmon Arm or Kamloops.

“One of our goals as an arts council is to build up our programming in order to keep our young families active within their own community,” he said. “Providing a higher level of arts and cultural programs will assist in achieving that goal.”

He agreed although residents and tourists should be encouraged to take in events and festivals in all parts of the Shuswap, in terms of weekly music, dance or art lessons, being able to remain in one’s own community would assist in maintaining our younger demographic as residents.

He said the Arts Council for the South Shuswap has mapped out a strategy that will enable them to provide quality programming and cultural events in collaboration with the regional district, South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce, Shuswap Tourism, neighbouring communities and arts councils,

“In the South Shuswap, we’d like to bolster programming and events for the benefit of all,” he said. “Thursdays will see Music In The Bay free concerts for the public to enjoy,” he said. “We will see the development of a new Bel Canto children’s choir, a children’s theatre intensive camp resulting in a Theatre in the Park presentation, and one of our larger projects, the revitalization of The Shuswap Lake Festival of the Arts, a power-packed four-day festival in late July celebrating visual, performing, culinary and literary arts.”

Programming offered will add to the infrastructure of the region, strengthening economic development for the area;

“The $24,478 grant approved by the CSRD will assist greatly in the establishment of the new arts council, will revitalize the Shuswap Lake Festival of the Arts and will also assist with expansion of programming for residents of and tourists to the Shuswap region,” Kurz concluded.