QAG looking to raise profile of the arts in Quesnel

Community support is the key to the operations of the Quesnel Art Gallery and the Gallery gift shop

Above: QAG committee members Betty Watson

Quesnel Art Gallery (QAG) is operated by a volunteer committee who are busy all the time with affairs of the gallery and gift shop. However, this all hinges on the support from the community.

“Arts and culture are an important element in any community and needs to be supported just as other aspects, equally important, receive support such as sports activities,” QAG volunteer Olive Walsh said.

In order to better serve arts in the community, the QAG committee is fundraising with a specific goal in mind.

“Not only do we want to raise the profile of the arts in Quesnel and surrounding areas but we also see hiring a gallery/gift shop manager,” QAG committee member Betty Watson said.

“There’s so much that could be done to create a vibrant arts component in the community.”

The committee is currently working on a proposal for ArtsVest, a Business for the Arts’ signature matching incentive and sponsorship training program.

They could receive up to $5,000 in matching funds if they can secure support from local businesses (minimum of $200) either in cash or in-kind contributions.

Community Futures has already donated $250.

Watson said they plan to do a door-to-door campaign seeking support.

“We’re also looking to expand our online presence through more active social media,” Walsh said.

“As well we want to build a closer more  productive relationship with City Hall including establishing an arts committee to promote and foster the arts both inside the community and beyond our borders.”

The QAG has a full slate of shows planned for 2015 and local emerging and existing artists should start thinking about submissions to the juried February show Art from the Heart. This is the only show which can include artists from the community who don’t have an existing relationship with the QAG.

Each show has a sponsor and both Walsh and Watson were quick to say how appreciative they are for those companies and individuals who’ve stepped up to sponsor the shows.

With a new sign at the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre where the QAG is located and the new logo, the QAG committee is committed through various additional means, to raising the profile of the arts in Quesnel and plan on asking businesses to help them reach their fundraising goal by the deadline of Feb. 1, 2015. They already have donations totalling close to $1,000 and are confident the community will help them hit their mark.

For details on how to get involved, contact Betty Watson, 250-992-3452 or e-mail betty.watson@me.com.

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