The province looked to Quesnel to set the arts tones for 2023.
The Cariboo has plenty of talent - performing, visual and literary artists - to colour inside those lines. The Quesnel & District Community Arts Council (CAC) stepped up with its web of contacts and network of volunteers to give BC Culture Days a vibrant kickoff on Saturday (Sept. 23).
“It is the first time that Culture Days has held an opening in northern B.C.,” said Cathy Heinzelman, president of the CAC.
The launch event was a menu of special guests, performances and unveilings.
“We were happy to have Mitch Vik, our city councillor, read the proclamation from the government, which he did with gusto. The document will be framed and hung in the CAC office,” Heinzelman said. “We also had a representative from the Cariboo Regional District, John Massier speak.”
Councillors Tony Goulet and Lauren- Anne Roodenburg were in attendance.
Lhtako Dene Nation representatives Terry Boyd and Ellie Peters spoke on behalf of Quesnel’s First Nations, while Metis fiddler Amy Robertson was the master of ceremonies.
A set of performances was also part of the festivities, with Cariboo Thunder, Korduroy, Ken Taylor, and the cast of Bear Grease all providing entertainment, as well as music from the Correlieu Jazz Band, Eldzi Singers, Lyla/Moore Duo, Kwatna Mountain, and Aka Bella.
“Keith Prestone spoke and opened the Art Trail, over 100 artists at 50 business this year, a walking art show that will run till the 15th of October,” said Heinzelman.
Quesnel’s authors also had a presence, promoting their event at the Quesnel Public Library on Oct. 7 (see Page 13 for more information), as did the BC Culture Days Ambassador program previewing their event on Oct. 1 at the Fuel Management Trails.
“Quesnel Live Arts was there with information and tickets for the season to come, along with fundraising chocolate bars for sale,” Heinzelman said. “Quesnel Festival of the Performing Arts also had a table with an opportunity for a photo-op, to encourage participation in the upcoming festival and seeking volunteers.
“Quesnel Museum had provided the clues for the Riverfront Trail treasure hunt, also to run throughout the Culture Days dates.”
The organizers applauded the volunteers who helped make the arrangements, as well as the sound and video crew.
“Culture Days runs till the 15th of October. and we do the draw for the four prize baskets on the 18th, so it’s still busy,” Heinzelman said.
There is also still time to fill out the survey the CAC is promoting, administered by consulting firm Nordicity.
The survey seeks to study the social and economic impact of arts and culture in the Quesnel region. The online version of this story has a live link to the survey.