Westside Weekly – 21 September 2014


Image is by Shannon Johnston, one of the 8 artists who will be at Dogwood Nursery during Culture Days Sep 26, 27 & 28

Canada Culture Days is in its fifth year as a uniquely Canadian event that encompasses over 4000 venues across the country and 500 in BC alone.  The Westside has almost 25 individual events (and growing) with 80 artists and over 40 businesses involved.  If I did my math right, we are 5% of the entire BC participation. Not bad for our first year! Vision, excitement, relevancy, and each person’s own initiative were the key players in the everyone’s decision making process whether to participate, so way to go Westside!

Dogwood Nursery on Paynter Road is hosting 8 artists and their gift to culture and their clients is renowned Okanagan Symphony harpist, Ingrid Schellenberg on Sunday, Sept. 28/14 from 1 to 4pm.

Confirmed artists at this time are painters Arlene Currie, Penny Fowler, Shannon Johnston, Robert Jenkins, Sandra Kessler, Robin MacMillan, Janice Sich and Audrey Peat.

Robert Plumpton, one of Dogwood’s partners said “As being an established West Kelowna business for over 35 years, it is our pleasure to participate.  Our venue at Dogwood Nursery is a unique setting for the artists and an inspiration for all.”

When I talked with Robert at Artwalk he was thrilled because every staff member has also become invested. Dogwood has done cultural partnerships in the past but they were very excited that other businesses were joining in on this dedicated, concentrated weekend for the community.

Westside Culture Days doesn’t have a lot of sponsors but we do have a few and each one has made a tremendous difference.  Thank you so very much to each one: Westside Weekly, Westbank First Nation, Bentall-Kennedy, Manchester Printing, CBC Radio, WDCR-FM Radio, Head Office Blenz and Opus Art Supplies. There is still time, so if you would also like to sponsor, please send us a note!

Speaking of Blenz and Opus, they are the sponsors for the People’s Choice.  The People’s Choice promotes active community participation where each person can travel through the community see the artists and vote for their favourite one.  There is no cost to do this, and ballots are dropped off at Blenz Westbank.  The prize is $250 including a $50 Blenz card from Blenz and Opus is donating $100 gift card.

Together Westside Art Gallery is coming together.  This is still open to all artists on the Westside, and is a $25 fee to enter.  The public opening at all the Westbank Shopping Centre galleries will be Friday from 5-7 pm and one of the terrific events to go to for the launch of the Westside Culture Days.

There are two community projects going on in my gallery, the Julia Trops Gallery.

The first is an opportunity for the public to draw or write or do whatever they wish to a ~3×5 paper. At the end of the weekend, I hope to have an interesting exhibition of everyone’s thoughts and ideas.

The second involves anonymous public participation I am calling “Living in the Dash” and I emphasize this is anonymous.  This project is ultimately about sharing, growth, compassion and understanding surrounding our community and their lives, people sharing their story. More information can be found about this project on my website http://www.juliatrops.com.

All of us, the artists, the musicians and other entertainers, the businesses and sponsors, we hope you will come out for the weekend and explore.  Maps of specific sites are available on the website and on the Facebook page and these are smartphone friendly. Looking forward to an epic weekend!

Julia Trops is a Westside artist and author of the book Art & Money.  Email info@WestsideCultureDays.com