The Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula plays an important role in the local creative community.
First, the council hosts a variety of shows featuring work of local artists at the community art centre at Tulista Park. Examples are the current Artisans Christmas Gift Gallery, and the successful First Nations and Metis show in September and October.
Secondly, the centre is used as an arts resource where area groups can bring brochures and posters for distribution. A goal in the new year is to acquire a larger kiosk to accommodate even more handouts and newsletters.
Thirdly, each year the arts council budgets an amount to provide financial support to member groups. This year the council financially supported: the Sidney Concert Society, the Sidney Concert Band, Via Choralis, Palm Court (concert in Sidney), Sidney Shutterbugs, Deep Cove Folk and Sidney Serenaders.
Another supportive effort of the arts council is directed to young people. Through its Arts in the Schools program in 2011, director Audrey Waugh presented Saanich School District with $5,000 to bring artists, writers and performers into the schools to offer instruction. The funds come from the Sidney Fine Art Show, a raffle of donated work and a private donation. The raffle success is due to Craig Benson for his sculpted seal head, as well as (this year) to Heather Corbitt and John Rusnick for their art work.
Some of the classroom programs that resulted were Deep Cove school’s Poetry and Illustration, Prospect Lake school’s Music for the Season, Sidney elementary’s Watercolours, KELSET’s Let’s Dance, Brentwood elementary’s Knitting Eagles Together Through Storytelling, and clay project at North Saanich middle school.
For more information about the arts council, visit the community art centre situated at the south end of Tulista Park. While there, enjoy the Artisans Christmas Gift Gallery featuring the work of area potters, jewellers, weavers, knitters, quilters, wood turners, sculptors and painters.