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Art and the outdoors

I can’t help but reflect on Sidney, and what special things it has to offer.

For the last few days I have been travelling on PEI.

The spring landscape is lovely.  The rolling hillsides are lush and green and patterned with rich red soil ploughed ready for potato planting. Each little village I travel through is readying its tourist assets for the summer season — historic houses, museums, beaches, bridges as well as shops with distinctive, local products.

I can’t help but reflect on Sidney, and what special things it has to offer.  In addition to our museums, galleries and special attractions, we have natural assets such as our lovely sea walk, attractive civic gardens and the iconic Beacon Pier with the fish market building, framed by the stunning sea view with sail boats and Mt. Baker in the background. Any painting or photograph which includes our fish market immediately identifies our town.

For the summer months the arts council presents its annual outdoor art gallery on the walls of the blue  fish market building.  Participating artists are given specially prepared panels and are asked to provide a personal interpretation of Sidney.  The panels are then treated and coated to protect them for the four months they are on display.

Throughout the summer the public is encouraged to vote for their favourite piece and prizes will be awarded to the winners during the ArtSea Festival in October.  Arts director, Ethel Mailhot, who coordinated the show, is very pleased with the support received from our business community for this popular outdoor event.

Further south along the seaside walk at Tulista Park in the community art centre, the arts council will also present a fresh show of work by local crafts people. Our area is rich in its diversity of arts and crafts, and this show celebrates that diversity.

Arts council director and coordinator of our annual Artisan show, Dale McEwan, is pleased with the upcoming Artisans show which opened runs until August 29.

She reports that many favourite local artists are returning showing fibre arts, pottery, jewelry, painting, photography, porcelain and woodcarving.  New to the show this year will be metal sculpture, woodturning and three new jewelry artists.  Stop by the waterfront gallery in Tulista Park often as new items will be added throughout the summer.

In addition to the  Artisans show, the arts council will again sponsor its popular summer craft classes for children. To register, call the CAC at 250-656-7400 or drop by for a registration form.

As well as registration forms for classes, the Tulista Art Centre is also is a resource centre encouraging all arts groups to bring advertising material by for distribution and to make sure the centre is aware of your event so that the correct information can be given out.