The pandemic may have stalled summer plans for many, but nothing can stop art from happening.
B.C. Culture Days is part of Canada’s largest public participation campaign for the arts, which includes celebrations and activities in various communities.
Some events will be held in Kelowna and Lake Country, with Revelstoke artist Claudia Simon, known as Bambi, hosting a two-day art workshop on Aug. 28 and 29. The end goal of her workshop is a collaborative mural.
Bambi said both days in Kelowna are part of the same workshop, which means participants are expected to come for the two days.
“Our goal is a collective mural, but we’re going to break it down into smaller steps. So we’ll talk about brainstorming, and then painting, then collective drawing,” she said.
“We’ll be using a three-foot by ten-foot canvass. So yes, it’s a mural because it’s big but it’s also a portable mural so we’ll display it at different cultural centres for a few weeks at a time if we see fit.”
In order to create images for the mural, one person will close their eyes and draw a scribble, passing it on to the next person, who will turn the scribble into something more tangible. Those pieces will be attached to the previously decorate canvas.
Bambi, originally from Riviére-du-Loup, a city two hours east of Quebec City, is a full-time artist and graphic designer working in Revelstoke. She teaches art in schools and community centres and is especially involved in the francophone community in town.
“I’m involved in a little bit of everything really, as long as it’s related to art.”
“I also try to tie everything to the outdoors, because (Revelstoke) is such a beautiful place to live,” she said.
She said she’s excited to come to Kelowna and be inspired by people’s ideas and vision. She also said she’s excited to show the community that art is not as scary or inaccessible as they think it is.
“My goal is to have people be less intimidated and be more inspired and more motivated to do art.”
“Sometimes, art can seem like a big mountain and it’s hard to conquer, but I feel like every time I end a workshop, I hear a lot of people say ‘oh, it’s not that hard after all’, and that’s the barrier I’m trying to break: that feeling of intimidation,” she said.
The free workshop is scheduled for Aug. 28 (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) and 29 (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) in Kelowna at the Centre culture francophone de l’Okanagan, then again at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre on Sept. 25.
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Bambi is one of five ambassadors selected for BC Culture days. Each is hosting an event.
“More so than ever before, fostering connection, understanding, and healing through artistic expression is essential to our overall well being as we navigate these strange and challenging times,” said BC Culture Days Manager Nazanin Shoja, in a news release.
Coral Santana, in Vancouver, will be producing a livestream festival, highlighting the connections between minority experiences and sex, sexuality and body ownership. Activities will include live music, comedy, spoken work, aphrodisiac cuisine and burlesque.
Damian John, in Ymir, is hosting an interactive presentation exploring the history and experience of First Nations people in Canada. Participants will be encouraged to create artwork inspired by their thoughts and experiences, informed by both the presentation and their own personal journey.
Molly Beatrice, Victoria, is facilitating a 10-week performing arts workshop with queer, trans and gender non-conforming youth in the Victoria area, culminating in a cabaret performed by the youth and hosted over Zoom.
Edward Fu-Chen Juan, in Vancouver, is hosting a guided tour and workshop on how to turn foraged native plant specimens into ink material for silkscreen printmaking, thereby highlighting the importance of conservation.
BC Culture Days will officially kick off with a virtual event on Sept. 24, at 4 p.m. The event will feature performances by local artists, South Asian, Persian and First Nations dancers, an Indigenous welcome ceremony and messages from the minister of tourism, sports and culture and Linda Buchanan, the mayor of the city of North Vancouver.