A new art camp setting down roots in the Okanagan finds itself in a unique position this summer—it wants to help, but it also needs help to do so.
With just two weeks to go until Summer Arts Scene For Youth throws open the doors to provide 62 kids with a week-long intensive art and performance experience, the camp’s organizers say they have found the funding for four more scholarship students, although they also desperately need volunteer help to make the camp a success.
“Last year we spent $4,000 on catering, but the tuition was $250 and we wanted to make it more affordable for local youth,” said Claudia Kargl, president and artistic director of SASFY.
“I just read that the B.C. Interior has some of the most impoverished kids in the country and that was some of the feedback from last year. We needed to make it easier for more kids to come.”
The new $150 price tag includes six days of intensive learning from formidable local artists. Teachers like painter Linda Lovisa, who owns her own gallery on the Westside, local filmmaker Richard Knight and fashion design grad Kate Grout-Lario work with the students for six hours a day during the week-long experience, which culminates in a grand finalé gala event the non-profit organization uses as a fundraiser.
Each day includes a snack and lunch, which Kargl is hoping she can cover by adding volunteers to her kitchen who will keep the food train running throughout the day—though finding the bodies hasn’t been easy, particularly now that the camp has added 20 more students than it had in its inaugural year last year.
“The program has been very well supported by the community,” said Kargl. “It has received a grant both years from the Central Okanagan Foundation and I’ve already got instructors booked for next year.”
That said, she is still hoping people interested in keeping arts opportunities accessible for kids will step in and help during this final organization period. This year the school added a bus system so parents don’t have to bring students all the way to the Lake Country location in George Elliott school. The bus will pick kids up from a Kelowna location and a West Kelowna location and volunteers are needed to ride along to ensure everyone is on track and gets to camp without issue.
Kargl says she also needs greeters to help with registration on the first day and extra hands for the gala.
SASFY also throws a spring fundraiser and is run by a board of directors, both which could use the helping hands of people who may have no time to donate in the summer.
The scholarship opportunities, on the other hand, are open to aspiring young artists who need a leg up to get involved.
Information on Summer Arts Scene for Youth can be found on their web site www.sasfy.ca and Kargl can be contacted at 250-768-1404.
The camp runs Aug. 8 to 13 and includes instruction in visual arts like painting and photography, performing arts, music, fashion design, woodworking and culinary arts. Tickets to the gala event, which showcases the student’s work, are also available for $10.