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Okanagan arts organizations struggling to survive coronavirus pandemic – Global News

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It’s the one time that the show must not go on, and because of that, the coronavirus pandemic is having a significant economic impact on Okanagan arts groups.

From cancelled art classes to postponed theatre productions, arts organizations are doing their part to flatten the curve, but they’re feeling the financial impact of the pandemic.

“It’s a 100 per cent revenue loss, so it is pretty devastating,” Vernon Community Arts Centre spokesperson Sheri Kunzli said.


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“From a business standpoint, it’s just a huge financial loss,” she said. “Like a lot of the arts and culture groups out there, we are a non-profit, so coming back from this is going to be a lot of work.”






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Parade of recycling, garbage trucks for Okanagan youth


Parade of recycling, garbage trucks for Okanagan youth

There has been some government support and organizations are searching out grants to help them through the pandemic, but some arts organizations say when they reopen their operations will likely be different.

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“It might be in a reduced fashion because we may not be able to do everything that we were doing all at once,” said Susan Brandoli, a spokesperson for Caetani Cultural Centre.


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However, not every business or organization will survive.

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Armstrong Dance Academy owner Susan Bensmiller said that she’s making the difficult decision to close for good because she’s concerned that after COVID-19, people will not have the same disposable income to spend on creative pursuits.

The dance studio had been open for 14 years.


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“We were looking at a good five to six months of paying overhead without any income and potentially having to refund people,” Bensmiller said.

“It was just number crunching. I could afford to do the refunds, but I couldn’t afford to do both,” she added.

“When we work in the arts, what you do and who you are, are one,” Bensmiller said. “And so when you are impacted with what you do, it’s brutal.”


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Meanwhile, arts organizations that plan to continue long-term are finding creative ways to take art online, like planning virtual events or releasing tutorial videos.

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“For people that have that equipment at home, they can follow along or for others it is just going to be some inspiration,” Kunzli said.

–with files from Megan Turcato

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Levi Nelson art on display in downtown Pemberton – Pique Newsmagazine

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Hydro boxes in Pemberton just got a lot more exciting.

Pieces by Levi Nelson, a Lil’wat Nation artist in his last year at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, are now installed on hydro boxes along Portage Road and on the utility box at the Downtown Community Barn.

“We are incredibly grateful and honoured that Levi shared his artwork with us,” the Village of Pemberton said on a Facebook post on Friday, June 5.

Nelson’s work has been exhibited at the Talking Stick Festival, the Museum of Anthropology, North Vancouver City Art Scape, and the Emily Carr University of Art & Design Aboriginal Student Art Show. He also recently became the first Lil’wat Nation artist to have a piece in the Audain Art Museum’s permanent collection.

The recent hydro box wraps were made possible thanks to a contribution from BC Hydro’s beautification fund.

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Applications being accepted for public art funding – paNOW

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Macleod Campbell explained they are also happy to support public art projects as they help to improve the overall quality of life for people in the city.

“It’s nice to have public art for viewing at this time as well as of course supporting the artist,” she said.

Eligible groups can include a range of organizations from local art groups to private businesses. In order to be eligible, the group has to be working with a professional artist and the piece must be displayed publicly.

There is not a hard deadline for people to apply for funding. Macleod Campbell said applications are subject to approval from the art working committee and city council.

Macleod Campbell explained the city is also working to make people aware of the art which is on display in public spaces around the city, as they have created a public art tour brochure. The document is currently available on the city website and they are looking to get physical copies out into the public.

“That’ll be something as well,” said Macleod Campbell.

MichaelJoel.Hansen@jpbg.ca

On Twitter: @mjhskcdn

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Edmonton teen shares love of art with neighbourhood – Global News

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Paige Reid is brightening up her Edmonton neighbourhood, one driveway at a time.

The 15-year-old budding artist said chalk art was an easy way to spend less time cooped up in the house.

“It was a way to be outside and still do something I would have done inside anyway. I just wanted to have fun with a new kind of medium,” said Paige.


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Before long, her work captured the attention of most of her neighbours in Riverbend.

“I’ve had a lot of kids run up to me and say, ‘Whoa, whoa whoa!’ They’ve been very amazed that I’ve done characters that they recognize.”

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Paige soon began to venture out from beyond her own driveway.

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“Paige offered to draw a cat on our porch,” said neighbour Shauna Scott. “Every single time someone comes to our door people stop and say, ‘Wow, who did this?’ It gives us a big kick when we open the door.”


Paige Reid working on her chalk art on June 4, 2020.


Jessica Robb/Global News

The young artist said she doesn’t charge for her drawings, but if someone offers compensation—she’ll use it to buy more chalk.

“People say you can’t put a price on happiness so I don’t want to do that. It’s fun for me. I don’t need a reward for doing something I already want to do,” she said.

Paige’s mom, Cori Reid, said it’s no surprise her daughter spends her day bringing joy to others.

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“She’s got a good heart. She’s very kind,” said Reid. “She thinks about other people all the time.”

This neighbourhood Picasso is also helping fill time during long summer days.

“[Because of COVID-19] there’s not a lot for kids to do right now, except for being stuck on the computer and be stuck with school on Zoom, dance class on Zoom. It’s nice to get out and feel productive,” said Reid.

While at the same time, bringing a neighbours a smile, one character at a time.

“I’m very happy I’ve achieved my goal of making other people happy.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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