First century and counting

The Old School House arts centre celebrates its first 100 years on Saturday

OSH executive director Corinne James is inviting residents from around the area to check out a piece of local history when The Old School House arts centre celebrates the 100th anniversary of  providing service to the community

OSH executive director Corinne James is inviting residents from around the area to check out a piece of local history when The Old School House arts centre celebrates the 100th anniversary of providing service to the community

A special birthday bash is happening in Qualicum Beach this weekend to celebrate The Old School House Arts Centre (TOSH) building’s 100th year of active service, and the jam-packed schedule of events is sure to tickle anyone’s fancy.

“I think it’ll be a record for the amount of art that will be taking place in one spot,” said director of TOSH Corinne James. “I bet it’s a Guinness Book of Records,” she joked.

The fun kicks off at 11 a.m. with the ever popular Grand Prix d’Art, a painting race where artists pull a location out of a hat and then paint en plein air (in the open air), around Qualicum Beach in three hours.

Also at 11 a.m. an art fair called Art in Action will take place in the parking lot next to TOSH with about 45 artists crafting and selling pieces. This includes painters, weavers, spinners, potters and even blacksmiths, she said.

A kid’s tent, sponsored by Opus Art Supplies will enable young ones to paint an acrylic piece on canvas and take it home. There will also be clay for kids to muck around with and faerie making.

A wine and beer garden will be set up throughout the afternoon in the field behind TOSH and a lunch by the Old Dutch Inn will be available.

At noon the Nanaimo Concert Band will perform on a stage in the parking lot next to the arts centre.

A highly anticipated Japanese Taiko drum concert will take place at 2 p.m.

During this time the Grand Prix paintings will arrive back and prizes will be awarded.

The cake cutting will take place at 3:30 p.m., to commemorate the 100th birthday. The mayor and former students of the building will say a few words, and plaques will be given to the local rotary clubs for their contribution to the building’s renovations.

A participatory concert will happen at 4 p.m. featuring a rare musical instruments, the theremin. This instrument is played without any physical contact and instead will have participants moving their hands in the proximity of the instrument’s two metal antennas.

“That’s where kids can get involved,” said James, explaining that musicians on stage will invite people up to create music.

Dinner Under the Stars will finish off the night from 6 to 9:30 p.m. with dinner by The Old Dutch Inn, live music and dancing in the parking lot behind the Arts Centre. Although all 300 tickets to this event have been sold, James said tables will be put around the perimeter for people to come have a drink and listen to the seven-piece Jazz band.

To top it all off a photography event will also take place throughout the day called A Day in the Life of Qualicum Beach: Qualicum at Play. Photographers will submit street shots of people and activities they see around town.