BC Culture Days logo. The McMillan Arts Centre will host provincial celebration events from September through October 2021. (Submitted photo)

BC Culture Days logo. The McMillan Arts Centre will host provincial celebration events from September through October 2021. (Submitted photo)

McMillan Arts Centre to host BC Culture Days in Parksville, without city funds

5 public events planned, starting in early September and running through October

BC Culture Days will continue in Parksville, without financial support from city council.

On June 21, Parksville council unanimously voted in favour to jointly award up to $50,000 to the McMillan Arts Centre (MAC) and the Parksville Downtown Business Association (PDBA) so they could plan events for the provincial celebration.

However, on July 5 council deferred the grant until spring 2022, after they were notified that the PDBA withdrew as organizers. Another consideration was that planning a large-scale summer event in such short time would overload city staff with additional work.

At the July 19 council meeting, the executive director for the MAC, Jennifer Bate, and a member of the Society of Canadian Artists, Pattiann Withapea, went before council to present their plans for BC Culture Days and ask that council rescind their decision on the $50,000 grant.

At that meeting, Coun. Mark Chandler did make a resolution to rescind the decision, but it was not seconded and failed on the floor.

READ MORE: Parksville council approves allocation of up to $50K for B.C. Culture Days celebration

“Although we are disappointed that the City of Parksville will not be able to support us this year due to staffing shortages, we are still very excited to continue with our ongoing plans with participating businesses and venues. And we will still proceed with the five wonderful events that we’re gong to be producing from September to the end of October,” said Bate.

Bate and Withapea have been planning for BC Culture Days since January this year, and are both excited to see it come to fruition.

On Sept. 12, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., will be the 3D Street Arts Project for Kids.

Approximately 30 to 40 youngsters will be presented a portion of a larger image, condensed into ‘paint-by-numbers’ grids. Each youngster will work on a small section of a 16-foot by eight-foot wood substrate outside the MAC.

“And it will become a fabulous photo-op,” said Withapea. “There’s all kinds of things you can do with them once you complete the image.”

From Sept. 24 until Oct. 24, there will be a Society of Canadian Artists Digital Exhibition in the cloakroom media gallery at the MAC.

The digital exhibition will show the submissions of a juried competition for the Society of Canadian Artists, which Withapea and Bate hope to have done by Sept. 15.

“I wanted to introduce the event that would involve the artists that are already members of the society, and give them an opportunity to showcase their work in their own community. But also to encourage other artists to put their work in front of the jury, because we have a lot of talent in this area,” said Withapea.

READ MORE: Parksville council approves allocation of up to $50K for B.C. Culture Days celebration

The Exquisite Corpse Collaborative Art Project will run from Sept. 27 until Oct. 5.

This event will involve several artists working together to create one image. However, each artist will have no idea what the one before them created, and they will only be prompted by continuing the lines from the covered image before it. Withapea said she considers this more as a social experiment than an artistic event.

“The unveiling is the coolest part because the artists have no idea who they’re collaborating with.”

The Cancel Cancer Culture Bedazzled Bra Fundraiser will take place from Oct. 1 until Oct. 31.

Participants will be given bras to design and decorate in any manner they choose. The bras will then be displayed for the public to vote on by donating a loonie or toonie in the corresponding box beside them. Bate said the donations will go to an individual in the community that has been affected by breast cancer.

“This is one where anyone with any level of creative skills whatsoever can participate. You can bead it, paint it – anything goes,” said Withapea.

The Island Shorts Film Festival will take place from Oct. 22 until Oct. 24.

Bate said the MAC will be doing callouts for film makers at the beginning of August, and that the event will be the first-ever central Vancouver Island film festival.

She said the categories will be for short films under a minute, under 11 minutes and under 20 minutes.

“I’m really hoping this happens every year. The judges we’ve selected are really excited to have a film fest in our area. It was a natural fit for BC Culture Days.”

Coinciding with the event will also be screenings and a planned award night.

mandy.moraes@pqbnews.com

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