This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Sechelt Arts Festival, an annual tapestry of music, visual and performance art held in various venues in Sechelt. Presented in partnership with the District of Sechelt, over 60 artists, musicians, dancers, storytellers, choreographers and singers will come together to entertain, educate and ignite the imagination for ten exciting days from Oct. 17 to 27. Fall is a great time to head inside and celebrate our many talented Coast artists during this anniversary celebration of the arts.
The Festival launches on the annual Art Crawl weekend with an innovative art exhibition at the Seaside Centre. Here and Now, Contemporary Art on the Sunshine Coast, will feature sixteen contemporary Coast artists, working in collaboration with site, community and one another to visualize and re-imagine the Sunshine Coast. Guest curated by Karen Benbassat Ali (Vancouver’s Satellite Gallery) and Karen Duffek (Museum of Anthropology), the artists will use sound, performance, painting, mark making and sculpture to create new works specifically for this groundbreaking exhibition.
At the same time, the Seaside Centre will host a new heritage exhibit entitled Snapshots: Our Coastal Heritage. Participants will be able to explore the Coast then and now through fascinating photographs from four of the Coast’s archival collections. The art and heritage exhibitions will officially open the Festival with a special public opening reception on Thursday, Oct. 17 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Highlights on the main stage this year will include two evening performances presented at the Raven’s Cry Theatre. On Saturday, Oct. 19, Joni Mitchell’s music and art will be featured in the retrospective: Covering Joni, Album by Album. Tickets are already sold out for this highly-anticipated event. The talented line-up of performers includes: A Cappella Strait, Trudi Diening, Edwin Dolinski, Keely Hayward, Sacha Fassaert, Luci Herder, Wendy Hibberd, Graham Ord, Janet Panic, Patrice Pollack, Ross Powell, Joe Stanton, Paul Steenhuis, Rebecca Soichet, Randal Stoll and guest performers.
The second Raven’s Cry main stage event on Saturday, Oct. 26, will be the premier of a multi-genre production of Dances on Water, a provocative collaboration of contemporary dance, original music, live voice, spoken word and big screen imagery. A select group of Coast dancers, Mishelle Brydges, Katherine Denham, Lindsay Prentice, Brittany Robertson and Pan Willson, along with choreographers Brianna Stark and Sammie Broomhall, will bring to the stage a bigger-than-life message of art, culture and conservation about our relationship with water.
Many of the events this year are free including several art and music workshops, guitar day concerts, a master class with virtuoso Daniel Bolshoy, a new music concert featuring musicians and construction workers (making music and a doghouse composter at the same time) and a fun-filled family day at the Arts Centre on Sunday, Oct. 27.
Innovative Coast musician Steve Weave will host a high-tech, high-energy teen music and dance event, Scream Dream III, on Oct. 25 at Chatelech Secondary School, an evening of dance, emerging music, live DJ, interactive video screen, and a special hip hop presentation open to all Coast high school students and young adults.
Program guides are now available at many stores and businesses along the Coast filled with all the details, times and venues, or see www.secheltartsfestival.com.