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The Year in Arts: Part one

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Organizers of the Roberts Creek Arts Festival held on the May 17 to 19 long weekend had artists’ studios and galleries jumping all over the Creek.

Artistic advances:

Artist Ed Hill opened the season with his painting, The Community Forest, art with a message.

The Gibsons Public Art Gallery (GPAG) opened a show with a display from their benefactress, the late Eve Smart. It showed her own art plus other artists' works destined for a permanent collection.

Stone carver Don Watson held a workshop and showed his creations at a Vancouver gallery.

The Friends of the Gallery show in which any Sunshine Coast Arts Council member artist can submit one piece, took place in January.

Harbour Arts was born this past year, and they offered classes and exhibitions from their new small studio.

Artist James Miller became mired in controversy over his handcrafted quilt that honoured the children massacred in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

The biannual Quilters' Guild show was held at the Gibsons and Area Community Centre this year and was outstanding for its variety.

Fibreworks Gallery and Studio in Madeira Park showed the local artist, Jennifer Love, among other guest artists.

The month of May saw the return of the Roberts Creek Arts Festival. The public toured studios and galleries in the Creek area in possibly one of the most diverse and stunning shows on the Coast.

The exhibition Looking Inward & Looking Outward at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre used their theme to create awareness about mental health issues in the community.  

Jane Richardson opened her show at the Arts Centre in July. She is also the author of three bio books about B.C. artists.

Elaine Hunter had a banner year with her Performing Arts School in Halfmoon Bay and her own digital creations that were shown at hotels and galleries.

In July the Gibsons School of the Arts ran their summer programs of classes taught by renowned painters.

J. Bradley Hunt and son Dean Hunt opened their Mission Point studio at the first of each month to show their aboriginal carvings.
The Art Stroll in the Landing was a warm up for the later huge Art Crawl.

Tim McLaughlin exhibited his photo portraits, many of them depicting local people, along with Jone Pane's action artwork.

The Power of Paint, 11 equal artists, put on their second annual exhibition at the Seaside Centre with a huge turnout at their opening reception.

Jan Poynter encouraged other artists to take to the scenic streets for a plein air paint-out.

Geoffrey Smedley of Gambier Island had his metaphorical machines sent away to Montreal for a show at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Later, he gave a learned talk at the Gibsons Public Library.

Random Acts of Art, a fun exhibition of small artworks for all levels of ability, was a great success. The late Gordon Adaskin's works were shown at the Arts Centre and offered for bidding to the public.

The major event of the arts scene was the October Art Crawl in which galleries and studios opened their doors to the roaming public.

The Sechelt Arts Festival raised a fabulous line-up, with a sold out concert honouring the work of Joni Mitchell and several other workshops, music and innovative events. As part of the Festival, Claudia Cuesta and Bill Baker organized a ground-breaking, juried contemporary art show in Sechelt.

In November, GPAG celebrated its 10th anniversary with an outstanding show featuring 17 artists, including a tattoo artist, a clockmaker, as well as potters, carvers, sculptors, painters and poets.

Musical Moods:

The Suncoast Phoenix choir rose from the ashes of the former Suncoast Singers and Coast Phoenix choirs under the direction of Michael Grice.

The Royal Canadian Navy band showed its jazzier side with a stellar performance from Undercurrents presented by the Sunshine Coast Music Society.

Rebecca Fox with her sweet voice gave a return performance at the Heritage Playhouse. Mindil Beach Markets, a band of Chatelech alumni, rocked at their show in March.

The Coast Recital Society presented a series of fine classical music and in March some of Kathleen Hovey's youthful musicians were offered workshops with a visiting chamber group.

The Youth Orchestra grew stronger and many of the young musicians took awards when the Festival of the Performing Arts celebrated its 14th anniversary.

The Pender Harbour Music Society offered a diverse program of concerts throughout the season. The Pender Harbour Choir also celebrated their 40th with a concert in May.

Skye Wallace, former Elphinstone Secondary School student, returned to the Coast occasionally to sing, following her blossoming career in the city, while far away in Australia, Bobby Bruce, the Neil Diamond look-alike, won an award for his touring act.

Sechelt vocalist Janet Panic was excited to be nominated for a Juno award.

Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos and Chris Bernetchez formed Kazemon, a duo that played wind instruments in interesting locations such as a cave in Texas.

The SC Community Orchestra celebrated their gala show in May with artistic director Edette Gagne warming up the crowd.

The Blues Festival took over the Pender Harbour area in June, closely followed by the Gibson's Landing Jazz Festival that moved to the main street this year.

The Celtic Music School gave classes and offered camaraderie to many students. Instructors and some music students displayed their talents at a full house concert at Rockwood Pavilion in July.

The 101 Rock and Country Music Festival brought in all manner of music from hard rock to Hard Days Night at the Lions Club Park near Garden Bay.

The Creek Big Band showed its swing at several gigs this year, including dancing the night away at the Sunshine Coast Golf and Country Club in August.

The ninth annual Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival was a smashing success under artistic director Alexander Tselyakov and is poised for next year's anniversary celebrations.

Fans of the fiddle — and who isn't on the Coast — gathered at the Heritage Playhouse in August to welcome Bad to the Bow's new CD.

Musician Brett Wildeman set off on a bicycle tour through the sunny September weather.

The Pender Harbour Jazz Festival with Carole Rubin at the helm, welcomed the nonagenarian Dal Richards among other great artists, but mourned the loss of Les Fowler, one of the festival's founders.

Touring musician and songwriter Lowry Olafson gave his first full concert on the Coast in many years, in support of Hospice.

The Elves Club telethon with its roster of performers of all ages proved once again that there are many diverse talents on the Coast.

Theatre Troupes On:

The Chair Actors, a Sechelt group under Louise Phillips were first off the mark this year with their touching memories of their fathers.

The Funtastics raised fun and funds with their vaudeville magic in the spring, and a few of the performers gathered again in a fall show to raise money for an improved sound system.

The Showcase of the Performing Arts, a fundraiser for the Heritage Playhouse, took a new direction this year in presenting great stage shows throughout the year instead of in July. Celso Machado and Valdy were among the many performers. Driftwood Players drew up to the table with a dinner theatre production written by Gibsons' Linda Norris. Actors hammed up the comedy at many Coast locations.

Creative in the Creek, organized by amuser David Roche, proved a popular combination of music and story telling.

Pecha Kucha, the show that allows 20 images for 20 seconds each, proved so popular at the Arts Building in Gibsons that it migrated to Sechelt. Also in Sechelt an inaugural Aboriginal Story Telling Festival gathered many First Nations speakers to the Sechelt Band Hall in May. Matthew Talbot-Kelly and Jacqueline O. Rogers told their stories on the iPad in detailed, animated production.

A few more stories were told during the annual Synchronicity Festival in August in Shirley Macey Park. Audiences were taken on a magical stroll through the woods to watch local performers in the Rainforest Circus.

Three actors from Driftwood Players performed in the play Heroes in November, directed by the busy David Short. He also directed and coached performers in the 1940s radio play, Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus, presented in December.

An intriguing play, An Evening with Fidel, produced by Fiona Jackson brought shades of Cuba's Castro to the theatre in November.

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