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Art Beat: Creatives congregate to contemplate Crawl

The countdown to the annual Art Crawl started on Sept. 24 with a gathering of Sunshine Coast artists at the Bricker Cider Company in Sechelt.
Cast members walk the red carpet at the screening of a live-action puppet program produced in Gibsons and Vancouver.

The countdown to the annual Art Crawl started on Sept. 24 with a gathering of Sunshine Coast artists at the Bricker Cider Company in Sechelt. 

During the three-day Art Crawl from Oct. 20 to 22, a record-breaking 188 studios and galleries will open for visits by the public. More than 60 of the participating artists assembled at Brickers to meet, share ideas and explore creative collaboration. Photographer and abstract painter Allan O’Meara served as master of ceremonies. 

“They got to meet other artists, because artists are a little bit like writers: on their own a lot,” said Linda Williams, president of the Coast Cultural Alliance. The alliance is the non-profit organization that coordinates the annual event. “And because they’re in the Art Crawl, they never get to see each other. So we introduced everybody around the circle and our emcee came up with all these crazy ideas of getting people together.” 

According to Williams, collaboration has become one of the crawl’s hallmarks. Artists are forming regional hubs where they can exhibit in a central location. Five artists in Roberts Creek have joined forces under the banner of Art O’ the Farm and will showcase their work at Moongate Farms on Wilson Service Road. Several studios in the Beach Avenue neighbourhood self-identify as part of the Henderson Beach Hotspot. 

“What the Crawl does is unify [the Coast],” explained Williams. “All these artists feel like they’re part of the Sunshine Coast community, not just Egmont or Halfmoon Bay or something. They’re proud of being where they are, but being part of the entire Coast is pretty cool.” 

Nearly two dozen drop-in receptions are scheduled for Oct. 20 at locations from Langdale to Halfmoon Bay. 

Williams regularly receives inquiries from other communities, curious about the Art Crawl’s longevity and growth. “We [the organizers] are all skilled at different things,” she said, “and what keeps it going is the new and vibrant energy from first-time participants.” 

A full listing of Art Crawl events and destinations is available at 

Homegrown TV pilot screened for kids, rabbits 

A gala premiere in Gibsons on Sept. 24 heralded the premiere of a prospective TV series for children hungry for adventure… and carrots.  

The live-action puppet-driven pilot Reggie Rabbit and the Search for the Golden Carrot attracted nearly 100 preteens and parents to the Heritage Playhouse where the all-local cast and crew arrived one by one in a vehicle outfitted with bunny ears. Singer-songwriter Stephan Lacasse led the audience in four exuberant rounds of the Reggie Rabbit theme song. 

Kris Fleerackers is a professional puppeteer and filmmaker who starred as the eponymous rabbit. “What I find the most gratifying is when I do a show that’s really tailored to kids, but adults come up afterwards and say they feel they were completely into it,” said Fleerackers. A career performer, he received his first-ever autograph request at the event. 

Shannon Rody, who plays the show’s human protagonist, exercised her connections as administrator of the Driftwood Theatre School to assemble her red-carpet apparel. She was outfitted in a black rhinestone-studded ensemble with top hat designed by Driftwood Costume Shoppe coordinator Linda McTurk. Rody’s daughter Willow Rody designed her makeup. 

“My hope is that we’re really giving kids some tools throughout the show,” said Rody. “Instead of it just being a scavenger hunt, we want to sprinkle even more emotional intelligence throughout the series. Though the show might seem frivolous, any opportunity for kids to learn more about the land and the people in it is not.” 

Producer William Baker recruited a production team that ranged from kindergarten-aged newcomer Abigail Lepage to venerable thespian Mac Dodge. “I was delighted to find cast members and crew members on the Coast that had all of the expertise, talent and background to be able to do this,” said Baker. “What we do now is refine the presentation that will be made to studio executives, to the folks in the industry who will bring it to the next level.” 

More information about Baker’s Reggie Rabbit series is available online at