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ArtBeat: Film society salutes bursary winner

The newly opened show at The Kube gallery in Gibsons is the result of intersections between artists with links to the Sunshine Coast.
Kaliyana Denham-Rohlicek is the recipient of the Sunshine Coast Film Society’s annual bursary, and plans a career in the dramatic arts.

The Sunshine Coast Film Society has announced the recipient of its 2023 Bursary of $1,500: Kaliyana Denham-Rohlicek, a recent graduate of Chatelech Secondary School. 

Denham-Rohlicek will be pursuing her dreams of acting, directing, and writing for theatre and film this fall when she enrolls in Studio 58, the three-year acting program at Langara College.   

In 2023, her post-secondary studies were postponed due to unforeseen circumstances, but now she is ready to begin her journey in performing arts and film.  

Denham-Rohlicek’s earlier years at Chatelech were dedicated to ballet and contemporary dance until Grade 10, when she discovered her love for acting. With the help of English teacher Geoff Davis, she also discovered a zeal for writing and hopes to eventually apply that passion to writing screenplays or novels.  

Denham-Rohlicek expressed gratitude for the scholarship, as it will help her to continue to achieve her goals.  

This Kube has edges

The newly opened show at The Kube gallery in Gibsons is the result of intersections between artists with links to the Sunshine Coast.  

The creator of the Bordes Costeros exhibition — Federico Airaudo — had just moved to Ladner from his native Ecuador two years ago. Métis artist Jean Paul Langlois, then fresh from his debut at The Kube, recommended that Airaudo apply to display his work. 

Fast-forward two years. Airaudo’s month-long exhibition at The Kube opened on April 5, the same night that Langlois was debuting his Unnatural Histories at the Benjamin Lumb Art House in Vancouver. 

Bordes Costeros (literally, “Coastal Edges”) offers a technicolour perspective on Ecuador’s complex beach culture. Acrylics like Valle del encanto offer a veritable bestiary in bathing suits. Bikini-clad animals (real and imaginary) pack the sandy foreshore. A pair of canaries frolics in the waves. A taxi full of lizards careens dangerously close to perambulating backpackers (a wolf and a walrus). A creature with a commode for a head consorts with felines in the back of a party boat. 

“I start with one character, then another,” said Airaudo, describing the painting’s geographic setting near Colombia. “In Ecuador, they’ve got different problems with drugs, like on this beach that used to be empty with nothing happening here. Then came all the [non-Hispanic] people who started to buy land there, saying ‘Oh, this place is amazing.’” 

Airaudo got his start studying graphic design and publicity in Argentina. After returning to Ecuador, he swiftly closed the chapter on commercial graphics. “I said, ‘I’m going to quit,’ and I quit,” he recalled. “I took a job in a hostel where all the artists stay and they almost didn’t pay me. I had to start from zero, from below. But I started to realize that these guys [artists] could live off of selling their paintings.” 

Although Airaudo (on his first trip to the Sunshine Coast) does not see parallels between Canadian and Ecuadorian beach cultures, the places where surf crashes ashore are universally rich in symbolism of transition and transformation. Airaudo’s frenzied scenes are worthy of intensive examination; his beaches are lousy with ironic insight. 

Hours and details for The Kube are available online at

Anniversary festival now underway  

The official program for the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Performing Arts, the 50th annual celebration of local musicians, orators and dancers, was released earlier this week in concert with the festival’s launch. 

In the coming week, two days of bowed string performances will take place at St. Hilda’s Anglican Church on April 15 and 16. The remainder of the 16th is dedicated to folk instrumental music. On Friday, April 19, speech and dramatic arts presentations are scheduled. 

Later in the month, band performances will take place at Chatelech Secondary School on April 25; woodwind and brass solos will be featured that afternoon. 

The full program (including dance, vocals and choir) plus free online video of performances are available at