THE PASSIONATE I: Challenging readers to support the arts

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
August 4th, 2011

Christina Lake’s Fundival tonight is kicking off 10 days of arts and culture festivities as the first annual Kettle River Arts Festival gets underway. What is the Kettle River Arts Festival? I haven’t heard anything about it, you say. As usual, spreading the word about cultural events in the Boundary can be challenging, and for a first time event even more so.  Well, the festival groups together a wide variety of events from visual displays at Gallery 2, Rock Creek Agriculture and Arts, and the artisans’ tour to performances from local dancers to touring musicians over the next ten days. The Boundary District Arts Council intends to grow this grouping of events to become a well-known festival sought by locals and visitors alike.  This is potentially a unique event in the entire Boundary / Kootenay area that could become a showcase for local arts and an attraction for tourists if supported in the first few years.  But I bet you haven’t heard about it yet…  Marketing and getting the word out is an amazingly hard task in this area. Having been a part of local events and a key member of the Festival of Freedom organizing crew, I can attest to how blind people seem to be when there’s something going on.  Typically, events are listed on events websites like Kootenay Planet or What’s up in Grand Forks, posters go out, flyers are delivered, and ads are bought. Organizers are doing everything right. But no matter how much you do someone always says: I didn’t even know it was going on….  Are we just getting immune to the many posters we see around town? Or are we just thinking that there couldn’t possibly be something high quality happening in our town?  I remember during the music festival years hearing complaints about our prices that were significantly lower than other nearby festivals. And then I saw those same people who complained buy tickets to festivals out of town for over three times our price, plus the cost of traveling. I guess they actually had money to spend, they just didn’t want to spend it here.  In the last few years an amazing array of talented musicians and artists have visited our area to entertain. Have you been out to see them?  I challenge every reader to attend at least one event in the next ten days of the Kettle River Arts Festival. Drop me a line to let me know what you saw, send a photo and give me some comments about the event. I’ll include your reviews in our festival finale in two weeks and enter your name into a contest to win a $25 coupon to an arts event of your choice. 

Enjoy the summer, and enjoy the shows! 

Categories: Arts and CultureOp/Ed