Here’s what’s new in the Peachland arts community!
Peachland’s new visitor centre manager says 2020 was actually pretty good, tourism wise. We even had more visitors than our neighbours, Trina Shields recently told councillors.
“We managed to surpass both West Kelowna and Summerland,” she said, noting although numbers are obviously down from 2019, the Peachland Visitor Centre still welcomed 4,449 visitors in 2020.
“And from Jan. 9 to Feb 23, our visitor statistics have increased 74.3%,” Shields says.
The Visitor Centre (which is operated through the Peachland Community Arts Council) has a few fun plans for 2021. They’ll be selling more local art, clothing and other gift shop items, there will be new information panels highlighting both BEEPS and Peachland’s history (and a podcast is in the works too), and depending on the rules in place, a walking history tour is planned, too.
Check out the Visitor Centre’s new website!
Peachland Community Arts Council President Deborah Livingstone also updated councillors during the same Feb. 23 meeting. With a dozen umbrella groups, 14 directors and about 500 members in all, the PCAC, founded back in 1990, has become a huge creative hive of pretty much any art form you can imagine.
“We have a writing group, a gardening group, a ukulele group, historians and a miniature enthusiasts group,” she said, noting everything is run mainly by volunteers. It takes more than 7,500 volunteer hours in fact, to run all five of the PCAC’s main programs.
When it comes to the art gallery, she says they received more than 20 proposals for exhibitions in 2021, and they’re currently booking into 2022. She says Janet Hornseth deserves a special mention for her work here:
“As always, kudos goes to our art gallery coordinator Janet Hornseth and talented hanging crew. Janet has dedicated herself to the success of our art gallery. She’s done an amazing job setting the stage for many, many years of successful exhibitions,” Livingstone said.
“We’re grateful we can open the doors and offer a creative, welcoming, bright spot in the community.”
Have you heard about the Peachland Historic School Accessible Plaza Society? I first wrote about it here – and it looks like the group has been busy over the past few months! You can follow their new Facebook page for updates and they just launched a fundraising page! Their plan is to build a wheelchair / scooter / stroller-friendly plaza in front of the visitor centre (here’s a pic of what it could look like).
According to the latest PCAC newsletter written by Chris Byrd, one fundraiser involves asking local artists to create a 10 x 10 piece that would sell for a standard $150. The artist will be paid $75, and the remaining $75 will be split between the Peachland Community Arts Council and the accessible plaza project. An application form is available on the PCAC website. Selected artists will be notified, and will be asked to create five pieces for the gallery by April 28.
Peachland’s HeARTS Festival turned ten years old this year and artists of all ages got involved, virtually. The Feb 8-13 event ended up showcasing 85 different images, proving how the COVID-related chaos in our world can summon creativity from anyone:
From left to right, starting at the top..
Meredith Miller (Let Your Heart Soar wall hanging)
Paula McLaughlin (macrame wall hanging)
Hannah Knox, age 16 (photography)
Darlene Romanko and her granddaughter Maelle, age 7 (fabric crochet)
Susan Gotfried contributed this Welcome quilt
Hannah Firth, age 8 (drawing)
Linda Schneider made this quilt for her granddaughter, Neve.
Debbie Elliott (pottery)
Susan Haglund (Propagation piece)
PCAC president Deb Livingstone tells me (via email) that Peachland Elementary students also decorated their own paper hearts, which volunteers will hung from ribbons in the Visitor Centre’s boardroom. She says they’ll miss the grand showcase of local art that usually fills the community centre (won’t we all!)
“Hopefully by next year we’ll be back in the swing of things,” she says.
Volunteer Phyllis Papineau sent me an email recently. They’re kicking off this year’s edition by taking a peek at Peachland’s past. Do you know what year the Little Schoolhouse was built? Or what present-day restaurant was once a gas station? If you don’t, that’s OK – you can go find out! Download and print the quiz here (or pick one up at the Visitor Centre) and go for a walk along the waterfront. You’ll find your answers on different plaques and markers along the lakefront. Entries are due Feb 7! Phyllis says this is something they’re hoping to organize on a regular basis. It’s fun, and, as she points out, even our town’s entrance signs are about our tie to times of old!
“The signs at the north and south entrances say ‘welcome to historic Peachland’, so why not let 2021 be the year to learn about our fabulous past?”
There’s a new installation at the Peachland Art Gallery. Captured Images is a collection of photographic works from 36 different Okanagan-based photographers. The exhibition runs until March 28. The art gallery (in the Peachland Visitor Centre) is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There’s landscapes, animals and much more on the walls of the Peachland Art Gallery – they’re the visions of five different (and obviously talented) artists whose work is currently featured on the walls of the Peachland Art Gallery.
The Five Visions art show began Saturday Jan. 9. More than 60 different paintings from BC Artist Guild talents Cherie Sibley W., Dianne Postman, Cecile Derkatch, Suzanne Dansereau and Arlene Currie Plumpton will be featured. You’re welcome to come see their work, but of course keep in mind COVID-related rules are in effect (only ten people at a time are allowed in the gallery area). The art gallery (in the Peachland Visitor Centre) is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Five Visions art show wraps up on Feb. 7.
There was a sculptor, a photographer and a couple painters – and they all represented Peachland during Artists of the Okanagan, a showcase of 85 works of art from all over the valley that wrapped up Dec. 23, 2020.
I ran into artist Wayne Power (yes, at a distance), on opening day back in November:
“I really like the variety this show has,” said Wayne, whose work was selected for the exhibit. Other featured Peachland artists were: Berkeley Stuart, Michael Healey, Susan Driussi, Susan Haglund, Jean Allen and Jean Brandel.
Power, by the way, is offering a series of four workshops coming up in February. Each week, he’ll cover a different medium – pencil, acrylics, watercolours and pastels (again with COVID protocol in effect). It’s planned for February and because attendance numbers are very limited, once registration opens you should act fast! I’ll update that info here. All supplies are provided, from watercolours to graphite pencils, chalk pastels and acrylics. By the end of the series, you’ll have your own monochrome piece of art created by…you!
Here’s a message about the Peachland Community Arts Council, from president Deborah Livingstone
We have a very vibrant arts scene in Peachland! We have painters, sculptors, fibre artists, singers, actors, photographers, carvers and more. Add in an active group of volunteers and thousands of hours spent sharing all kinds of art, and you have a very active and exciting Arts Council. We represent 13 umbrella organizations in Peachland, welcoming many members from West Kelowna as well. We proudly represent both communities. We got our start in 1997 as an initiative of the Peachland Economic Development Committee. Today we have over 400 members.
Housed in the 1908 Historic Yellow Schoolhouse on Beach Ave, the PCAC now operates the provincially-designated Visitor Centre, in the historic yellow schoolhouse is home to the Peachland Art Gallery, and other PCAC programs, in addition to an exceptional Art Gallery.
Every year we contribute $5000 towards a community project. We designed and installed the Remembrance Day Banners for Beach Ave honouring our fallen soldiers in WWI and WWII. We built the information kiosk at the Historic School featuring the story of our resident bats in the attic. We also donated the outdoor children’s musical instruments across from Bliss Bakery.
The mandate of the Peachland Community Arts Council is to stimulate, develop and encourage all the arts as a major contributor to the overall quality of life and economic well-being of Peachland and the Okanagan Valley.