There is a buzz building about an exciting cultural event scheduled for May 5th in the heart of Courtenay. “Elevate the Arts” is a grassroots celebration of all things arts and culture that is gaining some serious momentum. Perhaps it’s because they’ve hit a nerve in our community. With so much discussion about how to keep our downtown’s vibrant, this group seems to be grabbing the issue by the horns and stepping up to celebrate arts, culture and community in the core of Courtenay.
This 100% volunteer initiative aims to very simply “elevate the arts”. It’s being championed by a passionate group of local professionals, artists, musicians, businesses and community non profits. Their objective is to do more than celebrate the ‘bricks and mortar’ of the downtown Cultural District. They want to illuminate the people, businesses and organizations who contribute to the arts in so many ways.
“A vibrant arts and culture community relies on more than the artists to succeed. It’s also the commitment of businesses, non profits government, educators, local professional and volunteers that are at the root of a dynamic arts scene.” says Elevate the Arts co-chair and Comox Valley Community Arts Council Vice President Bobby Herron.
“This event is about giving the arts a place of respect in our community. People are quick to turn to artists to support fundraisers with donations of art or performance and artists are consistently generous with their talents. We also like to talk about the ‘economic benefits’ of the arts as a way to give them “value”. However, arts and culture should also be valued as an integral part of our lives. Art and culture makes life worth living and helps to illuminate the beauty, mystery, sadness and irony of every day life.”
Organizers are focused on a single day event for 2012 but there are no shortage of activities planned for this one day cultural experiment. A quick scan of their websites connects you to opportunities to be part of all kind of creative undertakings! There are opportunities for visual artists, musicians, dancers, street performers, crafters and artisans, kids activity coordinators, photographers, videographers, social media crew, volunteers or sponsors.
Activities scheduled so far range from art and photography exhibits, concerts, an ‘underground craft fair’, roof top performances, participatory art projects in downtown alleys, screen printing demos, culinary arts activities, a healing arts fair, an iphone photo show, a mini writers festival, an “Elevate Film Festival and so much more.
“Our focus over the next few weeks is all about engaging the creative spirits of our community and communicating about all the ways to be involved.” says media coordinator Meg Cursons. “We encourage everyone to check out the website, complete one of the “calls for entry” or message the team directly about sponsorship or programming partnerships.”
Just a few of the community partners to date include the Comox Valley Community Arts Council, Comox Valley Art Gallery, Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association, City of Courtenay and Sure Copies. Check the website for the full list of businesses and organizations who are getting ready to ‘elevate’ the local arts scene.
To find out more about this exciting cultural collaboration or to get involved check out www.elevatethearts.com today!
Posted on Friday, March 23rd 2012