Community Development

Funding level: Up to $50,000


Penticton, British Columbia is a city that survives on summer tourism and sports events. We have one of the strongest wine production areas in the country and we have the most bountiful produce. We also have a thriving world class arts community. The problem one knows about it.

Hence, the launch of SOAP; The State of the Arts Penticton: 1st Annual Arts and Culture Festival. This is a 3 day multi-venue, community wide event scheduled for September 21st – 24th, 2017. Organized by the Penticton & District Community Arts Council this will be a combination of performances, exhibitions, classes, presentations, interactive displays, Art Battle, a Pecha Kucha night, and ARTwear, a wearable arts show making its 2nd year return.

This will also feature contributions of culinary arts, music, visual and performing arts, spoken word, plays, theater performances, film production, photography and creative writing. The central theme for this festival is active commentary on the state of the arts related to the importance of arts, culture and creativity to the individual, the community and its critical contribution to economic development.

This is to be an inclusive multi age, multi-cultural, non-gender specific, predominantly English speaking event. Specific venues and events will provide children’s activities and youth engagement. Some events to be free of charge others to be of interest to a more affluent demographic such as art collectors, food critics, music lovers.

This multi-venued celebration/exploration of the diverse offerings of the creative artistic community will enhance the vibrancy and sustainability of the cities culture and economic wellbeing by providing enhanced cultural and economic opportunities for an underserved population. It will create a platform for the ongoing discussions of the role of arts and culture in the community.

There is currently no comparable community building event of this capacity in the area. This event will weave in a number of other businesses that rely on the arts for their economic success ie: art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, wineries, graphic designers etc. It will also serve to bring much needed awareness and support to the diverse group of artists in our community.

The city historically has focused on sports events during the summer season and has established many large events during that time also. While this provides a great source of entertainment for tourists at that time the economy and social action for the rest of the year suffers.

We hope that by creating an arts and culture festival in the shoulder season we will bolster the economy and vibrancy further into the year and give our arts community a much needed boost of exposure and inspiration. In our midst we have strongly established Canadian artists such as spoken word artist, author and musician Shane L Koyczan, sculptor Kindrie Grove and painter Shannon Ford to name a few. There is also a great number of emerging artists, fantastic local bands including progressive rock band Lakeman and Cosmic Brew.

What we lack here is a strong voice. We believe strongly that SOAP will give us this voice and in so doing bolster our economy and even more importantly our culture. We believe that this will also provide more job opportunities for the young creative people in this city.

Our vision is that this first year of SOAP will unite our creative community, gain the attention and respect from local and provincial government and provide both short term and long term economic growth for our community. Our core team is made up of the Executive Board of Directors of the Penticton & District Community Arts Council. We are interior designers, graphic designers, actors, radio show hosts, community builders, musicians, artists, architects. We are passionate about the growth and vitality of our community and we have the skills to make this great event an ongoing success.

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Penticton & District Community Arts Council (non profit organization)

Location: Penticton