Column: Summer in the city

It seems to me that the summer events in Castlegar are like that: hurry up, before winter sets in.

 

Judy Smith

 

A few years ago in mid-August, I was flying up to Gjoa Haven in the high Arctic and looked down to an amazing sight. Far below, the snow line was visibly receding, and hot on its heels was a bright purple mass of blooming tundra, as if the flowers needed to hurry up and get their lives over with before the ice caught up to them again.

It seems to me that the summer events in Castlegar are like that: hurry up, before winter sets in. In trying to decide which event to write about this week, I decided I needed to write about all of them. If I don’t, they will be here and gone already.

Young Visions at the Kootenay Gallery of Art will close May 30. If you have not yet had a chance to view the wonderful paintings and exhibits, I would recommend paying special attention to the fantastic masks the students have created. What I missed in the exhibit, however, was an indication of which school the artist is attending, as I find it interesting to compare work from the different high schools.

Young Visions will be replaced by the photo show at the gallery, beginning June 6 and only running until June 11. This exhibit will showcase top photographs by artists around the region and since it is a juried show, photos from each category will be shown with their winning ribbons.

Along the same road (literally), the Doukhobor Discovery Centre is now open for the summer. You can see the improvements that have been made by attending the open house on Sunday, May 31 from 10 to 5. Admission is free. Refreshments will be available. I look forward to the folk music concert in the afternoon, which is similar to the Ukrainian folk music of my heritage.

The Zuckerberg Chapel is also open for the summer. The formality of its presentation is vastly different from the séances that used to be held upstairs by certain Castlegar youth a generation past. On a dark and stormy night, they strained to hear gems of wisdom from that wonderful man who had saved so many souls from drowning in the river, built the chapel and created lasting sculptures in honour of his wife.

As the wedding season comes upon us, it’s interesting to look at the new installation of Doukhobor wedding dresses at the Railway Museum, and marvel: the more things change, the more they remain the same.

On Saturday young people are invited to help paint a mural at the Castlegar Community Services Building. If you’re young and like painting, you should contact the coordinator of the Castlegar Youth Program at castlegaryouthcouncil@cdcss.ca or call 250-365 2104, ext. 25. The mural will be unveiled at the Youth Arts and Talent event in Kinsmen Park on May 30.

Also on Saturday the Twin Rivers Community Choir are singing their hearts out at their Spring Concert at the Castle Theatre from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 or $5 for seniors and students. As usual, the theatre will provide tasty snacks and organic coffee and teas.

Pour Your Art Out on Thursday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m. is an event offering ordinary folks the chance to become famous artists. Guided by art teacher Charlene Barnes, you can paint your own masterpiece, take it home and hang it on your wall. This is a fundraiser for the Kootenay Gallery of Art but is being held at the Element (downstairs). A glass of wine, refreshments, and all materials are included in the price of admission: $45 or $40 for gallery members.

On June 5, head on out to Ootischenia for a house concert in Ted and Linda Crosfield’s lovely home. Singer-songwriter Kevin Mitchell from Denman Island will be performing, joined by Nelson’s virtuoso bass player Jesse Lee. Accompanied by guitar and harmonica, and reminiscent of vintage Dylan, Kevin’s songs speak to the everyday with humour and compassion. The concert begins at 7 p.m. at 932 Columbia Road in Ootischenia. For more information or if you need directions, call 250-365-7434.

The open stage continues every Friday evening from 7 to 9 at the amphitheatre of the library, and is in need of more performers. So far we have enjoyed good old rock ‘n’ roll, traditional folk, new age pop, dynamite guitar licks, an oompah-pah accordion, and scrumptious Rice Krispie squares.

We just reeled away from Spring Fling, and now Sunfest is coming fast upon us, from June 5 to 7.

The Kootenay Festival will be held on July 25 at Millennium Park this year. The deadline for applications for vendors of food and products is May 31. Applications are available at kootenayfestival.com.

Last, but certainly not least, how about that Sculpturewalk, eh? Shine up your sneakers, because beginning June 22 we’ll be doing the Art Walk as well.

 

So much to do, and so little time. Before we know it, the leaves will fall down and the winter tires will come back out of storage.