Awards gala set to celebrate Castlegar Sculpturewalk

To recognize the artists and celebrate Sculpturewalk, there will be an awards gala night November 3 at Element.

Castlegar is steadily becoming known as one of Western Canada’s top arts communities. Sculpturewalk, which just finished it’s third year, is, of course, a large part of the burgeoning arts scene. To recognize the artists and celebrate Sculpturewalk, there will be an awards gala night November 3 at Element Club Bar and Grill in Castlegar.

“The event is our annual awards gala,” said Castlegar Sculpturewalk executive director Joy Barrett. “That is when we tally up the people’s choice ballot and announce the winners. The big winner, of course, is the winner of the people’s choice award. That is the sculpture that gets the most votes from the people. The winning sculpture is purchased by the city for its permanent collection. In addition, the artist gets $3,000 and they’re sculpture purchased for up to $15,000. We also have second, third, and fourth prizes for people’s choice.”

The other major category which will be announced at the gala is for artistic merit.

“That one is judged a bit differently,” said Barrett. “We actually get three external jurors. People who aren’t affiliated with Sculpturewalk. They’re either artists or work within the arts. They come in and do a tour of their own and then meet with each other and come up with a top four artistic merit. They’re are cash prizes for those winners.”

This year’s Sculpturewalk included 30 sculptures, 10 of which were from American artists.

“That was through our partnership with Sioux Falls (South Dakota),” said Barrett. “It’s good to support the local artists but it’s also nice to have international representation.”

Barrett says the Sculpturewalk this year was very well received both by local citizens and by visitors.

“It’s gone very well,” she said. “It’s just gone from strength to strength. The public is very, very interested in it. And we’re getting a lot of notice regionally. I live in Nelson and Castlegar Sculpturewalk is often mention in the paper. ‘Look at what Castlegar is doing!’ So other communities are definitely sitting up and taking notice. It gives the community something to be proud of. What we’re looking to do is really embrace cultural tourism and work with other organizations here and see how we can bring in tourists to the area. Sculpturewalk is definitely a draw for that.”

Barrett says that she has received several calls from people interested in purchasing the sculptures. However, they, of course, have to wait until after the awards gala and the sculptures are taken down.

“It’s interesting that this early, we’re getting people wanting to buy because we haven’t even done our sales pitch yet,” she said.

The event begins at 7 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m. The Element is open for dinner from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

“For the dinner  you have to book your reservation through the Element, which I would recommend people do soon,” said Barrett. “The spaces do fill up. You do get some great seats as well if you come for the dinner initially. The awards ceremony goes from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. and then performer Shane Koyczan begins his show at 8 p.m.”

Koyczan is an internationally renowned performance artists who has performed at several major events including the Olympics.

“We’re very lucky to have him,” said Barrett. “I’m excited myself about seeing him live. I’m heard people say he’s one of the best performers they’ve ever seen in their lives. So that’s pretty cool.”

Tickets are $25 and are available online at www.clubelement.ca or at the Element.