Many of this year's Sculpture Walk artists were on hand for the opening gala held at the Kootenay Gallery of Art.

Many of this year's Sculpture Walk artists were on hand for the opening gala held at the Kootenay Gallery of Art.

Sculpturewalk launches with gala Saturday night

Castlegar Sculpturewalk 2016 kicks off and statues are going up all over town.

Castlegar Sculpturewalk 2016 launched this weekend with an opening gala held at the Kootenay Gallery of Art and the installation of sculptures all over town. A walk through town will quickly reveal how Castlegar was able to officially become the Sculpture Capital of Canada.

A group of artists, sponsors and Sculpturewalk supporters gathered to celebrate this year’s sculptures and the contribution Sculpturewalk has made to Castlegar culture. This year’s lineup includes two sculptures from Russia and one from India along with many from the United States and throughout Canada.

Castlegar city councillor Florio Vasillikakis spoke about the city’s pride in Sculpturewalk, “Long before I was a councillor [Castlegar] bought into a long term vision of the community and of building a program that is not only focused on art, but on downtown revitalization and tourism,” he said. “When you talk to anybody within the community, Sculpturewalk is one of those top things on the list of things that we are proud of. That is a testament to the board of directors and Joy [Barrett] who has done an amazing job,” concluded Vasillikakis.

Sculpturewalk board chair Charlene Covington thanked the many sponsors for their continued support of the program and Castlegar’s civic works crew led by Gary Sauer for all of their help and hard work with the installations.

The program has been successful at branching out into other communities with previous sculptures finding homes in Rossland, Nelson and Creston, and many being leased or purchased by area businesses. One of last year’s sculptures was purchased by someone in India, making for the first international sale for Sculpturewalk.