The Fort St. James Community Arts Council held their annual AGM on Nov. 17.
Everyone was invited to hear about the council’s plans, what projects are currently under way and what possibilities lay ahead.
The meeting brought out about 12 council and community members. President, Mary Willick was thrilled to see different people representing different art forms within the community in attendance.
The meeting began with John Thobo-Carlsen reading the financial statements.
Last year’s concert series was discussed. No performances are booked this year because of the other projects. Council is looking forward to booking for next year in spring 2016 and it is hoping to include performances from local artists as well.
Mount Pope Arts is well on its way to becoming a venue for all artists to come together to foster diversity in expression in all of its art forms.
“It’s about encompassing all of the arts,” Willick said.
Various agencies and organizations have come together to make this vision a reality and Willick is confident that the old court house across from David Hoy Elementary School will be ready to go soon.
“A little bit of paint, some plumbing and electrical work, and we should be good to go,” Willick said.
The council would like to see the facility include a coffee house where regular performances can take place and the potential for a recording studio, a pottery space, a fibre arts area and a quilting group space are all being considered.
The business plan is being finalised and the intention is that the facility run in a self-sustaining manner that will meet the arts and cultural needs within the community.
The Collective Creations Theatre Project is well underway and students from Fort St. James Secondary School are really enjoying it according to council vice president, Monica Grill.
The pilot project came to be through a youth engagement grant where the council saw the opportunity to bring theatre into the lives of students and the community.
“We’ve wanted something like this for a long time, but it’s been difficult because of cutbacks in the arts,” Grill said.
The students, along with Theatre Northwest, a professional theatre group in Prince George, work together on all aspects of theatre. “It’s a way of connecting all aspects of theatre production including: writing, directing and performing,” Grill said.
At the end of the program, the students will create a theatrical production of their choice; produced, directed and performed by them.
Council hopes that after this year, with all of the support from the community, the program will continue to provide students these artistic opportunities annually.
In conclusion, John Thobo-Carlsen, 81, was honoured for providing financial statements to the council for the last five years.