The Williams Lake Community Arts Council has been working to promote and support arts and culture in the community since 1969.
With the council’s annual general meeting coming up this month, president Kimberly McLennan encourages more arts organizations and individuals to join the organization.
“The arts council is here for all community members,” McLennan says.
“It is a great way for artists or anyone with an interest in the arts to get involved with and support arts and culture in our community.”
She encourages interested people to attending the annual meeting that will be held Monday, Oct. 17 starting at 7 p.m. in the Central Cariboo Arts Centre.
Elections will be held for president, vice-president and treasurer.
The arts council currently has 13 member groups.
They include the Williams Lake Spinners and Weavers, Cariboo Art Society, Cariboo Potters Guild, The Potato House Society, Station House Gallery, Youth Fiddlers, Williams Lake Community Band, Cariboo Festival Society, Friday Farmers Market, Quintet Plus choir, Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society, Studio Theatre Society, and The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcoltin.
Member groups are encouraged to have a representative attend the monthly meetings, but individuals from the public who may just have an interest in being involved in the community can also serve as directors, McLennan says.
Some of the community events the arts council and its members have been involved in supporting during the past year include the Canada Day celebrations, Howdy Williams Lake Day, Stampede Street Party, Children’s Festival, and Performances in the Park.
“I would encourage those with interest in the community to get involved,” McLennan says.
Member groups benefit from the support, promotion and collaboration of being involved in arts and culture activities and events happening in the community.
Member groups also receive the benefit of group insurance and various funding opportunities.
Membership fees are $60 for groups, $25 for families and $10 for individuals.
Fees and fundraising help to defray administration costs, costs of participating in community events and subsidize arts and culture workshops.
As an organization with charitable status, McLennan says the arts council has the ability to apply for grants and has received funding from various organizations such as the BC Arts Council, The City of Williams Lake, BC Gaming, and from the Cariboo Regional District via the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society.
“The arts council continues to pursue funding opportunities on behalf of members when they are available and appropriate,” McLennan says.
While there has been some talk of doing away with the Williams Lake Arts Council since the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society was created a couple of years ago, McLennan explains that the two organizations have different functions.
The Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society does not hold charitable status and its function is to administer the Cariboo Regional District’s Arts and Culture function and to manage the Central Cariboo Arts Centre, while the arts council’s role is to work on behalf of its members.
“The Arts Council is here to support all arts and culture groups in our diverse community, including the surrounding areas where I know we have a wealth of individual artists, cultural and artists groups that could benefit from membership,” McLennan says.
She says it would be great to see the arts council thrive and move forward in supporting arts and culture in the community even becoming an economic driver for tourism.