The Community Arts Council of Williams Lake officially celebrated 50 years of supporting the growth of arts in the lakecity community last month with a workshop and concert by the Juno Award-winning Pharis and Jason Romero of Horsefly.
The CACWL reaching its 50th anniversary is no small achievement, something that program manager Venta Rutkauskas and the CACWL’s new president Sonya Littlejohn wished to highlight prior to the evening concert at St. Andrew’s United Church. Both said its enduring presence speaks to the strong arts community in the lakecity and they pledged to continue to support and enrich it as much as they can into the future.
They then welcomed the Romeros onto the stage as a “seductive and badass” pair of musicians, something Pharis found incredibly amusing and led her to quip she thinks it describes Jason the best. Pharis also said that she has fond memories of performing in St. Andrew’s United Church as a child and joked the carpets still feel the same then as they do now.
After one cover, the couple performed an entire set of original pieces including a preview of some new songs they’re working on for their upcoming album. The crowd sat spellbound as they listened with quiet smiles of appreciation to the beautiful melodies.
Pharis said that she and Jason were happy to teach the workshop on country music earlier as they find such experiences really rewarding and were happy to do so support the CACWL.
“Arts councils put a lot of work into creating a diverse and really deep roster of programming throughout the year,” Pharis said. “They do a lot of research into what their town would enjoy for entertainment and enlightenment as well. So when you come and support something (like this) the arts council is putting on you’re supporting hundreds of volunteer hours of people who really deeply care about the arts and I think that’s an amazing thing to support in this day and age.”