Downtown Williams Lake BIA summer student, Aly Davey, left, Jasmine Alexander, events co-ordinator, Brent Dafoe, marketing co-ordinator, and executive director Jordan Davis invite everyone to take in the Downtown Williams Lake Art Walk 2020, which goes from Friday, Aug. 7 to Friday, Sept. 4. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Downtown Williams Lake Art Walk 2020 opens Aug. 7

This year’s event features 27 businesses and 28 artists

Condensed, but mighty.

Those are the words Jasmine Alexander chose to describe Downtown Williams Lake Art Walk 2020, which opens Friday, Aug. 7 and runs until Friday, Sept. 4.

This is the second year the events co-ordinator has helped organize the Art Walk and said when COVID-19 hit she reached out asking businesses if they wanted to participate.

“If they all had collectively said ‘this is just not the season,’ then we would have listened, but the neat thing was we did get quite a few businesses, obviously not as many as last year’s, but we got quite a few saying, ‘we need this, we need the foot traffic.’”

Alexander’s conversations with the artists were also ‘very interesting,’ with many relating to her they were seeing a change of rhythm in their lives.

Some now had children at home, many became home schoolers and some were picking up a second job. Others that had been in Art Walk for years, said they had nothing new to show, while new artists stepped forward because they were finding more time to create art.

There are 27 businesses and 28 artists participating, including a mother-daughter duo.

Read more: Downtown Williams Lake arranges virtual cooking classes

That’s a smaller number than normal, but Alexander said that will work well for tourists because the art walk can be done in one round, compared to when there were 50 or 60 venues.

Last year it ran for three weeks, but due to feedback from the community that it felt short, Alexander said they returned to the four-week model.

Executive director Jordan Davis said there will not be any public celebrations for Art Walk this year because it would be difficult as gatherings are restricted to 50 people maximum under COVID-19 restrictions.

“We were so disappointed we had to cancel our Fork and Fare Urban Dinner that we’d spent months planning and sold out in two hours and we had to cancel Spring into Downtown,” Davis said. “That’s why we decided we had to go ahead with Art Walk.”

“We encourage people to get out and support the artists,” Alexander said.

“It’s been tough for local businesses and more than ever this summer stands out to have an event like Art Walk where we have the flexibility of controlling numbers and doing things in a safe way.”

Each businesses has its own pandemic precautions that can be adhered to.

There are a few new businesses participating this year as well.

Davis added Art Walk is a great activity to do with children, especially at a time when many parents are looking for activities outside the home.

Art Walk guide books will be available on Aug. 7 at all 27 locations and the Tourism Discovery Centre.

For updates, check out the Art Walk Facebook page or Instagram.

Read more: Downtown Williams Lake BIA launches business portrait project

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