Friday, February 6, 2015

Artists Call


A Vibrant Cultural Landscape

SWAC’s vision is one of cooperation, inclusion aimed at enriching our community

By Rebekah Wilkinson, SWAC


uk’ʷtəmsqilxʷ (sook tem skayl hoo) West Kelowna Arts Council (SWAC) came into being after the inaugural Westside Culture Days 2014 weekend. In October 2014, after recognizing the enthusiasm of the attendees from both the businesses and the artists, a call went out to all Culture Days participants to see if forming an arts council on the west side of the bridge was relevant and timely.


The response was highly favourable. This new arts council hopes to bring awareness to our diverse and rich cultural resources by working with interested and invested businesses.

The arts council connects two distinct governments through culture. The Okanagan word “Suk’ʷtəmsqilxʷ” means “half indigenous, half non-indigenous” and represents the connection between two worlds. Suk’ʷtəmsqilxʷ celebrates and demonstrates the council’s unique positioning. By utilizing a First Nation word in the name, the arts council recognizes West Kelowna is part of the traditional, unceded lands of the Syilx people.

The incorporation team solidified over the next two months. The inaugural board consists of westside businesses and artists: artist Julia Trops, WFN Heritage Officer Tracy Satin, artist Rebekah Wilkinson, business graduate Brenna Mackaay and business student Kimberleigh Trops, artist Matthew Brown, film maker Jason Woodford, Westbank Blenz owner Melissa Brown, artist Pat Raphael, artist Ralph Carlson, Dogwood Nursery representative Arlene Currie, and artist Pat Huber.

In December, the incorporation documents were filed with the BC Government and the public launch is scheduled for the Greater Westside Board of Trade’s luncheon on February 18 at the Cove during the Canada’s Heritage Week. During that luncheon, attendees will be treated to the first members of the arts council and learn how they can be part of the action. Tickets are $20 for this event and may be purchased from Karen Beaubier, 250.768.3378 or via email here. 

SWAC’s vision is one of cooperation, inclusion aimed at enriching our community by developing a vibrant cultural landscape. Our Constitution emphasizes the focus on community and partnership of artists, businesses and community members in events, cultural programs and education.

To date, many local artists and cultural creators have looked outside of our two westside communities to take advantage of needed cultural services such as exhibition and programming opportunities. This has created a void on the westside and the local population has no comprehensive identity or little cohesive structure for cultural activities. Our citizens have acknowledged this as a concern that needs to be addressed. By creating and fostering cultural activities, SWAC hopes to help to enrich the community and provide an avenue for cultural tourism.

All are welcome to join via email here. The website is under construction, but we do have a facebook presence:




1. Join SWAC
2. Complete the entry form

Selected member artists will be invited to display up to two larger works (max longest size 30”) at the Suk’ʷtəmsqilxʷ West Kelowna Arts Council launch Feb 18 2015 at the Cove. In addition, artists are welcome to display up to three smaller works (5”x7”) on the tables, and each table will be “named” after that artist. Artist must supply their own easels for all works.

There is no cost for artists to apply for this showing except they must be members of the arts council. Artists are strongly encouraged to attend the luncheon in order to network with the businesses present. Cost to attend the luncheon is $20 and tickets may be obtained from Karen Beaubier, Greater Westside Board of Trade 250.768.3378 or via email here.

Questions and images can be directed to: Rebekah Wilkinson via email here.

Membership forms for the arts council are available at Westbank Blenz or online at and fees may be paid prior to or on Feb 18 with cash or cheque made payable to SWAC. The entry form for the artworks may be found at


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