(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
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
All are welcome to join via email
here. The website is under construction, but we do have a facebook
1. Join SWAC http://tinyurl.com/SWAC-member
2. Complete the entry form http://www.tinyurl.com/SWAC-call
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
Questions and images can be directed to: Rebekah Wilkinson via email
Membership forms for the arts council are available at Westbank Blenz or
online at http://tinyurl.com/SWAC-member 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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