Special to Coast Mountain News
The Bella Coola Valley Arts Council (BCVAC) has recently received two awards totaling $40,000 from the province-wide British Columbia Arts Council, part of the StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan.
The grants are to be used to stimulate local arts communities and to help them cope with impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board of the BCVAC plans to use this funding to contribute to the recovery of the Bella Coola Valley and its residents both in the financial and social sectors.
Rose Clark, a Board member, writes, “The Bella Coola Valley is a unique place, extremely remote and rich in Nuxalk First Nation and European cultures. Community arts and culture events make a significant contribution to the quality of life and unity in the Valley. Music and celebrations help foster and rebuild connections.“
To date, four projects have received grants from BCVAC resulting from the provincial initiative:
Alkw Media Society (Nuxalk Radio): To encourage local residents to provide programming relating to the oral arts and history of the Valley. Banchi Hanuse is organizing this initiative.
Downtown Art Makers Space: To provide instruction, encouragement and supplies to budding arts-and-crafts people. Various experts from the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities will be involved. Kathleen Booth is coordinating this adventure.
Bella Coola Short Film Festival: To facilitate the production of short videos and films (three to nine minutes) relating to Bella Coola. There are two conceptual categories, each with its own rewards: “The Bella” for the most beautiful film or video and “The Coola” for the most “cool” film. Meghan Lewick is leading this initiative.
Bella Coola Live Room Project: To online stream local musicians.
The project is already underway and will continue at least for the next few months. Rose notes that performing artists grow and develop in an in-person, social framework.
This project is designed to facilitate this process. Rose Clark and Buddy Thatcher are the facilitators.
These four initiatives are already operating or in final planning stages. Anyone interested in participating in these projects is encouraged to contact the Arts Council by mail at Box 591, Bella Coola, BC V0T 1C0 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or the coordinators of the four projects.
If you have an arts-related project in mind that you would like to develop, please contact Ray McIlwain, Treasurer, at the above addresses.