[From Julie Fowler and our friends at IMA]
To my complete astonishment, ArtsWells has made it to the CBC3 top ten “Best Festival in Canada!” From the bottom of my heart I thank you for your tremendous support. I only hope that this summer’s festival can live up to this honourable designation!And as we celebrate that this little festival, produced in the little town of Wells, by the little (yet mighty) non-profit society – Island Mountain Arts, which has been running on a wing and prayer since 1977 – has received such accolades, I also worry for the future of such organizations in light of the recent budget announcements by the provincial government which cuts funding to the arts by 50%.
The real heroes in all of this are the artists who have made the festival the success that it is, and who continue to create, in light of the lack of support. The work that artists do in our society is profound, providing a connection to something that is not easily defined, but is inextricably linked to enjoying a quality of life. It is easy to take artists for granted since there is no clear formula to explain the value of art (music, performance, writing etc) in monetary terms (the way that most things are defined especially for our current government). But can you imagine a world without art – what would the olympics have been without art!
Thank you for supporting artists! Thank you for supporting ArtsWells. Tell your friends, tell your neighbours! Go to a concert of an artist you’ve never heard of, host a house concert, check out your local art gallery, buy a piece of art, check out some local theatre, go to a festival in northern BC (there are a lot more than just ArtsWells – Arts on the Fly (Horsefly), Robson Valley Music Festival (Dunster), Pollination (Gavin Lake), Kispiox Music Festival (near Smithers), Cottonwood Music Festival and Music on the Mountain (Fort St. James), Discovery Coast Music Festival (Bella Coola), Edge of the World (Haida Gwaii), Atlin Music Festival (taking a year off in 2010), Cold Snap (Prince George), Crab Fest (Gingolx).
If the government isn’t going to support the arts and culture of the province we need to make sure that we all do and that we encourage others to as well, and get your kids and your neighbours kids out to experience the arts in all its forms, because most of the arts programming has been cut out of the schools as well. I know it has made my life so much richer and probably yours as well. Lets make sure ART SWELLS!!!!!!!!
Very best regards,
Artistic Director, ArtsWells Festival and Island Mountain Arts