We regret to announce the 2021 Fall Art Show and Sale (FASS) has been cancelled. We began the year with great hope that we would be able to mount a safe, enjoyable show. Recent events have proven otherwise. We are joining an ever-growing list of events that are shuttering this fall.
First, be assured that we are reimbursing everyone who has paid an entry fee, including any membership purchased with a FASS entry. If you wish to remain a member and only have your entry fee reimbursed, let us know. Artwork created for the show will of course be welcome at next year’s event.
Why the cancellation? We did work hard to design a flow-through environment at our smaller venue, and balanced a budget to reflect these changes. However, there are several reasons the event is now less viable:
- Closure of “Fall Festival Weekend”, with which we are linked, is announcing today that they are cancelling. That includes the Wine Village Kick-Off, Cask and Keg, Festival of the Grape, and some other events. With that closure comes a significant loss of promotion and audience. We lose advertising, the FFW route map, the wine bus tour, and wine service. We lose potentially hundreds of visitors, the visitors we rely on every year to purchase artwork. While we could mount a much quieter show, this is not the experience we promised nor what our artists have come to expect.
- Health Concerns: With a spike in variant cases in the Okanagan projected well into the fall, coinciding with a return to school and the appeal of wine tourism drawing even more people to the area, we have come to believe the timing is poor to encourage visitors to an indoor gathering.
- Public relations: We are concerned about running an event when there is uncertainty about fall health orders and mandates. We do not wish to be seen as contributing to the spread of disease or encouraging folks from other regions to come here. We are also concerned about our FASS volunteers. According to guidance from the province, events will be required to ask visitors for proof of vaccination. We are concerned about our volunteers being in this position with no training and little time to prepare. They may face challenging situations and should not be expected to act as security. No one wants to treat our volunteers that way. We have had many new artists express interest in entering. While this is thrilling for us, we also don’t want their first experience of the show to be a pale shadow of what we know we can be.
We know this is a disappointment, and we apologize to those who have already entered, to those busy creating art specifically for this show, and to those audiences who have simply been looking forward to some normalcy.
If you have contacted us as a new artist, we would happily add you to our artist contact list to inform you of any upcoming art show plans.
If you have any questions or concerns we would be happy to address them.
The OCAC Board is already brainstorming safe art activities and other ways to keep our community engaged, and will say more when our ideas become plans. Until then, keep following us, stay safe and keep creating!