Bowering’s latest memoir “Pin Boy” is a “hot ” one

The following article is taken from this  Saturday’s Globe and Mail (October 12, 2012)

George Bowering’s memoir playful, questioning – and R-rated

By T.F. Rigelhof

The poet and novelist sure writes a raunchy work all about the sexual awakening of a 15-year-old boy.

At 15, George Bowering is hot and bothered. His developing sexuality may be the best and the worst of it, but it’s not all of it. The air around Oliver, in the interior of British Columbia, is above body temperature all summer, and “hot as hell” in September in the rubber-lined pits of the local 5-pin bowling alley, where a boy is paid by the penny for replacing the knocked-down pins on the black circles in the years before the all-Canadian game lost out to American 10-pin bowling, with its mechanical pin-setters. Pinboy gets off to a raunchy start when George is setting pins for the teachers’ league and sees more cleavage and thigh than he’s ever seen in three dimensions and living colour, thanks to home economics teacher Monica Verge.

The 1950-51 school year is a time in George’s adolescence when he is “trying to live an ordinary kid’s life while trying to keep four female human beings happy”: his mother; his girlfriend Wendy; Jeanette, a classmate from the wrong side of the tracks; and Miss Verge, who teaches alongside his father at the Southern Okanagan High School. Jeanette is the one he doesn’t understand, Wendy is the one who makes him fall in love with love, Miss Verge fuels schoolboy-teacher fantasies and his mother is the only one he doesn’t bring to tears.

George’s adventures and misadventures make Pinboy the best candidate for a Stephen Leacock Award in a long, long time, even if its R-rating makes it an unlikely winner. Never mind. Bowering, a prolific B.C. writer of fiction, poetry, biography and history, deserves a higher reward than that: many, many readers. He has written a novel/memoir that, in Brian Fawcett’s blurb, “is as hilariously accurate as it is moving. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this before.”

Full disclosure: Fawcett is a mutual friend, but I’ve spoken to Bowering only a couple of times at literary festivals and never managed to read any of his books cover to cover: Too glib, I thought. I was less than enthusiastic when Fawcett pushed an advance reading copy of Pinboy in my direction, but I read it in one great gulp. I read it again slowly and haven’t been able to stop thinking and talking about it since. It won’t be to everybody’s taste, but it makes a perfect gift for any man over 65 who loves women and baseball and still reads books, and is also likely to delight anyone who loves him.

When death starts claiming many close to us, lots of writers realize that they don’t want to leave whatever readers they may find posthumously in any doubt about the hopes, fears, ambitions, disappointments, follies and triumphs that really mattered to them. More literary memoirs are started than finished; more fail than succeed. There are two reasons why Bowering’s beats the odds, one simple, the other complex.

The simple reason is the sweet calmness of the happy man you hear in his storytelling.

The complex reason is that Bowering is alert, playful and questioning: He must have drawers stuffed with detailed records of the commonplace objects and activities of a vanished world to draw upon in portraying “an ordinary kid’s life” in 1950, who glories in staying a kid as long as possible with voracious reading and sandwich-making, drawing cartoons, studying sports stories more avidly than any school subject (he wants to be a sportswriter), goofing around, singing, blowing tuba, playing sports with style rather than success, exploring wild places beyond the town limits, stacking firewood, and building his college fund by working in orchards for piecework pay: thinning apple trees; picking cherries, apricots, peaches, pears, apples or, luckily that summer, hand-trucking boxed fruit into the coolers at the packing plant for 70 cents an hour from June to September.

Because he knows so well what is factually verifiable, old man Bowering plays around with what did happen, what he wanted to happen, and what he was afraid might happen to the kid he once was as he tries to understand how female human beings live and think. The result is a unique portrait of empathy growing as powerful, compelling and risky as sexual desire.

Bowering's latest memoir "Pin Boy" is a "hot " one

The following article is taken from this  Saturday’s Globe and Mail (October 12, 2012)

George Bowering’s memoir playful, questioning – and R-rated

By T.F. Rigelhof

The poet and novelist sure writes a raunchy work all about the sexual awakening of a 15-year-old boy.

At 15, George Bowering is hot and bothered. His developing sexuality may be the best and the worst of it, but it’s not all of it. The air around Oliver, in the interior of British Columbia, is above body temperature all summer, and “hot as hell” in September in the rubber-lined pits of the local 5-pin bowling alley, where a boy is paid by the penny for replacing the knocked-down pins on the black circles in the years before the all-Canadian game lost out to American 10-pin bowling, with its mechanical pin-setters. Pinboy gets off to a raunchy start when George is setting pins for the teachers’ league and sees more cleavage and thigh than he’s ever seen in three dimensions and living colour, thanks to home economics teacher Monica Verge.

The 1950-51 school year is a time in George’s adolescence when he is “trying to live an ordinary kid’s life while trying to keep four female human beings happy”: his mother; his girlfriend Wendy; Jeanette, a classmate from the wrong side of the tracks; and Miss Verge, who teaches alongside his father at the Southern Okanagan High School. Jeanette is the one he doesn’t understand, Wendy is the one who makes him fall in love with love, Miss Verge fuels schoolboy-teacher fantasies and his mother is the only one he doesn’t bring to tears.

George’s adventures and misadventures make Pinboy the best candidate for a Stephen Leacock Award in a long, long time, even if its R-rating makes it an unlikely winner. Never mind. Bowering, a prolific B.C. writer of fiction, poetry, biography and history, deserves a higher reward than that: many, many readers. He has written a novel/memoir that, in Brian Fawcett’s blurb, “is as hilariously accurate as it is moving. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this before.”

Full disclosure: Fawcett is a mutual friend, but I’ve spoken to Bowering only a couple of times at literary festivals and never managed to read any of his books cover to cover: Too glib, I thought. I was less than enthusiastic when Fawcett pushed an advance reading copy of Pinboy in my direction, but I read it in one great gulp. I read it again slowly and haven’t been able to stop thinking and talking about it since. It won’t be to everybody’s taste, but it makes a perfect gift for any man over 65 who loves women and baseball and still reads books, and is also likely to delight anyone who loves him.

When death starts claiming many close to us, lots of writers realize that they don’t want to leave whatever readers they may find posthumously in any doubt about the hopes, fears, ambitions, disappointments, follies and triumphs that really mattered to them. More literary memoirs are started than finished; more fail than succeed. There are two reasons why Bowering’s beats the odds, one simple, the other complex.

The simple reason is the sweet calmness of the happy man you hear in his storytelling.

The complex reason is that Bowering is alert, playful and questioning: He must have drawers stuffed with detailed records of the commonplace objects and activities of a vanished world to draw upon in portraying “an ordinary kid’s life” in 1950, who glories in staying a kid as long as possible with voracious reading and sandwich-making, drawing cartoons, studying sports stories more avidly than any school subject (he wants to be a sportswriter), goofing around, singing, blowing tuba, playing sports with style rather than success, exploring wild places beyond the town limits, stacking firewood, and building his college fund by working in orchards for piecework pay: thinning apple trees; picking cherries, apricots, peaches, pears, apples or, luckily that summer, hand-trucking boxed fruit into the coolers at the packing plant for 70 cents an hour from June to September.

Because he knows so well what is factually verifiable, old man Bowering plays around with what did happen, what he wanted to happen, and what he was afraid might happen to the kid he once was as he tries to understand how female human beings live and think. The result is a unique portrait of empathy growing as powerful, compelling and risky as sexual desire.

Arts Council receives performance award

On March 14 the Oliver Commmunity Arts Council was approved for an annual grant from the BC Arts Council totalling $7923.00 to assist with 2012-13 operating costs.

The British Columbia Arts Council (BCAC) is an independent agency that supports arts and cultural activity in communities across BC: not only arts councils, but also dance and drama companies, art galleries, local museums and music festivals. The BC Arts Council receives funding from the Province of BC to disburse through grants, community initiatives, training and scholarships. The Council also acts as an advocate for the Arts in B.C., provides public education, and conducts research that helps inform provincial arts policies.

The Oliver Community Arts Council completes a set of essays and questionnaires each September in order to qualify for BCAC funding. Anyone wishing to see the complete application from September 2011 is welcome to contact the OCAC at OliverCAC@ gmail.com

The award is divided into three components:

1) Basic Assistance ($1423.00): This is determined by community population size and distance from the Lower Mainland. This year’s figure was similar to previous years’ amounts at $1423.00

2) Local Government Matching ($3500) :  The BC Arts Council agrees to pay up to $4000 when proof is supplied that local government will match the amount. Oliver Parks and Recreation Society budgets $3500 annually for the Oliver Community Arts Council, and this figure has been matched by the provincial arts body.

3) Annual Performance Award ($3000): For the last two years, the Oliver Community Arts Council has written an additional essay to demonstrate meritorious programming, events, and administration that meets the “core values” of the BC Arts Council.  These core values include: artistic excellence, a vibrant arts and cultural community, inclusiveness and cultural diversity, encouragement of artistic activity, transparent, fair, and accountable administrative and adjudicative processes, and clear operational goals.  The arts council asked for and received $3000 this year, up from last year’s figure of $2000.

The Oliver Community Arts Council is grateful for the financial support of the Province of BC, the BC Arts Council, and local government (Town of Oliver and RDOS through the support of Oliver Parks and Recreation) to provide much needed operational funding.

Catch the artistic spirit in Arts and Culture Week

BC celebrates Arts and Culture Week April 22 -28. Oliver’s arts council members are going all out to join in the art-y party! Come celebrate with us  and support the arts.

So, what’s up?

The Oliver Community Arts Council as a whole presents two signature events. One will kick off  the week, and the other will close the celebration. The “opening fanfare” is Love Notes from the  Penticton Concert Band on Sunday April 22 at Oliver Aklliance Church.  Tickets are $10, while students 17 and under are FREE.  The concert features some lush romantic numbers from the musicals Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, and Moulin Rouge, big band ballads by Jerome Kern, and some of your favourite Frank Sinatra.  Lovely young soprano Madison Johnson sings O Mio Babbino Caro by Puccini, as well as some romantic musical numbers.  Several members of the band are from Oliver and the South Okanagan area. Proceeds are split between the Band and the arts council — it’s a great way to support both groups!

The Oliver Sagebrushers‘ exhibit  “Art at the Owl” shows at the guest house of Burrowing Owl Estate Winery  from April 14 – 27.  While the opening reception is Saturday April 14 from 1 – 3 p.m., much of the exhibit and sale falls within Arts and Culture Week. This is always a lovely display at a lovely venue. Winery hours.

The Double O Quilters Guild hosts an “Mini Art Show” at their Open House on Wednesday April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Oliver Community Centre Hall. Oliver has some of the finest fabric artists around, including some national award winners.  You will definitely be wowed! (Note: Opens at 10 a.m., not 9 as listed in the poster.)

Another fsbulous fibre arts group, the Desert Sage Spinners and Weavers Guild celebrate their 35th Anniversary with a Tea and Open House on Thursday April 26. Educational demonstrations and colourful displays will delight you. Light refreshments will be served. In a great artistic collaboration, the Oliver Handbell Ringers will perform during the event. What a delightful pairing of visual and performance arts!

The Oliver Community Arts Council winds up the week with a Spring Arts Faire on Sunday April 29 at the Oliver Seniors Centre. Displays, demonstrations, sales of art and craft in all media , information booths, … and lots more!  Sell, teach, demonstrate, exhibit, perform, sign up new members, — it’s up to you! All your sales are commission-free!  Entry forms are available here: OCAC Spring Arts Faire Entry Form (click once again on the file name on the new page to open file) or by emailing OliverCAC @ gmail.com Non-members of the arts council are also welcome. Deadline for all entry forms is April 13.

Arts and Culture Week is an event co-ordinated by the Oliver Community Arts Council for the promotion of its member artists and in celebration of local arts in general.  We are thankful for the generous sponsorship of Arts BC (Assembly of BC Arts Councils) and its affiliated partners: the Province of BC, the BC Arts Council, Art Starts, and the Community Newspapers Association. We are also grateful for our major local financial sponsors: the Town of Oliver, RDOS, and Oliver Parks and Recreation, for general programming and operating funds.

Men and women needed for SOAP’s Odd Couple

Oscar and Felix. The Odd Couple. Most TV buffs are familiar with the 1968 film and series about a slob and a fussbudget who get on each other’s nerves when reduced to sharing an apartment. Fewer people are aware there’s also an “Olive-and-Florence” version of the famous Neil Simon play.

The South Okanagan Amateur Players are scouting for actors of either gender to play the title duo in their spring theatrical production of The Odd Couple. Members of the public are encouraged to audition, regardless of previous stage experience.

“SOAP’s decision to produce the male or female version of the play will depend on who auditions,” says director Penelope Johnson. “Both scripts have their own appeal, with that trademark Neil Simon humour.” Johnson has directed three previous SOAP productions and last appeared onstage with SOAP in Neil Simon’s Rumors.

Oscar (or Olive) Madison keeps a slovenly apartment, relaxing with friends over beer, pretzels, and a game of poker — or in Olive’s case, a game of Trivial Pursuit with the gals. This laid-back lifestyle ends abruptly with the arrival of Felix (or Florence) Unger, newly separated, suicidal, and searching for a place to sob out the story of a marriage gone sour. Madison takes pity on Unger and offers room and board, but soon starts regretting it when Unger embarks on a series of home improvements, including Madison’s filthy habits.

Six other roles are also available in both genders. The male version requires four more men to play Oscar’s poker buddies. It also calls for two women to play the giggly Pigeon sisters, on a date gone awry with Felix and Oscar. The female version reverses the genders: four women play Olive’s girlfriends, and two men are required as the charmingly funny Spanish suitors Manolo and Jesus.

Auditions for The Odd Couple will be held on Thursday January 13 in Room 1, Sonora Centre in Osoyoos and on Friday January 14 at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre (34274 – 95th Street) in Oliver. Drop in from 7 – 9 p.m. either evening. Not convenient? Alternative audition times can be booked.  Hopefuls will be asked to read portions of the script with other actors, and to act out some simple stage movement. Production dates are tentatively booked for April 29-30 and May 6-7, but may be adjusted to accommodate schedules. Rehearsal schedule will be developed in consultation with actors and crew, two to three times per week.

For more information, to book an alternative audition time, or to volunteer for backstage work, telephone Penelope Johnson at 250-498-0183 or email .

Oliver is Bloomin’

submitted by Betty Lou Trimmer Bahnsen
Communities in Bloom Co-Chair

At the BC Communities in Bloom Conference held in Hope BC on September 24 – 26, Oliver was awarded “Four out of Five Blooms”, recognizing a year of intensive landscaping and cleanup across the district. This is an astounding feat, as this is only Oliver’s first of two years in the provincial Communities in Bloom programme. This date also marks the anniversary of the idea to have Oliver participate in Communities in Bloom. What a way to commemorate a years work with four lovely Blooms!

The Oliver Community Arts Council is basking in the reflected glow. The arts council was asked by the Communities in Bloom (CIB) committee to provide some motivation  and excitement among Oliver residents by organizing a competition to boost interest in the CIB programme.  In the spring of 2010, the OCAC’s “Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest” was off and running. A small group of arts council members solicited sponsors, organized several categories for the competition, determined criteria for each award category, arranged for judging by the Oliver Heirloom Garden Club, and designed and presented the awards. Thanks to Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest chair Penny Ruddy, and committee Stephanie Salsnek, Brian and Jennifer Mapplebeck, and Dot Cranston for their hard work!  Thanks to John Salsnek and Linda Blaschuk for designing the charming trophy. Although we were only a part of the overall cleanup efforts across the municipality and regional district, the OCAC-sponsored contest got competitive juices flowing, and gave incentive to residents and businesses to get involved.

Initially, the Oliver Communities in Bloom committee had planned to be in the non-competitive category in the first year thus, using the opportunity of the judges’ visit and evaluation to learn and to build on their adjudication for the following year, at which time Oliver would enter into the competitive category. However, at the final meeting with the judges during their July 2010 visit to Oliver, it was the judges’ suggestion that we upgrade to the competitive category. They indicated that the community had done very well and would gain more public recognition with an award, in addition to reaping the benefits of an evaluation. The Oliver Communities in Bloom committee followed the judges’ advice  — with full awareness that most communities take several years to attain the full Five Blooms. It therefore came as a complete surprise that Oliver was acclaimed with Four Blooms after only one year.

The achievement of the “Four Bloom” status and the community pride associated with this award could not have taken place without the total involvement of the Oliver community. We are thank ful for the support of individual participants , our many partners and sponsors, the local politicians (Town and Area C), the business community who gave so generously in kind, the Osoyoos Indian Band, the Bahvsagar Sikh Temple Council, the many service and cultural groups, the media, the untiring efforts of the special employees of the Town of Oliver administrative staff and Public Works, together with the happy band of Oliver Communities in Bloom volunteers which brought about this great result.

OLIVER, WE ARE A BLOOMIN’ GOOD COMMUNITY!

Photo Credit: Patrick Reid

****************

Want more information about the Communities in Bloom program? Here are some excerpts from the provincial CIB website (http://www.bccommunitiesinbloom.ca/)

All participating communities in either the national or provincial contests receive a rating of one to five ‘blooms’. All participants are promoted within BC and nationally, and are invited to attend the provincial Awards Ceremony which takes place in the fall, hosted by a different community each year. A top five bloom rating may result in an invitation to participate in the following year’s national program.

In addition to their rating, each BC CiB participant receives a comprehensive report, prepared by the judges (all qualified and experienced horticulturalists and specialists). This report reviews the particular features and projects in each of the eight criteria areas that the community has undertaken and presented. These criteria include tidiness, environmental awareness, community involvement, natural and cultural heritage conservation, tree/urban forest management, landscaped areas, floral displays, turf and groundcover. The judges offer constructive hints and recommendations for the following year.

Of course, all participants are winners with respect to increased civic pride, preservation of natural and architectural heritage, economic development, ehanced property values, decreased vandalism, improved environmental awareness, business development, increased tourism appeal, corporate relocations, new development, investment and general economic activity based on being more attractive, liveable communities!

Oliver is Bloomin'

submitted by Betty Lou Trimmer Bahnsen
Communities in Bloom Co-Chair

At the BC Communities in Bloom Conference held in Hope BC on September 24 – 26, Oliver was awarded “Four out of Five Blooms”, recognizing a year of intensive landscaping and cleanup across the district. This is an astounding feat, as this is only Oliver’s first of two years in the provincial Communities in Bloom programme. This date also marks the anniversary of the idea to have Oliver participate in Communities in Bloom. What a way to commemorate a years work with four lovely Blooms!

The Oliver Community Arts Council is basking in the reflected glow. The arts council was asked by the Communities in Bloom (CIB) committee to provide some motivation  and excitement among Oliver residents by organizing a competition to boost interest in the CIB programme.  In the spring of 2010, the OCAC’s “Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest” was off and running. A small group of arts council members solicited sponsors, organized several categories for the competition, determined criteria for each award category, arranged for judging by the Oliver Heirloom Garden Club, and designed and presented the awards. Thanks to Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest chair Penny Ruddy, and committee Stephanie Salsnek, Brian and Jennifer Mapplebeck, and Dot Cranston for their hard work!  Thanks to John Salsnek and Linda Blaschuk for designing the charming trophy. Although we were only a part of the overall cleanup efforts across the municipality and regional district, the OCAC-sponsored contest got competitive juices flowing, and gave incentive to residents and businesses to get involved.

Initially, the Oliver Communities in Bloom committee had planned to be in the non-competitive category in the first year thus, using the opportunity of the judges’ visit and evaluation to learn and to build on their adjudication for the following year, at which time Oliver would enter into the competitive category. However, at the final meeting with the judges during their July 2010 visit to Oliver, it was the judges’ suggestion that we upgrade to the competitive category. They indicated that the community had done very well and would gain more public recognition with an award, in addition to reaping the benefits of an evaluation. The Oliver Communities in Bloom committee followed the judges’ advice  — with full awareness that most communities take several years to attain the full Five Blooms. It therefore came as a complete surprise that Oliver was acclaimed with Four Blooms after only one year.

The achievement of the “Four Bloom” status and the community pride associated with this award could not have taken place without the total involvement of the Oliver community. We are thank ful for the support of individual participants , our many partners and sponsors, the local politicians (Town and Area C), the business community who gave so generously in kind, the Osoyoos Indian Band, the Bahvsagar Sikh Temple Council, the many service and cultural groups, the media, the untiring efforts of the special employees of the Town of Oliver administrative staff and Public Works, together with the happy band of Oliver Communities in Bloom volunteers which brought about this great result.

OLIVER, WE ARE A BLOOMIN’ GOOD COMMUNITY!

Photo Credit: Patrick Reid

****************

Want more information about the Communities in Bloom program? Here are some excerpts from the provincial CIB website (http://www.bccommunitiesinbloom.ca/)

All participating communities in either the national or provincial contests receive a rating of one to five ‘blooms’. All participants are promoted within BC and nationally, and are invited to attend the provincial Awards Ceremony which takes place in the fall, hosted by a different community each year. A top five bloom rating may result in an invitation to participate in the following year’s national program.

In addition to their rating, each BC CiB participant receives a comprehensive report, prepared by the judges (all qualified and experienced horticulturalists and specialists). This report reviews the particular features and projects in each of the eight criteria areas that the community has undertaken and presented. These criteria include tidiness, environmental awareness, community involvement, natural and cultural heritage conservation, tree/urban forest management, landscaped areas, floral displays, turf and groundcover. The judges offer constructive hints and recommendations for the following year.

Of course, all participants are winners with respect to increased civic pride, preservation of natural and architectural heritage, economic development, ehanced property values, decreased vandalism, improved environmental awareness, business development, increased tourism appeal, corporate relocations, new development, investment and general economic activity based on being more attractive, liveable communities!

BC Book Prize Tour Stops in Oliver

The Friends of the Oliver Library hosted Silvia Olsen, children’s author  (pictured at left) and poet Fred Wah during the Lieutenenat Governor’s  BC Book Prize Tour on April 21.  Both authors shared their experiences writing their nominated works, read excerpts , and answered questions.

Here’s a little more about Olsen’s book, Counting on Hope :

“Set against the backdrop of the confusing events surrounding the English colonization of British Columbia, and an 1863 naval assault on Kuper Island, Counting on Hope tells the story of two girls whose lives are profoundly changed when their two cultures collide. Alternating between free verse and prose, Sylvia Olsen follows the girl’s individual storylines before, during and after their meeting. She captures the wonder and joy with which Hope and Letia develop their friendship and describes the tragic events, suspicion, fear and confusion that characterize so many early encounters between Europeans and the First Peoples. This sensitively drawn depiction of innocence lost and wisdom hard won follows Hope and Letia out of childhood, off their island paradise and into the complex realities of an adult world. Married into the Tsartlip First Nation at seventeen, Sylvia Olsen is a historian specializing in Native/White relations in Canada, and the author of twelve books. She lives in Victoria.”

Fred Wah won in the poetry category, for his collection is a door :

“Including poetry projects, a chapbook and incidental poems, is a door makes use of the poem’s ability for “suddenness” to subvert closure: the sudden question, the sudden turn, the sudden opening — writing that is generated from linguistic mindfulness, improvisation, compositional problem-solving, collaborative events, travel, investigation and documentary — in short, poetry as practice. Much of this poetry is framed by Fred Wah’s acute sense of the marginalized non-urban local “place” and coloured by his attempt to articulate senses of otherness and resistance. Fred Wah was one of the founding editors of the poetry newsletter TISH and a pioneer of on-line publishing. He is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Waiting For Saskatchewan which received the Governor General’s Award in 1985. Diamond Grill, a biofiction about hybridity and growing up in a small-town Chinese-Canadian café won the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Fiction in 1996. He lives in Vancouver.”

Congratulations, Fred!

Visit http://www.bcbookprizes.ca/tour/category/southern-tour-2010/  for more information about the southern BC potion of the tour, or http://www.bcbookprizes.ca/winners/2010 for a list of the finalists’ books and the various winners. A great source for your summer reading picks!

Assembly Conference – Here We Come!

logoIt’s another road trip! The Oliver Community Arts Council is sending five delegates to the Assembly of BC Arts Councils 30th Anniversary Annual Conference in Kelowna on Friday May 1.  This conference always has excellent workshops on timely topics given by knowledgeable and helpful guest speakers. 

OCAC Treasurer Jack Bennest and Secretary Penelope Johnson are eager to glean some new programming ideas at “Programs and Projects from and for Small Arts Councils” on the Friday morning. “We deliver some  popular and fun programs, ” says Johnson, “but we can always do with a boost to our creativity.  We might find some innovative and cost-effective ideas to renew established programs or create new ones.”

Directors Brian Mapplebeck and Steve Staresina, together with Bennest, will take in An Intimate Dialogue with BC Arts Council . The BCAC, an arm of the provincial government, is a source of major funding for many arts councils. This session will provide delegates with valuable information to assist them in the preparation of a thorough application.  As guidelines change and funding sources become scarce, arts councils are hard pressed to make successful applications. The range of topics may include establishing partnerships and collaborations with community organizations, becoming more culturally diverse,  allocating surplus funds correctly,  applying for increasingly merit-based awards, and learning how to do critical self-reflection and succession planning. All three delegates to this workshop are involved in the various grant applications completed by the OCAC, and are sure to find these tools useful.

Culture, Creativity, Communications, Collaborations and Community attracted the attention of directors Jennifer Mapplebeck and Steve Staresina. This workshop is designed to provide guidance on how to launch and sustain a multiple-channel, multiple-stakeholder arts communication program. They will learn how such a program works, what skills and resources are required, what the components are and how they work together, and what outcomes are possible.

The OCAC is concerned about widening their contacts and services to include artistic groups from other cultures. With that in mind, Jennifer Mapplebeck and Penelope Johnson will attend Kwuksknkn’xtwixwa?x – “Working together with each other” . This workshop is a collaborative effort being undertaken by the First Peoples Heritage Culture Council’s Art Program and the En’owkin Centre. “Kwuksknkn’xtwixwa?x” will provide an opportunity to develop a broadened view of building constructive relations between the communities of the Assembly of BC Arts Councils and neighbouring stakeholders. Participants will work together to identify strengths, resources, and potential networks, and then brainstorm possible actions for building on those foundations in cooperative ways. This participatory workshop will include mapping cultural resources in the communities, and then generating an action plan inspired by those elements and forces

Brian Mapplebeck, who is also a member of the Oliver Sagebrushers, the local fine arts club (see our Member Groups section) is interested in attending Providing Community Visual Arts Services. The workshop focesses on how to make the visual arts thrive in a community. To provide the best services for a community and its artists requires that we understand the business of art as well as the creative process. Chris Tyrell, author of the new book, Artist Survival Skills: How to Make a Living in the Visual Arts, shares his insights in community visual arts programming best practices.

Johnson, Staresina and the Mapplebecks will all be attending the final workshop of the day: Cultural Tourism. Cultural tourism is a ‘hot’ topic these days, especially in the South Okanagan where the tourism industry is growing in leaps and bounds.  BC’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts is in the process of developing a Community Cultural Tourism Strategy. But can BC communities develop cultural tourism without degrading or devaluing the very culture they celebrate? And how can cultural tourism support the arts? This session will include an informational presentation, frank discussion, and workshop exercises to help define how tourism can be leveraged to support the arts in BC’s communities.

The five delegates will report on the conference at the next Arts Jam! meeting on Monday May 25th.  This gathering of the arts council membership is held every fourth Monday at 9:30 a.m. the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre. Come out to the meeting, or watch for  the Arts Jam! broadcast, including the special presentation from the conference, on local Channel 18 TV .