Arts supporters invited to donate

leza-sallyby Marion Trimble

Friends and family members recently gathered together to say goodbye to a much loved Oliver pioneer, Agnes Sutherland.  Agnes passed away at the age of 99, leaving behind a lifetime of memories of contributions in her art, music and community activism.

A permanent memorial is planned to keep alive the memory of this remarkable woman.  Plans are to purchase a baby grand piano for the lobby area of the Frank Venables Theatre.  Agnes loved music in any form and playing the piano was one of her favorite pastimes.  It seems fitting to be able to remember her talent and spirit in the impressive acoustical environment of our grand theatre lobby.

When approached, Wendy Newman, president of the Oliver Community Theatre Society was thrilled with the prospect of being able to use the lobby area to expand and encourage the musical arts while further developing the space as a rental unit.  She presented the idea to the board who have since approved in principle, the acquiring this donation of a memorial piano.

Famiy, friends, former students and music lovers alike can make donations directly to the AGNES SUTHERLAND MEMORIAL at any Valley First Credit Union Account 2826758 or cheques can be mailed.

Call Marion Trimble, 250-498-3933, for details.

Later this summer a couple of fund raising activities are planned to help speed up the process of purchasing this memorial gift.  Agnes left many works of art, too many for family members to keep.  It’s their wish to have a special reception and sale with proceeds going towards the piano purchase.  Stay tuned as a summer hoedown of country music at Rustico Winery’s Quail’s Roost Gallery is also being considered.

Editor’s Note: The Oliver Community Arts Council encourages its members to support this effort, even those who did not know Agnes. The Venables lobby can be used by many arts groups for receptions, seminars, exhibits, and small “salons”. A piano is the perfect addition to this gorgeous space.

The OCAC, being a registered charity, is highly restricted by the CRA as to where it can donate funds, and unfortunately cannot donate to this particular project. However, the Board  is investigating memorial projects within the local schools, and has OCAC funds already set aside for such purposes. Stay tuned! In the meantime, the Board issues its whole-hearted support for the piano project: let’s make beautiful music happen!