Denman Island Hosts Celebrating Our Own Festival

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Celebrating Our Own Festival was a highly successful, two-day, visual arts event organized by Arts Denman, and funded by Innovations with a $5,000 grant. The first-time festival encouraged the arts and supported artists working on Denman Island. The event combined exhibition, workshops, a marketplace, demonstrations, and studio tours – all over a summer weekend in 2008. The festival was held at the Denman Island Arts centre, a gathering place for artists in the heart of the village. This location made it a vibrant and visible event with ongoing benefits as the arts are a positive economic driver for the community. The festival exceeded planners’ expectations with high attendance by locals and visitors.

More than 40 artists contributed 53 works for the exhibition, of which 21 were sold. A studio tour featured 21 artists and saw anywhere between 35 to 90 visitors at each, along with strong sales. Other activities included Boot Camp workshops, art journaling, magic, drumming, carving demos, and more. The Arts Boot camp workshops inspired a host of short, easy skills activities, which have now been incorporated into the 2009 planning for the Denman Island Arts Centre. As well, the crafts market may become a regular feature during the summer months. Denman village merchants reported steady business and sales, with some reporting their busiest weekend in history. A publication ‘The Legacy Collection’ was produced especially for the festival and is a living legacy of the event’s success.

Innovations invests in arts, cultural and heritage organizations wishing to create new opportunities for community members to participate in arts and cultural activities. The program is supported by the Province of British Columbia.