Summer is really sizzling now. While the beaches are a favourite destination on the hot days, last weekend's Blueberry Festival attracted good crowds to Cloverdale in spite of 30-plus-degree heat.
The Arts Council of Surrey had space between the Archives and Surrey Museum with a stage, art exhibition and arts and crafts booths. The entertainment on stage featured an eclectic blend of singers and dancers - all members of the arts council.
While the audience sought the shade, the performers braved the sun and hot stage. I'm just giving a big stand-up of applause here because, well, just because. Well done, arts council.
I know I just wrote about the arts council. At the festival, council president Carol Girardi reminded me it is officially called the Arts Council of Surrey (ACS), and not Surrey Arts Council, as I wrote it. Gee, sorry. I do get it - there are reasons for names.
ACS is not to be confused with Surrey Arts Centre (SAC), as they are entirely different. Surrey Arts Centre, in Bear Creek Park, is home to two theatre spaces, classrooms and art gallery. It is city owned, and beautifully operated as well. At one time, the arts council occupied a small nook in the arts centre. Civic authorities in Surrey gave a home base to the arts council.
Over more than 40 years, the Arts Council of Surrey has expanded its scope of service and influence. Now in its new home at Newton Cultural Centre, ACS continues to create awareness, appreciation and pride in the artistic and cultural achievements of our community. The arts council is a registered non-profit organization under the direction of a voluntary board and a part-time executive director, appointed in 2006. As part of its community outreach program, the ACS often seeks partnership with other entities such as Surrey Arts Centre, Tourism Surrey, the school board, Surrey Board of Trade and sponsors from the business sector.
Besides the Blueberry Festival (did you get a blueberry pie? What a work of art!), the arts council sponsors and produces more than 15 events each year in addition to participating in events such as the City of Surrey's Fusion Festival and Children's Festival and the Surrey Association of Art Teachers student exhibit. OK, now we should all be on the same page. Contact the Arts Council of Surrey at 604-594-2700 or visit the website. Apparently, you can follow the council on Facebook and Twitter as well. Isn't that a tweet- er, treat. And why isn't it called a "twit" when you Twitter?
And while we are still on summer and arts councils, Semiahmoo Arts has a creative writing contest. The contest is designed to find three entries to be read as part of the official opening ceremonies of a labyrinth being built by the City of Surrey in Kwomais Point Park (1367 128th St.). The word "kwomais" means "place of vision." While those words don't need to appear in the entry, the theme of "vision" should be apparent in your creation. The contest is open to any genre of writing - fiction, poetry, non-fiction, letter, monologue, song lyrics, whatever you prefer. The only restriction is the work needs to fit onto one page. Prose entries should be double-spaced; poetry or lyric may be single-spaced. And please use a readable 12-point font. The contest deadline is Sept. 21. There is no entry fee, and cash prizes will be awarded according to the mathematical progression of a labyrinth. Do your math homework yourself. Send your entries via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and include "Vision Contest" in the subject line. Or mail entries to Vision Contest, Semiahmoo Arts, P.O. Box 75353, RPO White Rock, Surrey, B.C., V4A 0B1 (submission must be postmarked Aug. 31 or sooner). Don't forget to include your contact information.
You might win. Even if you don't win, you can learn about the mathematical progression of a labyrinth. Then the curiosity of a Mobius strip or the mystery of a Klein bottle will be on the next list. Fascinating.