White Rock cares about its artists, and on Monday night demonstrated as much as city council held a special meeting to commemorate the city's local talents.
Officially titled Community Inspirations, the special celebration was aimed at thanking some of the areas many artists for their work, and to show the city's appreciation having such individuals as members of its community.
"Right from the start of our term, this Council has focused on the importance of arts and culture to our community. So tonight, we're going to do something we haven't done before, at least not in my memory, we're going to honour our local artists and acknowledge their valuable contributions to this community," said Mayor Wayne Baldwin.
According to Baldwin, the idea came after the city honoured its athletes following the conclusion of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games this past fall.
"It was based on the notion that we had such a good experience with the celebration of the athletes after the Olympics so we wanted to promote artsts in the city and I knew we had a lot of acclaimed artists in the city but we've never really acknowledged them much," said Baldwin.
With performances by some of the artists, and displays of works by others, the evening was kicked off by a performance of the national anthem by Mr. O'Canada himself, Mark Donnelly. A White Rock resident himself, Donnelly is best known as being the anthem singer for the Vancouver Canucks.
"He was almost as good as before the Canucks' games," joked Baldwin. "He had the audience going and he held up the mic and did his thing."
Other artists in attendance for the recognition included visual artists Jim Adams, Serge Dmtrius Dub, Elizabeth Hollick, Chris MacClure, Deborah Putman, Sheila Symington, Don Hutchinson and Robert Davidson. Musicians George Zukerman, Jodi Proznick were also present, as was White Rock Player' Club president Dave Baron. The Spiral Dance Company and director Loretta Sramek also attended, with Spiral Dance performing following Donnelly's singing of O'Canada.
"We had a place for them to display their art if they were a visual artist. Then each of the artists did a brief discussion of what they had accomplished and they were all brought forward and we made a small presentation to them. So it was really good."
But while attendance for the event was good, council recognized there are far more artists in the community than those present Monday night, with Baldwin noting there would be more opportunities in the future to recognize more of the city's arts and culture scene.
Finally, the evening also saw the moving of the Jack Shadbolt painting from the White Rock Council chambers to the community centre, where the public will have better opportunities at seeing it.
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