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 area's 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," said Mayor Wayne Baldwin Monday night.
"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."
Baldwin said the idea came after the city honoured its athletes following 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 artists 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, 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 Démétrius Dubé, Elizabeth Hollick, Chris MacClure, Deborah Putman, Sheila Symington, Don Hutchinson and Robert Davidson. Musicians George Zukerman and 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 rendition 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."
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.
Council acknowledged there are far more artists in the community than those present Monday night - Baldwin said there would be more opportunities in the future to recognize more of the city's arts and culture scene.