Hot off a successful inaugural year, the Arts and Culture Colwood Society is gearing up for a second year of events, workshops and more.
Society president Laura Davis said since officially becoming a society in February 2021, the group has held a spring arts show called Bloom, designed and installed an interpretive Emily Carr sign over looking the Royal Bay subdivision, hosted four musical theatre performances in Colwood parks and hosted a fall arts show called Teechamitsa.
“We were also the lead organization for the Truth and Reconciliation gathering in Royal Bay Beach,” Davis said. “We just worked really hard to deliver what we thought was going to bring our community together, especially coming out of COVID.”
The society formed out of a vision for a grassroots, local organization, using the arts as a way to bring the community together. It also aims to help support local artists by dedicating a team of three to apply for grants at all levels of government, Davis said.
The society has five programming focus areas, including performing arts, festivals, and developing an Indigenous program. Its visual arts program is spearheaded by members of the former Coast Collective Art Society, who joined the organization after theirs ceased independent operations in February 2022.
“Part of our mission is to have visual arts programming, so it was a natural fit,” said Davis. “We would have gone to (Coast Collective) anyway for their expertise for contracts or to advise us on projects.”
With its first year now in the books, the society is on the hunt for a proper home. In the short term, they hope to find a small office space in Colwood to allow staff to work more effectively and to open up an opportunity to attract students to help out in summer. In the longer term, Davis said, a more ambitious goal of securing a larger space to accommodate offices, a gallery and a gift shop is being worked toward.
Of course, with or without a physical space the society will be hosting events, and this year is set to bring even more than last year.
Davis said the Bloom show is set to return May 28 and 29 at Pendray House – the former home of Coast Collective.
As well, a second interpretive sign, mural or possibly both is in the works; a musical pop-up theatre will be returning to several Colwood parks; visual arts classes will be held and a fall arts festival is being planned. Discussions for that event are underway and include the possibility of hosting it at Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site.
Those interested in keeping up with the latest events and ideas the society has in the works are encouraged to check them out on Facebook or at artsandculturecolwood.com.