Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society
Topic: Response to COVID-19 pandemic
Contact: Craig Spence, 250-208-3825
An audience enjoys summer music at the Waterwheel Park bandshell. Art Carlyle photo
Arts Society looking to create virtual venues during pandemic
The Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society is cancelling music performances and gallery events in a bid to “flatten the COVID19 pandemic curve”. But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and the organization is looking to showcase the region’s artists online.
CVCAS Chair Bev Knight said the decision was difficult but necessary. “We are a 100% volunteer-run organization,” she explained. “Many of us are approaching our elderly years and others have compromised health concerns. So too are many of those who attend the Rainforest Arts Gallery, our dances and other events.
“We are taking the advice of BC’s health experts on avoiding mass events and practicing social distancing. The coming weeks will be a new experience for all of us, but we will get through it together.”
The Rainforest Arts gallery at 9781 Willow Street closed effective Sunday, March 15. The bi-monthly Song Circle event at the Chemainus Legion hall is cancelled until further notice. Other cancelled events include the open stage talent show and a May 2 dance.
Knight said that CVCAS would keep followers updated on its web site and social media pages. “It’s too soon to make announcements about our great Music in the Park events this summer,” she said. “But in the meantime we plan to do our best to keep folks entertained and informed. The best way for everyone to stay in touch is to sign up for our digital newsletters at www.cvcas.com.”
During the pandemic the CVCAS wants to keep Chemainus Valley artists, musicians, writers, dancers and other creative spirits in the public eye. “We hope to share representative samplings of their work via the internet,” Knight said.
For example, visual artists’ paintings and sculptures may be photographed and shared online; poets and creative writers may do readings; dramatists and dancers may produce video excerpts from plays and dance routines.
“If this type of showcasing can be achieved, while still meeting the social-distancing requirements health officials are calling for, we’d like to share as best we can the creative talents of our arts community,” Knight said. Updates on this initiative will also be posted in the CVCAS’s newsletter and on its Facebook page.