A Thompson Rivers University student who used his Haida heritage to brighten the university’s walls and the sculptor behind the totem pole near the Real Canadian Superstore are among the artists up for prizes at this year’s Mayor’s Gala for the Arts.
The full list of nominees for the annual arts awards was unveiled on Friday at Sagebrush Theatre.
Winners will be announced on Jan. 30, 2016, during the annual fundraising gala event at the Kamloops Coast Hotel.
Special to this year’s gala is an award for craft and design, recognizing artists who work in media such as ceramics, wood or graphic design.
Nominees are potter Amanda Eccleston’s whose colourful work takes inspiration from the sea, and sculptor and graphic designer Vaughn Warren, whose pole carving can be seen at the Summit Drive and Columbia Street intersection.
A pair of TRU acting alumni are up for this year’s emerging artist award, along with visual artist Erik Prytula.
The award is given to an artist between the ages of 18 and 35 working in visual or performing arts, and is awarded based on current works as well as “future potential.”
Prytula, who graduated from TRU’s biology program this year, created a painting to commemorate the development of students at the school which now hangs in the science building. He also carves argillite in the Haida tradition.
Andrew Cooper, the newly minted artistic associate at Project X and the artistic head of Chimera Theatre, was the writer behind Crossroads, a play set in the tunnels under Tranquille Farms.
Kelsey Gilker, who, like Cooper, graduated from TRU’s theatre-arts program, has appeared in a number of local productions including Western Canada Theatre’s 2014 play Liberation Days and this summer’s X Fest 2015.
Three businesses are also up for the annual business in support of the arts award: Accent Inns, GK Sound and ideaLEVER Solutions Inc.
The Mayor’s Gala is a fundraiser for WCT, the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra and the Kamloops Art Gallery.
This year, the three groups are hoping to raise $40,000.
The evening ceremony features a three-course meal, live entertainment and the awards ceremony.
This year’s event is described as a “mysterious masquerade.”
Dress is semi-formal, with mask optional.
Deputy mayor Pat Wallace described the gala as “one of our very best events in Kamloops.”
Tickets are $130 and are available through the Kamloops Live Box Office (250-374-5483 or kamloopslive.ca) and come with a partial tax-deductible receipt.
For more information, go online to mayorsgalaforthearts.com.