The snow is melting, and flowers are returning, and so are events! While art and artists alike endure the pandemic, art events are ready to blossom in Kamloops. For a while, organizing anything seemed nearly impossible for arts groups with restrictions and safety considerations; however, it just so happens that art organizations have creative people coming up with creative solutions. Who would have guessed?
The Kamloops Arts Council (KAC) is committed to carrying out its promise of promoting local artists and connecting the creative community. And as part of that promise, they’ve gathered together some of the art organizations in Kamloops for a few words on COVID-19 and their futures. Tanya Nielsen, KAC Executive Director says, “we’re excited to see everyone in person” as they begin planning the exciting and well-loved events that have been a staple to all Kamloopsians for generations.
But the dedicated staff at the Kamloops Arts Council aren’t the only ones with a historic background! The Kamloops Players Society “has been bringing live theatre to Kamloops since 1967,” says Rod DeBoice, producer of their upcoming show. “The pandemic and associated public health measures prevented audiences gathering for many things including theatre… Like many groups, we were forced to regroup and reaffirm our vision of community theatre. We are rebranding to bring two major performances a year. A Spring into Comedy and a Fall into Drama. Our group of passionate volunteers are committed to keeping live theatre alive in Kamloops!”
And the summer is not forgotten either! Summer nights are the perfect time for an event, and this is something the Kamloops Film Society knows well. Their ever-popular, safe, and fun drive-in movies are returning for the third year! Patron Engagement Manager Emily Brown says, “Like all businesses, but especially in the arts, the pandemic has negatively impacted our operations as a whole. We’ve had to cut down screenings, capacity limits, and at some points shut down completely because of the pandemic… It’s a great way to safely enjoy a movie in town, and when the weather is nice and the stars are out, there’s really nothing better.”
The Kamloops Music Collective is also already accepting registrations for their newly adapted and expanded programs. Executive Director Kim Mangan says, “While many arts organizations struggled during COVID-19, the Kamloops Music Collective was able to navigate the risks and restrictions by focussing on 3 core values: resourcefulness, creativity and social responsibility. We are pleased to report that the lessons learned from the pandemic have served to strengthen our organization and have resulted in the development of new programs and the expansion of existing programs.” The KMC is doubling their summer programming! Kamloops is sure to be full of music in the coming months.
And even more theatre is coming your way too! “After postponing Project X Theatre’s Theatre Under the Trees festival in the summer of 2020, we were able to come back last summer for a slightly smaller festival - which sold out! This summer, we plan to come back in full with two productions for Kamloops families: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Red Riding Hood,” says Randi Edmundson, Artistic Producer.
And finally, why not remind yourself of all kinds of performing, visual, and culinary arts at The Kamloops International Buskers Festival. Audrey Trim, one of the key people involved, says, “the pandemic has taken such a toll on the arts community, and we are happy we can provide an opportunity for local performers, artists and vendors to showcase their talents. The KIBF will take place July 21 - 24, 2022, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back!”
What more could you want in the city of Kamloops? There are so many art events, programs, and classes waiting to be discovered. The Kamloops Arts Council is continuing to develop bigger and brighter things for the community.
Find all their events and programs here: https://kamloopsarts.ca/.