A look at the art and culture events around Hope this coming week.
Mountain magic comes to big screen
Blink and it might pass you by, but Kelly Pearce doesn’t want you to miss the one-night film festival promising to bring viewers closer to the beauty of mountains.
Pearce says the film festival, a series of at least six films chosen from among the best of the films screened at the 2018 Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF), will inspire the nature lover within.
“Even if you’re not going to necessarily take on rock climbing, it just makes you want to get out there and challenge yourself. Whatever that challenge is for the individual. It’s good to get outside,” he said.
The film choices are broad, featuring a variety of mountain sports such as climbing, skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking, as well as mountain culture and environmental themes.
Without giving away any secrets, and with the Hope Mountain Centre board still making decisions about which films will screen, Pearce gave a taste of some which might make the cut. A documentary about the highest elevation marathon in Nepal is in the running, as is a documentary on a climber with only one hand who has found her own way of making it into tough places.
Pearce promises a real festival vibe next Thursday night, March 8, at the Hope Cinema and recommended getting tickets early. The show was just a few seats away from sold out last year.
The fest is also a fundraiser for the Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning, to support their outdoor programming, trail maintenance and conservation work.
Fiddling and step Dancing at legion
Kelli Trottier says she would rather play for a group of 10 people, up close and personal, rather than stare into the blinding lights of a large concert hall.
“I just like the intimacy of a smaller audience and a smaller venue,” Trottier said, who has performed in Hope twice. This coming Wednesday will be her third visit to the town. “I like to see people’s faces when I perform…It’s nice to see people’s reactions and see them singing along, or see their toes tapping.”
Trottier admits there is something about fiddle music that makes people just a little bit “nutty” and she loves to watch the reaction her music elicits in her audience.
The famed fiddler has performed for the Canadian military in the middle east and Canada’s arctic, roused hockey fans during mid-game performances for the Ottawa Senators and has even performed for Sir Sean Connery. Nominated three times for Fiddle Player of the Year by the Canadian Country Music Association, Trottier is one of the heavyweights of the Canadian fiddling scene.
This coming Wednesday, Trottier will perform with pianist Don Dawson on the Hope Legion stage. The audience can expect an energetic show.
“I’m a fiddler, so I’ll be playing lots of traditional fiddle music. But I also sing, so lots of vocals. My genre there is sort of between Celtic and folk and country,” she said. Trottier is also a dancer, she incorporates a style she calls the Ottawa valley step dance into her performance.
Making art at the machine
Emerging artists may be feeling a little jittery and a lot proud as their work goes on display this month at the Hope Art Gallery.
For all of 2017, the Art Machine has been hosting classes in various venues as the Hope and District Arts Council works on a building project which will soon house all classes in a modular building beside the gallery. The works made by Art Machine students this past year will be showcased at the “Retrospect Nine” exhibit at the Hope Arts Gallery all of March.
“This can be an intimidating experience for artists,” Diane Ferguson, executive director of the arts council, wrote. “They learn how to prepare and present their work, how to display it, how to invite family and friends to the function.”
Students are also given a real-world introduction on how to price and sell their art, Ferguson added.
The Art Machine offers pottery, painting, collage, paper crafts and altered art classes at drop-in rates, as a non-profit Ferguson said the classes are priced to be accessible to all. Students, youth or seniors, who don’t have the means to pay the fees can make an arrangement with the arts council to participate free of charge.
The classes are more than just a lesson in art, they are also a lesson in community.
Students keep coming back to the classes, even those undergoing big life changes like having suffered a stroke or fighting cancer.
“It’s sort of like a support system for them. Because they know all these people, they spend at least a day a week with them or sometimes more. They make friends,” Ferguson said. “Because they’re all interested in the arts, there’s that common goal.”
The opening of “Retrospect Nine” will be held Saturday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Hope Arts Gallery.
STO:LO CULTURE PRESERVED IN BOOK FORM
This past Friday, Sto:lo culture was celebrated at the launch of “Being Ts’elxweyeqw: First Peoples’ Voices and History from the Chilliwack-Fraser Valley, British Columbia,” a 303-page historical tome.
“I don’t think I can put it into words,” David Jimmie said at the event. Jimmie is president of the Ts’elxweyeqw tribe and chief of Squiala First Nation.
“That’s always been a challenge, coming from an oral, historical context of who we are as a people. So being able to capture a little bit of that into this book is so significant to our people and so significant to be able to pass that on to our next generation in a different format than we’re traditionally used to.”
The book is decades in the making, as the seven communities which encompass the Ts’elxweyeqw tribe have been preserving their culture and history. The group was historically part of the Sto:lo community, they settled along the shores of the Chilliwack Lake.
Being Ts’elxweyeqw can mean different things to different community members, chief Jimmie told Sarah Gawdin in January.
“For some it’s about a focus on family: where they come from, what’s their lineage; for others, it’s their connection to the land and water; and others may focus on their spirituality. It’s a little bit of everything,” he said.
Later this month, Sto:lo films will be screened at the University of the Fraser Valley as part of an Indigenous film series.
The Lynching of Louie Sam (by David McIlwraith, 2005), Hands of History (by Loretta Todd, 1994) and The Roundhouse (by Theresa Point-Warbus, 1994) will be shown March 14 at the university’s Abbotsford campus.
-With files from Greg Laychak and Sarah Gawdin
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