Within a few short years, the Elkford Arts Council has grown and developed into a huge and very successful part of the community. The Arts Council not only offers opportunities to discover various mediums of art but also has been instrumental in bringing residents together in a space that welcomes all and fosters learning and creativity for everyone of any age.
Beginning in 2013 as a painting studio for children and adults, much has evolved as the Arts Council secured a grant and was able to purchase pottery wheels and a kiln. In 2014, the Arts Council became its own entity and has been focused on grant writing and ways in which the group can enhance the social fabric of the community and foster positive self-growth through art.
“So far, we have really been able to reach out to our community in very positive ways,” said Teri Cleverly, Elkford Arts Council President. “We have hosted many art workshops and have had some very well known visiting artists attend and teach. We also have a youth mentorship program where through funding from the Columbia Basin Trust we have hired ten high school students to teach thirty elementary aged students art. There are often mothers dropping in with their children and families attending to create art together. There have been people from Calgary to Fernie, from age 15 to 75 attend some of our workshops and we are always continuing to try to do and bring more to our community. We hope that eventually this will be an art workshop destination and attract many visiting artists.”
The Elkford Arts Council has many projects and programs on the go, and coming in the future including lessons in painting, pottery, drawing and photography. The board, which includes several professional local artists, is committed to continuing to seek out funding and grant opportunities and offering affordable art experiences for all.
“Our annual membership is $25 per year, and with the membership there is a discount on workshops. We are thrilled to be up to 82 members so far, but would always love to see this increase,” said Cleverly. “We really would like to welcome everyone from the Valley to come see what we have to offer, and join in on some of our programs.”
More information on current and upcoming programs can be found on the Elkford Arts Council Facebook page, or by calling or emailing Teri Cleverly at 250.433.7007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.