Pemby Arts Council: small with big ambitions 

Revenues up significantly, executive director in place and art programs growing

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CATHRYN ATKINSON - Happy Birthday Vanessa Stark and Marnie Simons (left to right) of the Pemberton Arts Council with a cake to celebrate the organization's 10th year. The design was painted by Stark.
  • Photo by Cathryn Atkinson
  • Happy Birthday Vanessa Stark and Marnie Simons (left to right) of the Pemberton Arts Council with a cake to celebrate the organization's 10th year. The design was painted by Stark.

The Pemberton Arts and Culture Council (PACC) has come a long distance in the past year, increasing revenues by over 300 per cent and hiring their first-ever paid executive director.

The PACC board laid out the achievements at its annual general meeting (AGM) at the Pemberton Hotel on Tuesday, April 18.

"I think the year has gone really well. We spent the first part of our year working on our governance and team building. We had quite a bit to do," said Marnie Simon, the PACC's president, in an interview.

This was, she said, building on the findings of the Village of Pemberton's cultural roundtable.

"Our mandate was to look at how we could invigorate culture and art in Pemberton," Simon said.

"In the long run and after a lot of planning, we decided the best route to go was to dissolve the (roundtable) committee and assist the arts council with a broader mandate, moving forward to be much more sustainable."

Thanks in part to successful grant applications to the Village of Pemberton, with matching funds from the Squamish Lillooet Regional District, a grant from the Pemberton Music Festival, and funds raised by a golf tournament at Nicklaus North, 2015 revenues of $14,280 mushroom to $50,520 for 2016.

The appointment of Kiran Pal-Pross as PACC's new executive director, a role she will cover in a part-time capacity, was one of the results. Her role, Simon said, was to continue to raise funds and support artists.

In 2015, Simon reported, the first PACC event was the Canada Day display of flags, with a video of children at the Pemberton Day Care Centre working on their flags. Art at the Farm during the Slow Food Cycle had five tents set up on the Miller farm.

Simon said in her report to the AGM that the main priority for the PACC board from Feb. to April this year was to work with Pal-Pross in her new role to coordinate public awareness and membership recruitment. To this end, members were surveyed and programming for the year was developed.

Plans for 2016 include Art in the Garden, a two-day festival featuring interactive art experiences in local gardens on Aug. 6 and 7; a fundraising dance at the community barn with grazing stations featuring local culinary art on Aug. 20; and Art on the Farm, a display and sale as part of the Slow Food Cycle.

The PACC's signature fundraising event, Mountains of Art Gala, is a black-tie night to celebrate local art and culture that takes place on Oct. 29.

From September to December a series of workshops are planned for established and developing artists.

Board members for 2016 are Simon as president, along with Trish Belsham as vice president, Judy Bourhis as secretary, Jen Fisher as treasurer, directors at large Naheed Henderson, Bill Reynolds, Karen Love and Vanessa Stark.

Retiring from the board were David Moldovsky, Mike Tyler and Lana McKenzie.

Coincidentally, the AGM also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the PACC with a specially painted cake and food, and music by Papa Josh.

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