A special ‘Welcome Back, White Rock’ arts and culture event is being planned for September in the city of White Rock to mark a post-COVID-19 return to live events.
At White Rock council’s July 26 regular meeting, city cultural development manager Elizabeth Keurvorst provided an update report on the event – this year’s version of the city’s fall arts festival.
“The Stage Three provincial health restriction for public gatherings has been lifted, so now the White Rock arts festival is scheduled to take place in person over the weekend of Sept. 24, 25 and 26 across the city,” she said.
The White Rock BIA, along with members of the Peninsula Arts and Cultural Alliance (PACA) are participating in planning the event and, to help augment the festival’s allocated $12,300 budget this year, the BIA has also come in with a $30,000 sponsorship and partnership, she added.
“Although planning is just getting underway, we’re thrilled that we already have arts events lining up to take part,” Keurvorst said.
“Some of those include a new show at the Landmark Pop Uptown Gallery, featuring local retired teachers; and an event at the White Rock Community Centre featuring arts organizations, giving everybody a chance to get to know the community.
Keurvorst added that a large community painting, led by Caroline Bosch, is also going to be created by participants ranging in age from “four to 104” and ultimately hung at White Rock Community Centre as a legacy.
She also noted that the White Rock Players Club’s production of the Monty Python musical Spamalot will also be running at White Rock Playhouse during the festival dates.
The next month will be busy firming up programming, including an anticipated large attraction, thanks to the BIA’s partnership.
Keurvorst said the city’s COVID-19 Committee had recommended the city use a game in the form of a scavenger hunt to connect people both in-person and online.
“The scavenger hunt will incorporate challenges you can do on your smart-phone while visiting city sites in person,” she said.
“Trivia questions about arts and history and heritage, our parks and local businesses will be featured and the prizes will be purchased from local businesses – and tourists and locals are both welcome to play.
“We know from the research that marketing the arts continues to be an excellent way to encourage visits that stimulate economic development.”