The first fruits of labour from the Pemberton Cultural Roundtable will be on display during Slow Food Cycle Sunday (Aug. 18) and committee members are hopeful it’s the first of many ways the group will put its creative stamp on activity in the Spud Valley.
As part of this year’s tour of farms in the Pemberton Valley, the roundtable has organized the ReCycle Art Bike Contest, which encourages Slow Food participants to decorate their bikes and vie for prizes in different categories.
The idea of a cultural roundtable was first put before village council in 2011 as a means of implementing the Pemberton & Area Cultural Plan by bringing various local stakeholders together. The committee began meeting in April and has been working on a couple of initiatives during its early stages.
“This is really our first step out of the gate to do something,” roundtable chair Maureen Douglas said of the contest. “Right away, we identified Slow Food Cycle as a great opportunity. It’s such a strong community event and really is a celebration of so many things.
“What we wanted to do is raise the public face of art, and (show) how you can turn virtually any kind of celebration into one where you can celebrate art.”
The roundtable is comprised of several Pemberton-area stakeholders, each who bring different backgrounds of expertise, be it art, recreation, literature, history or otherwise. Pemberton Arts Council chair Daved Moldofsky said he’s been encouraged by the early work of the roundtable and he’s pleased to see how elements of the village’s cultural plan have gone from concept to reality in a fairly short time.
“I think it’s awesome to see that Pemberton is behind it and that a bunch people in the community are working towards something as specific as that,” said Moldofsky. “The fact that we got a cultural plan and started working on it before Whistler got one, for example, is pretty impressive in a lot of ways.”
In another roundtable initiative that will be noticeable around Pemberton shortly, the group is finalizing designs to paint crosswalks in the village in a way that provides some character and creativity over the standard white lines.
“That’s another very visible and public message within a community, and to people visiting, that we’re a community that really cares about art,” said Douglas, who noted that the roundtable is hopeful to have finished up the project in time for Ironman Canada later this month.
“We’re looking at culture in a fairly broad context.”
Some other projects are in the works, said Douglas, and the group is also working with an eye to act as a liaison between arts councils in the Sea to Sky Corridor further into the future.
Coun. Mike Richman is the Village of Pemberton’s representative on the cultural roundtable. He’s happy with the efforts of the group to date, though he would eventually like to see an even greater variety of all Pemberton Valley residents represented on the committee in the long term.
“This group formed together pretty quickly and it’s an interesting group of people. There were a lot of people — this was surprising to me — that I didn’t know and it’s a really good cross-section of people,” he said. “If there’s one thing that’s lacking, it’s some representation from Mount Currie. It would be nice to have some aboriginal representation. That’s obviously a huge part of our culture, so if we’re talking about a cultural roundtable, it seems that our table is incomplete without a presence from them.”
Anyone hoping to participate in the ReCycle Art Bike Contest can bring their decorated bike to the old community centre site north of Collins Road for judging between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday. Winners will be announced at the Rotary AugustFest event at Pioneer Park at 4:30 p.m.