Burnaby Arts Council brings back summer arts fest

The Burnaby Arts Council is throwing its second annual Summer Arts Festival this Saturday and it’ll be “bigger and better,” organizers say.

The free family event will be hosted outside on the lawn and driveway of the Deer Lake Gallery. Like last year, it’ll feature live music and entertainment, face painting, artisans, a summer theatre performance, an art workshop for children and a juried sculpture exhibit.

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New to the lineup this time around is the Park’s Edge Paint Off, between 1 and 3 p.m. Fifteen artists will choose their own theme and be given a 24 x 36 canvas, with two hours to create something spectacular. Whoever gets the most votes from the crowd wins first prize.

“I think it’s going to be great,” BAC's executive director Teena Martin tells the NOW. “It’s an opportunity to bring art lovers and creators together. How often do you get to sit down and watch a painting from start to finish in a short period of time?”

Onlookers will also have a chance to bid on the artwork. Half the money will go to the arts council, while the artist will pocket the rest.

Martin adds the reason why an art battle wasn’t part of the 2015 schedule was because the backyard of the gallery was in disarray and hadn’t been renovated. When the City of Burnaby invested some money into giving the space a facelift, Martin started brainstorming.

“We thought what could we do in the backyard that could entertain and create a cool vibe, so we’ve come up with this.”

An estimated 500 or so people came out to the festival last year, and Martin expects triple that many on Saturday. Asked if it’s an ambitious goal, she says no. She’s exhausted every advertising avenue she could think of to get the word out, from banners hanging along Canada Way to ads running in local magazines and newspapers, she notes.

Martin, an artist herself, wanted to start the summer arts fest to compliment BAC’s annual Deer Lake Craft Festival, which has been running for 45 years.

“Our house (gallery) is in an awesome location along the parkway, so why not use our facility on the outside. We want to draw people to it, make them aware of what we do. We’re not just a gallery,” she says, adding the arts council also does a lot of art programming, is home to summer theatre and participates in high school student scholarships.

The day-long festival kicks off at 10 a.m. The children’s art workshop and a community mural runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by music from the West Coast Fiddleheads, Gord Oliver, duo improv group Audinos and First Nations musician Rory Dawson. There will be folk dancing and a performance by the Burnaby summer theatre troupe, who will be acting out Sweet Stink of Victory for the kids.

The 20 plus artisans include ceramics, glass art, handmade soaps, acrylic and oil pastel artwork, First Nations jewelry, homemade organic snacks and more.

For more information, visit burnabyartscouncil.org. Deer Lake Gallery is at 6584 Deer Lake Ave.

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