Oak Bay celebrates Arts & Culture Week

Events kick off Saturday with arts and entertainment in the village

The Bowker Creek Brush Up welcomes artists next Sunday

The Bowker Creek Brush Up welcomes artists next Sunday

Oak Bay kicks off its second annual Arts and Culture Week Saturday with a host of events in and around the village.

Hosted by Oak Bay Parks, Recreation and Culture, the annual festival celebrates Oak Bay as a premier cultural destination, with special events planned from Aug. 6 to 14 that highlight the cultural vibrancy of the community.

Residents and visitors are invited to the official welcome with Mayor Nils Jensen, Arts Laureate Barbara Adams and Town Crier Ken Podmore on the municipal hall lawn at 1 p.m. Saturday.

A new arts award for Oak Bay will be announced, followed by two walking tours of ArtsAlive public art installations in the village, led by Oak Bay artist and public art committee member Robert Amos, at 1:30 and 3 p.m.

Included in the exhibit of artwork on the Avenue for Arts and Culture Week will be a fifth painted piano, created by students at Oak Bay High.

“They did a really good job,” Adams says, noting the piano is expected to be outside of Athlone Court during the day and tucked away at night for the week.

Artists will demonstrate their work along Oak Bay Avenue from 2 to 4 p.m. and the Lekwungen Traditional Dancers of the Songhees Nation perform at 2:30 p.m. Some of the sculptors whose work decorates the Avenue will also be on hand for the afternoon, including Maarten Schaddelee, Fred Dobbs, Scott Gillies, Ginny Glover and others.

“I’m hoping people will take advantage of one of the walking tours and come and support all the artists who will be in the village,” Adams says.

Additionally, members of Oak Bay’s Gallery Row offer a variety of exhibits and activities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oak Bay’s Arts and Culture Week met with a favourable response last year leading to this year’s expansion – “as many things as we can fit in,” Adams says.

In addition to the Collector Car Festival this Sunday and the Bowker Creek Brush Up Aug. 14, Arts and Culture Week events include the Oak Bay Beach Hotel Movie Night Tuesday, featuring the classic An American in Paris, at 6 p.m., the Oak Bay Village Night Market, Wednesday, Aug. 10 from 4 to 8 p.m., and the free Summer Concert in the Park, featuring Impulse Response, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Willows Park. Ongoing through summer is ArtsAlive, the annual public sculpture program. Find a downloadable map to all the sculptures at oakbay.ca.

“It’s exciting,” Adams says. “The arts seem to be important to people in Oak Bay.”