New arts award recognizes ‘significant contribution’

Oak Bay is set to launch its Acorn Arts Award this fall

Oak Bay Arts Laureate Barbara Adams and Mayor Nils Jensen display the district’s new Acorn Arts Award

Oak Bay Arts Laureate Barbara Adams and Mayor Nils Jensen display the district’s new Acorn Arts Award

Oak Bay is building on its growing arts program with a new award recognizing significant contributions to the arts.

Mayor Nils Jensen and Arts Laureate Barbara Adams announced the Acorn Arts Award Saturday during the kick-off to Oak Bay’s Arts and Culture Week.

“We have some prominent artists … who have given a lot by working in the community as well as world-famous artists who have brought acclaim to our community,” Adams said.

The annual artistic achievement award will be presented to a living individual, group or institution that has demonstrated a significant contribution to the arts in Oak Bay.

The award covers all aspects of the arts,  from writing and the visual arts to theatre arts and architecture.

The award has no monetary value but recipients will receive an acorn keepsake. Individuals receive a pin, designed by Barclay’s Jewellers, while group recipients will receive a bronze sculpture by artists Fred Dobbs and Nathan Scott, modelled after their Sleeping Giants sculpture on municipal hall lawn.

The award will be formalized in September, after which the district will seek nominations, Adams said.

“The community will nominate who they think is worthy of the award.”

Jensen credited the many residents, staff, volunteers and sponsors instrumental in building Oak Bay’s arts initiatives.

Observing the saying that it takes a village to raise a child, “it also takes a village to create an arts event like this (Arts and Culture Week). It is a huge team effort,” he said.

“When you look around at how arty Oak Bay is, it’s just amazing.”

Oak Bay’s second annual Arts and Culture Week officially opened with a declaration by “honourary Oak Bay Town Crier” Bob Alexander, as the district’s official town crier Kenny Podmore was unavailable.

The week kicked off with artists working in the village Saturday afternoon and the Oak Bay Collector Car Festival Sunday.

Activities continue with the Oak Bay Night Market in the village and the Impulse Response concert at Willows Beach tonight (Wednesday).

This coming Sunday it’s the Bowker Creek Brush Up, with artists demonstrating their work along Bowker Creek from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.