2022 02 18…Island Mountain Arts invites our friends back to Wells through the ‘Seasonal s’Wells’ performance series.
As an acknowledgment of the nature of this moment in time, Island Mountain Arts will not be hosting the ArtsWells Festival of All Things Arts in the summer of 2022.
“We understand that this may be a difficult piece of news for our friends who are really hoping to gather with the ArtsWells Family,” says Executive/Artistic Director Elyssia Sasaki, who joined Island Mountain Arts (the host organization of the ArtsWells Festival since 2004) in October 2020. “We are heartened to see the work that some festivals are undertaking in small towns and northern places to allow audiences and artists to connect, and we hope that the performance series will also play a part in the way 2022 unfolds.”
These ‘s’Wells’ events will take place throughout the spring and summer, largely thanks to financial support from the Province of British Columbia.
“We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support of our public funders at all levels of government, and the ongoing advocates for our sector,” says Sasaki. “No one has a crystal ball looking into this coming year, but moving forward safely is the number one priority for us as a rural arts organization, and coming back to gathering in large groups may be jarring after 2 years of changes and growth. In many ways, it feels like starting over, and we need to walk before we run.”
To bring this all to life, Island Mountain Arts is seeking musicians, literary artists, dancers, theatrical practitioners and more to illuminate this corridor of the Cariboo region. Artist applications are open now. Calls for volunteers, event staff, support, and vendors will open as events begin to fall into place. Events will take place on multiple dates, with some as early as March.
“The idea is to build some theme and atmosphere around these events. Events that match our architecture in Wells, complement the landscape, mesh with our community partners, and acknowledge the anniversaries we are celebrating.”
Island Mountain Arts turns 45 this year, having run its first Summer School of the Arts in 1977. This year, in addition to the Summer s’Wells programming, they are also hoping to continue the Arts and the Forest program (Art + The Forest) which was launched in partnership with the Wells-Barkerville Community Forest in summer 2021. A call for expressions of interest to facilitate weekday and weekend programs around this theme can be found posted on their website (‘Get Involved’).