Bizarre Bazaar, $4000 raised for public art in Nakusp / by Kate Tupper

Last April we were ecstatic and surprised to welcome around 160 people into the Old Fire Hall for a night of visual and performing arts. This time around, we thought it might be ambitious, but we planned on twice that number and surpassed it, with 393 artists, contributors and guests whose coming together made this November’s Art Party the raging success that it was. You came out, you shared your gifts, and wow, Nakusp, you weird up nice!

How is Art Party so amazing? We planned our event around eight values: Creativity, Innovation, Ever changing, Generosity, Inclusivity, Engagement, Playfulness and Eclectic. Not only has it been a crazy amount of volunteer work, but our success is also due to the professional and personal skills and connections of the organizers. We know what we are doing and we have a lot of great friends and acquaintances that share our values. Our focus isn't on how much money we make. If you read our goals, which are copied and pasted below, money is actually listed last.

Art Party Goals:

• Everyone have FUN

• Make Art Accessible and enjoyable for everyone

• Have people experience something new

• Attract more visitors and money to our area, and show off what Nakusp has to offer! Make them wish they lived here.

• Raise money for public art projects in the Nakusp Area

The experience of the event for the amazing community that comes out, real life moments of pure joy and playfulness, the connection of people with friends old and new: those are our actual goals.

However, we did reach our monetary goal of $1000 towards the painting by Michelle McLeod for the side of Bettyz Edge. $2000 for our local Legion #20 to be combined with the $1000 they put forward to commission and produce a mural for the side of their building. The rest goes to a nest egg for the next Art Party. This way we can bring you more party and keep our ticket prices low, ensuring that everyone can afford to attend, while upping the experience every time.

Economic spin-off was another focus, and we saw an opportunity to boost local revenue by attracting visitors and creating a bit of tourism in the off seasons. We would love your feedback. Did it work? Some businesses we would like to thank that jumped on board with donations or partnerships are Overwaitea Foods, Nakusp Esso, K2 Rotor Lodge, Bettyz Edge, Move on the Kusp, Cut Rite, Alisha Fritz, What’s Brewing, Making Memories, Prima Materia, Halcyon, Aidan McLaren-Caux, Spark Tart, Julia Burger, Linda Dixon, JoAnne Alaric for the ice, and The Cabin in Revelstoke.

Art Party is great because of its layers of artists, patrons, and contributors. It was especially magical due to the organization and dreams of some very key players: Jackie and Cory Phillipson, Christa Rebman, Kish Pedersen, Ali and Dustin Raskob, Autumn Grossutti, and Cassia Parent: you built Art Party. Big ups to Dylan Leeson and Bob Moody for making that site come alive! Jesse Booth and Matt Hawkins for your PA’s. What good is a party without Bass? Alex Marshall for his canvas and staple gun skills, Deb Rushfeldt, Charlotte Cunningham, Coty Lindgren, and Roland Honsek for your creative help and contributions to our show. Miranda Dahl and Colleen Matchett, the ‘Go Art Yourself’ dress-up booth’s bedazzling goddesses. Thanks to Ryan Noble for the costume donations, Jessica Grey our event photographer, Lee Orr for providing the photo booth, and Boukje Elzinga for visual artist support.

To our audience, your participation was tremendous. Thank you not only for coming out, thank you for your smiles, costumes and dance moves. What an incredible community we live in! Of course to all of the contributing artists, local and visiting, you are what made Bizarre Bazaar a feast for our senses. What would November have been without you?

And especially to those who came out early Sunday morning to pull down tents in the rain and sweep up the confetti and glitter detritus - all the messy evidence of the previous night's revelry. We heart you big time.