Opportunities in arts, culture and recreation are both offered to us and created by us. Here in Powell River, we certainly experience a wide variety of cultural and recreational interests. These activities hugely contribute to our quality of life and are extremely important to people making decisions to come here or stay here.
Arts, culture and recreation employment is increasing in Powell River, though slowly. The increase in numbers of people employed in these fields from 2006-2011 was 11.4%, from 175 to 195. The percentage of the experienced labour force employed in arts, culture, recreation and sport increased from 1.94% to 2.21%. This is still low compared with the BC rate of 3.4% and the Canada-wide rate of 2.86%, but we are closing the gap.
Lottery & Gaming Grants
In 2012-13, BC Lottery and Gaming grants provided $85,000 for arts and culture and $112,660 for sports. In 2013-14, arts and culture activities in Powell River received $95,500 and sports received $127,589. In 2014-15 the amount decreased from the prior year and Lottery and Gaming grants contributed $88,000 to arts and culture and $106,350 to sports.
Music on the Beach
The Celebration of the Senses at Willingdon Beach has been a feature of the annual PRISMA festival since it was started in 2013. The popularity of the event, which features performances by the Pacific Philharmonic and the festival’s guest artists, as well as other music and cultural offerings, has grown in attendance each year, from 600 in 2013 to 1200 in 2014 and to over 2000 in 2015.
BC Bike Race
Powell River has been a stage on the BC Bike Race since 2010. We put on a big welcome for the riders as they come off the ferry at the Westview terminal, provide them with beachfront camping at Willingdon beach, and wow them with our great trails maintained by the Chain Gang, a volunteer trail building association that put in over 9,000 hours on trail maintenance in 2014. In 2015, local teacher Graham Cocksedge came in 4th in his age division—after blowing out a tire and having to run 15 km while carrying his bike! In 2014, local residents Russell and Saravie Brewer and Lyell Woloschuk participated in the race.
From the Survey …
How do you rate the amount and variety of arts, cultural, and recreation activities that you enjoy in Powell River?
People aged over 50 were much more likely to say that the activities they enjoy locally are excellent, while those under 50 were more likely to describe their enjoyment of activities as Fair or worse.
Kathaumixw Totem Pole
At the Kathaumixw choral festival of 2014, the grand prize for the “Choir of the World” was a totem pole created by local Tla’amin carver Craig Galligos. In May 2015 the pole, representatives of the Academy of Music and the Tla’amin Nation, Mayor Dave Formosa and filmmaker Claudia Medina all travelled to the home of the winning choir, St. Stanislav’s Youth Choir, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where the pole was presented at a gala concert. The pole now lives in the atrium of the St. Stanislav’s Institute in Ljubljana.