The Arrow Lakes Arts Council consists of 8 elected board members - meetings are held 3rd Thursdays of the month, 7 pm at the Nakusp Elementary School library. We have, at the moment, 20 non-profit organizations operating under the umbrella of the Arts Council. Representatives of any of these groups along with individual members (or members of the public in general) are welcome to attend, and provide input or ideas for the board to consider.
We serve as a coordinating body, providing information to the public and to one another (such as funding opportunities, events which are happening, etc.) and representatives of the member-groups keep us informed of activities they are sponsoring as well.
The Arts Council is an all-volunteer, low-budget organization - founded over 30 years ago to promote arts, culture and heritage sectors of society and to serve in whatever capacity we can in assisting our local artists, musicians, historians, etc. Each board director takes on the chairmanship of a project (e.g. Marilyn Massey is the concert organizer) and brings back to the board, details of that committee's activities. Any assistance that committee needs comes from the community itself - not from board members who (unless they wish to) are not expected to be directly involved in that project - in this way more volunteers become actively engaged in the project of their choice.
The following is an outline of ways in which ALAC is and has been, able to assist its member groups:
(1) Arts-related groups/individuals may apply for the use of the Bonnington Arts Centre, according to availability, owing to a shared-used of this facility with the school board. Depending upon each individual application, the Centre might be made available free of charge or at a reduced rental charge. Examples of use of this facility by one or more of our member-groups: workshops, lectures, audio-visual presentations, theatre, recitals, concerts, visual exhibitions, dance and so on. We do not have storage space available at the Bonnington, so use of this facility is intended for short-term use only.
(2) ALAC is pleased to entertain requests by its member groups/individuals for the use of its Registered Canadian Charitable Organization number in order to be able to access certain grant or funding sources available to meet their needs (a usual requirement when applying for governmental or foundation funds). Requests, for non-commercial purposes, are to be directed in writing to ALAC.(3) On behalf of local artists/arts-related organizations wishing to apply for funding through any of the 12 Columbia Basin Trust/Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance funded programs made available yearly, ALAC distributes information, accepts completed Program one and two applications on behalf of the funding bodies, reviews those applications and makes recommendations based on application criteria being met. The final decision on who is successful is made by a regional steering committee of volunteers drawn from a number of different communities, and the results are made known after May 31st each year.(4) Two major projects which are sponsored annually by ALAC are:
A) Performances consisting of both touring Professional Concert Series and Kootenay Artist Series and concerts (involving 5-6 performances) held at either the Bonnington or the Nakusp Auditorium, and two community artists concerts are also given each year.
B) Annual Nakusp and District Fall Fair, held the 2nd Saturday in September at the Nakusp elementary school gymnasium. Proceeds realized are all used to help cover expenses associated with the concert series, bursary, and related ALAC expenses. ALAC operates on a minimal budget and at present does not have office or storage space of its own.
(5) A $400 bursary is awarded by ALAC to a Grade 12 graduating student who plans to further their arts-related studies. This award is presented at the annual graduation ceremony.(6) Past fundraising has resulted in the purchase of a Yahama quality piano now permanently situated in the Auditorium for use in presenting such events as youth musical theatre, recitals, amateur and professional presentations, weddings, funerals and various entertainment programs. The Piano replaces the one belonging to the School Board which had to be insured, transported in from another location. and professionally tuned before every use.