Deer have become a part of our community and so when the Cranbrook and District Arts Council was searching for a subject for a competition, the city’s lawn-dwelling ungulates were a logical suggestion.
Jenny Humphrey, from the arts council, said the choice was a chance to flip the deer issue on its head.
“Rather than being embarrassed by urban deer, let’s not see it as a problem,” Humphrey said. “Let’s be proud of them. Cranbrook is known for its deer already, so let’s have it be known for its artsy deer.”
The contest, called the Urban Artsy Deer Quest and Competition, has a two pronged approach, one for businesses and one for adults, families and children.
“You get a wooden deer that you get to take home and decorate any way you choose,” she said. “You might want to paper-mache it, you might want to put clay on it, you might want to stick bows all over it… pop cans…whatever.”
In essence, entrants buy a wooden doe for $35 or buck for $40 and decorate it any way they choose.
Humphrey explained that the business entrants have until June 20 to register their deer, because on July 1 the deer quest begins. The quest tasks people to search out and find those deer hidden at local businesses.
“After July 1, you’ll be able to go and get a tally sheet from the arts council,” she explained. “Your time and the date will be registered and then you have to set off and locate all the deer in the business community in Cranbrook. It’s like a treasure hunt.”
The person gets each business to initial the sheet and once all deer have been found the time will be recorded by the arts council, with prizes for the fastest time in the different categories.
She said so far there have been quite a few businesses picking up deer.
“We’re very pleased with the response so far.”
On the other side of things, anyone can purchase one of the deer to decorate. These deer will then be in the Great Urban Artistic Deer Round Up. The round up will be held in Rotary Park on Aug. 24, as part of the Art in the Park celebration. The herd of artsy deer will be on display and judged, and winning deer will be awarded prizes. Any donated deer will be auctioned.
The Art in the Park event will be filled with other activities as well. There will be local artists in the park, as well as ongoing entertainment from 1 p.m. until “whenever the dancing stops,” around 10 p.m.
There will be dancing, silent auctions, readings and music.
The quest and competition is sponsored by Cranbrook Interior Woodwork, which is cutting the wood for the deer, Columbia Basin Trust and the City of Cranbrook.
For more information or to pick up a wooden deer to decorate, go to the Cranbrook and District Arts Council office, Suite 104-135 10th Avenue South. It is just down the street from the Associate Clinic. Or call them at 250-426-4223.