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PHOTOS: Cranbrook Arts celebrates 50 years of creativity, welcomes locals for Columbia Basin Culture Tour

Non-profit has been a steadfast supporter of local art since it opened its doors five decades ago
Rico Naito and her daughter Hana participated in Cranbrook Art’s felting workshop on Sunday. Felters use a needle to join threads of wool together to make shapes (Gillian Francis photo)

Cranbrook Arts celebrated its 50th anniversary from July 28 to 30.

The non-profit kicked off celebrations with a reception in its new gallery space at 1401 5 St North., which featured local paintings, photographs and textiles. It hosted an artisan market on Saturday and a series of free art workshops on Sunday. Participants were able to try their hand at needle felting and painting, and they were able to make their own trading cards, buttons and clay plates.

The Cranbrook Arts and District Council was officially born on May 17, 1973. Over the years, it has played a significant role in supporting artists, and promoting cultural and ethnic diversity. Although its area of focus is mostly visual arts, it did play a role in developing local theatre and music industries.

The new gallery was a stop on the Columbia Basin Culture Tour, which was held the same weekend. The tour is an annual event that encourages locals to travel around the Kootenays to view displays of art and live art demonstrations. It gives participants the chance to explore studios and galleries and gives them free access to heritage sites and museums. Locals visited the Cranbrook Arts studio as they hopped from site to site on the tour.

Cranbrook Community Theatre also took part in the tour. It offered tours of its historic theatre building on 11 11 Ave. South.

READ MORE: Cranbrook Arts celebrating 50 years

Columbia Basin Culture Tour showing local art in Kootenay region


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Triana Bojarski demonstrated wheel throwing to onlookers. She made a plant pot (Gillian Francis photo)
The morning workshop included making trading cards (Gillian Francis photo)
Gayle Slobodian felted a tree (Gillian Francis photo)
Dawn Fenwick taught a group how to make plates and pinch pots out of clay (Gillian Francis photo)
Addie Freeze made a pinch pot. Pinch pots are an ancient form of art that involves creating small containers by pinching the clay upward (Gillian Francis photo)
Cranbrook Arts President Yvonne Vigne added some intricate details to a sculpture made of clay (Gillian Francis photo)
Raye Stensgaard created a clay plate (Gillian Francis photo)

About the Author: Gillian Francis

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