Support goes to Fraser Lake arts festival, Nechako Valley water stewardship

Two projects in Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof are going forward this season with support from Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund.

Artist Jerri Malchow demonstrates the joy of painting at the Fraser Lake Festival of the Arts in 2015.

Artist Jerri Malchow demonstrates the joy of painting at the Fraser Lake Festival of the Arts in 2015.

Whether it’s celebrating fine arts or teaching water stewardship, two projects in Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof are going forward this season with support from Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund.

In Fraser Lake, the second annual Festival of the Arts, organized by the village office, will take place on August 12 and 13 with $15,680 of funding, while Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC in Vanderhoof received  $5,000 towards developing a business plan for a future water stewardship centre.

Building on last year’s success, Fraser Lake’s arts festival this summer features a kick-off on Friday evening with a coffee house at the local Royal Canadian Legion Branch 274, featuring local musicians from 7 to 10 p.m.

On Saturday, the festival opens ceremoniously at 10 a.m. on the town soccer fields, followed by musical, speech arts, and dramatic performances on stage and local vendors of homemade goods on the grounds throughout the day until 6 p.m.

In the arena, visitors are invited to check out various forms of artwork — including oil, mixed media, quilting, glasswork, and photography — exhibited by local artists and artisans. Art workshops for adults and children alike will also take place for those looking for a hands-on experience, and a silent auction will allow others to take home keepsakes.

International culinary arts will also be showcased in the arena, allowing visitors a taste of other parts of the world.

At night, the festival ends with local bands Deuce is Wild and the Johnnie Rockers at White Swan Park from 8 to 11 p.m.

With exhibits from Fort St. James, Vanderhoof, and Burns Lake as well as Fraser Lake last year, Cathy Harder, event organizer and president of the Fraser Lake Arts Council, hopes to attract more artists of any kind.

“Everyone from the region can participate,” Harder said. “We want to focus on artists from northern B.C.”

More information can be found with Cathy Harder at 250-699-6948 or Doris Ray at 250-699-6976.


Reaching tourism and education potential on sturgeon conservation


In Vanderhoof, the proposed water stewardship centre would allow the current Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre to expand its education and outreach opportunities for not only the local community, but also beyond Vanderhoof through tourism and research, said Wayne Salewski, community working group chair of the Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative.

In addition to research on sturgeon habitat for spawning and survival, the Nechako River is currently also the focus of post-secondary projects on the Nechako watershed, such as its sediment sources and regional climate change.

Along with Prince George’s Forests of the World trail system and UNBC’s bio-energy plant, the conservation centre was a port of call for the Lieutenant Governor of B.C.’s Stewards of the Future conference in June.

Burns Lake’s Baker Airport Runway and Rotary Club Cemetery Upgrade were the two other projects that were awarded funding by NKDF in May.

“The funding for these four projects demonstrates NKDF’s clear commitment to improving the quality of life for residents in the Nechako-Kitamaat area and creating sustainable communities for B.C. families,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.

“Investments in runway upgrades, local arts festivals and other beneficial community projects provide significant opportunities that contribute to the betterment of our communities by creating jobs and strengthening local economies.”

The next proposal deadline is July 29, and requests under $5,000 are accepted by the NKDF society on an ongoing basis.


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