Kitimat has long had a strong arts community. But this year all facets of that broad community are coming together for the inaugural Kitimat Arts Festival.
The 10-day event will feature 400 Kitimatian entertainers and more than 100 from out of town and is expected to draw an audience total of at least 1,600.
The Fest kicks off on Saturday, June 4 at 7:30 p.m. with the opening reception at the Kitimat Museum and Archives - it’s currently showing Insights, the Mount Elizabeth Secondary seniors’ art show.
Also that day the exhibition On Cue for 30 Years opens at the public library and you can take that in during library opening hours throughout the Fest.
This exhibit showcases the sets, costumes and make-up involved in putting on a production.
Sunday, June 5 at 2 p.m. there will be a dance recital What Dreams May Come at the Mount Elizabeth Theatre hosted by Dance Kitimat.
Monday, June 6 sees the performance of the Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir at 7:30 p.m. at the MET.
The renowned choir will present a repertoire of traditional Welsh hymns and folk songs, spirituals, opera choruses and show tunes.
Tuesday, June 7 at 7 p.m. is the Kitimat Year-End Concert, again at the MET, in which approximately 150 students will perform.
After a night off, the entertainment resumes Thursday, June 9 with the opening of Dance Impressions in the City Centre Mall at 4 p.m., showing the works of elementary students. These oil pastels resulted from an event last year which saw students introduced to stomp and hip-hop by Leah Correia followed by Eileen Hutson guiding them through an exploration of movement and dance through art.
Friday, June 10 it is the turn of the Spoken Word which begins at 7 p.m. at the museum. It will feature Kitimat writers with an interest in recital and those who have a song or theatrical piece to present. Spontaneity from the crowd is encouraged.
Saturday, June 11 it is back to the library and the On-Cue exhibition where between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. long time On-Cue director Tina Watchorn will take you through the planning and design steps of a production. Scenic artists and seamstresses will showcase costumes and set designs from past productions.
Sunday, June 12 will see a piano recital at the Mountain View Alliance Church featuring the talented students of the Kitimat Music Scholarship Society.
The year-end wrap up takes place at 2 p.m. followed by the scholarship performances at 4 p.m.
And last but hardly least, on Monday, June 13 at 7 p.m. the Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific - no strangers to Kitimat concert goers - will take to the stage at the MET to bring the Arts Festival to a resounding close.
Approximately 20 students from the Mount Elizabeth Secondary School band have been selected to sit-in with Naden and they will perform a few selections for our audience.