Close to 7,000 people either participated as artists or attended the 24th annual Art Walk in Lake Country last weekend.
Sharon McCoubrey, chair of the Art Walk organizing committee, said the event was almost filled to capacity over Saturday and Sunday.
“When you think of the parking available in Lake Country and it not being elbow-to-elbow crowded, I think the participation overall was a great success this year,” said McCoubrey.
“We are very pleased with the response. That’s a lot of people to come through in 14 hours.
“I am hugely grateful to our organizing committee and the more than 100 volunteers who help make Art Walk possible. ”
McCoubrey said Art Walk is maturing as an event, achieving its objectives of promoting artists across the Okanagan Valley while drawing people from outside the valley to come check it out.
“What has helped the designation aspect is that it looks different every year. The just under 300 artists who participated this year had to generate new art not previously shown at previous Art Walk events, which in turn gets people to come back year after year because they will always see something new,” McCoubrey said.
Adding to that is the organizing committee’s choice of a new theme, this year being Canada’s 150th birthday, and creating new activities around that concept.
“We were very pleased by how much fun people seemed to be having with our Canada 150 activities such as the Canada trivia contest and placing a pin on a huge map of the world to show where you were born,” she said.
McCoubrey said Art Walk will turn a profit again this year, as it has done for the last 19 years, with that money funnelled back in the Lake Country arts community such as supporting high school scholarships and Lake Country Art Gallery programs.
In becoming the largest annual art show in the province, McCoubrey says Art Walk has come to reflect a unique character trait of Lake Country, the arts community, and helps to improve the quality of life for district residents.
“I think we have a strong treasury of artists in the Okanagan Valley…and I think the arts community is a big selling point for people making the decision to move here,” she said.
As is tradition, the votes for the 2017 People’s Choice of favourite artist have been tallied and this year’s artist is Jolene Mackie whose painted works were featured in Memorial Hall.
The top 10 favourite artists selected by attendees of this year’s ArtWalk include:
1. Jolene Mackie
2. Brandy Barry Wyatt
3. Anitia McComas
4. Alex Fong
5. Sara Gagnon
6. Bobby Vandenhoorn, Juve Furtado, Fiona Neal (a three way tie)
7. Will Enns
8. Ann Willsie
9. Dennis Weber
10. Bonny Roberts