Splatsin grandmother Anne Cook has donated two birchbark baskets she made at the Tsm7aksaltn (Splatsin Teaching Centre) to sell at the A Taste of Splatsin Culture during the Enderby Arts Festival

Splatsin grandmother Anne Cook has donated two birchbark baskets she made at the Tsm7aksaltn (Splatsin Teaching Centre) to sell at the A Taste of Splatsin Culture during the Enderby Arts Festival

Enderby has art, culture and more for its annual arts festival

A Taste of Splatsin Culture is part of this year’s Enderby Arts Festival, with proceeds to help preserve the Splatsin language.

Rediscover Enderby when the family-friendly Enderby Arts Festival opens for a day of markets, culture, music, magic, and art, Saturday, July 27.

The festival, hosted by the Enderby and District Arts Council, has grown to include a number of activities for all ages, and this year has an even more special event with A Taste of Splatsin Culture at Belvidere Park.

Most of the action takes place on Cliff Avenue, where the Enderby Artisans Market, food court and non-stop music on the entertainment stage will take place.

“This market has built up over the past eight years into something not to be missed,” said festival organizer Neil Fidler, with the Enderby and District Arts Council. “Up to 50 artisans and artists will be offering a variety of handcrafted items constructed from wood, glass, stone, fabric, paper and imagination. There is enough here to do all your Christmas shopping in July.”

Those who arrive early to the market can enjoy the Lions’ famous pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. The non-stop music kicks off with Transplant performing at 9:15 a.m. and the energy continues with an interactive drum circle, Shakewood Annie at 1:15 p.m., and more performances by local entertainers.

The annual Snapshots and Shutterbugs photo contest entries will be on display in Enderby’s new Courtyard Gallery on Belvedere Street. Photo entries will be available for all to see from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Saturday.

“The Courtyard Gallery has been open for almost three months with never a dull moment. We continue to add new artists and change the exhibitions on a regular basis,” said gallery artist and chairperson Tatianna O’Donnell.

In addition, local artists will be setting up their easels and painting en plein air. The works will then be donated and exhibited at the gallery for a silent auction. The auction will run from July 30 to Aug. 3.

“Artists love festivals, and so we have quite a few of our members who will be setting up their easels around town to paint on the spot,” said O’Donnell.

The festival fun continues as kids can have their faces painted and enjoy the antics of the Shriner clowns. The Community Resource Centre will also be offering activities for children. Watch for posters about town.

More information is available at the Enderby and District Arts Council information tent that will be set up on Cliff Avenue, where visitors can pick up an event schedule for the non-stop music on the entertainment stage.

Presented by the Splatsin Tsm7aksaltn Teaching Centre Society, A Taste of Splatsin Culture is a fundraiser to regenerate the disappearing language of the Splatsin Nation.

Tsm7aksaltn translates as teaching centre, where a core group, which includes the most elderly Splatsin grandmas (kikia7a), come together to document, preserve and save the Splatsin language and “wrap the language around the babies.”

“Your support has everything to do with being part of the solution,” said Rosalind Williams, advocate for the preservation and regeneration of the Splatsin language.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards the expense of documentation and delivery of the language and is a unique opportunity to experience local Splatsin culture through art, history, songs, language, stories, dance, and games.

There will be dancers, singers, drummers, a fashion show, speakers, musicians, language demos, and stories.

Visitors to Belvidere Park can also stop and peruse books, videos and historical displays generated at the Splatsin Tsm7aksaltn.

“Come out and eat Splatsin food, buy some art in the auction, listen to entertainers and cultural performers; most of all come out and help save our Splatsin language,” said Jody Leon who has been coordinating art donations for the silent auction and lining up First Nation artists displaying and selling their artwork or performing in the park.

Tania Willard, Secwepemc artist and current Aboriginal curator-in-residence at the Kamloops Art Gallery, and co-creator of Beat Nation (now showing at the KAG), will speak about her artistic journey at 11:30 a.m.

Okanagan artist David Wilson will also speak in the afternoon about how his artwork (now showing at Headbones Gallery in Vernon) incorporates Okanagan pictographs and stories of origin.

Both Willard and Wilson have each donated a piece of their artwork to the silent art auction that runs until 3 p.m.

The auction features fine art pieces from many different First Nations communities, including the Splatsin and Greater Shuswap Nation, and from supportive non-native artists. There is also a goods and service aspect to the silent auction that will be run more like a toonie auction.

Willard also joins Runaway Moon Theatre to show their Calendario community art project. It involves a depiction of certain creatures of great importance to the Splatsin people and their names in the Splatsin language.

Printed on rectangular pieces of brightly coloured fabric, the sets of prints will be strung in the manner of Tibetan prayer flags and available for purchase.

Visitors can also choose a traditional Splatsin tattoo at the face painting booth, have their photo taken beside the Shuswap River by photographer Tskwluwi7kn Leon, bid on traditional Shuswap birch-bark baskets, beading, leather work, pine needle baskets and other art created and donated by the grandmothers and community members.

Wild traditional foods have been collected and will be for sale to sample and visitors can also cool down with a wild berry slush, and top it off with some bannock.

Wild Sunflower massage oil and pine needle honey will also be available for purchase.

All proceeds go to the language and culture program at the Tsm7aksaltn.

More information on the Enderby Arts Festival is available at (250) 838-0577 or contact@ enderbyartscouncil.com.