Prince George, BC- For the third summer in a row, Tourism Prince George and The Community Arts Council are celebrating an "Artnership". The Artnership Program, which began in 2017, showcases local Indigenous artists in the Prince George Visitor Centre. The artists set up an onsite studio and spend a morning making or participating in a piece of art. The program gives visitors an opportunity to learn about the city’s arts scene, and also about Indigenous culture.

In 2017 and 2018, local artist Tom Mowatt set up his painting supplies and enjoyed sharing his culture and experiences with travelers from across the globe. “It wasn’t like work at all,” says Mowatt. “It was more talking than painting. It was such a reward to communicate with so many people.” Mowatt’s completed pieces are still on display in the Visitor Centre.

Another Artnership participant and local drum-maker, Len Paquette, made lasting memories for VIA Rail passengers bound for Prince Rupert last year when he drummed his newly completed drum up the aisles of the train. “It’s so exciting to see the faces of visitors when they get to speak to an artist and even participate in making a piece of art,” says Erica Hummel, CEO of Tourism Prince George. “This is an exciting program that really enhances the visitor experience in our community. It creates such positive perception of Prince George.”

Mowatt and Pacquette will be back as program participants this year, along with other talented local artists Darin Corbiere, Shirley Babcock, and Carla Joseph. A sixth has been added to this year’s roster, Jennifer Pighin, designer of the 2015 Canada Winter Games medals. Artists will be at Tourism Prince George every consecutive Thursday from 7:00am to 11:00am beginning with Darin Corbiere this Thursday, June 27th.

Schedule for the 2019 Artnership Program:

June 27th: Darin Corbiere, painting

July 4th: Shirley Babcock, painting

July 11th: Carla Joseph, painting

July 18th: Len Paquette, carving

July 25th: Tom Mowatt, painting

August 1st: Jennifer Pighin, drumming

“The Community Arts Council values the opportunity that Tourism Prince George provides to our artists in connecting them with visitors to our city, many of whom are highly interested in experiencing local and Indigenous artistry,” says Lisa Redpath, Program Manager at Studio 2880. “We had great success with this program last year and all of the participating artists found it to be quite rewarding. This really helps us to start putting Prince George on the cultural map.”

The Community Arts Council (CAC) undertakes similar Artnership programs with the Prince George Airport and City Hall. This is a legacy project from the 2015 Canada Winter Games, and the CAC is always interested in finding additional, secure facilities at which to introduce local Prince George artists and artisans.

Join us this Thursday, June 26th for the first event with Darin Corbiere, 7:00am to 11:00am at the Prince George Visitor Information Centre, 1300 1st Avenue. 

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