Throughout this year, Powell River truly lived up to its distinction as a Cultural Capital of Canada with festivals, arts and cultural events in abundance.
On any given day, concerts, live music, art openings, exhibits, craft markets and film screenings crowded calendars, leaving residents spoiled for choice.
Now on the map internationally, Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA) celebrated its fifth successful symphony music festival in June. The two-week event attracted 75 students from around the world, including Poland, South Africa, Japan, Hungary, China, Mexico, South Korea, Australia, Finland, United States and Canada. It also attracted crowds to performances at venues around town, including a lively outdoor performance at Willingdon Beach.
Although not a Kathaumixw year, a delegation from Powell River travelled with the International Choral Kathaumixw Choir of the World totem pole to Hong Kong. Wah Yan College Kowloon Boys’ Choir won the award during the choral competition held in summer 2016. The seven-foot totem pole, created by Tla’amin Nation carver Craig Galligos from a red cedar, left Powell River on March 13. The internationally acclaimed choral music festival is biennial and will return in 2018.
Billed as “bringing a world of film to the Sunshine Coast,” Powell River Film Festival organizers put on a successful festival that attracted crowds to The Patricia Theatre in mid-February. The festival opened with the world premiere of local filmmakers Tai Uhlmann and Theo Angell’s Lund documentary film The End of the Road.
Another documentary celebrated The Patricia Theatre itself, one of Powell River’s celebrated landmarks. Capturing the historic theatre’s essence, A Theatre Near You had its world premiere on Sunday, October 15, at the theatre it documented.
In August, Blackberry Festival saw thousands turn out to celebrate at the annual street party on Marine Avenue and Sunshine Music Festival celebrated its 36th successful year over Labour Day weekend.
Plans for the proposed Powell River Art Centre above the new Powell River Public Library came that much closer to reality with a successful pop-up exhibition of Megan Dulcie Dill and Claudia Medina’s multimedia installation Future Forests. The centre hopes to start programming and exhibitions early in the new year, once renovations are complete.
Celebration of Cultural Diversity attracted more than 1,300 people to Powell River Recreation Complex in mid-November. The event included representation from 17 different countries and more than 30 cultures with performances, food, demonstrations, information and more.
In November, a group of 35 Brooks Secondary School students put on an ambitious and well-received production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Max Cameron Theatre.
Finally, Carols by Candlelight rounded out the year, filling Dwight Hall with Powell River Academy of Music’s choral sounds and merriment.