The Penticton Western is looking to hear more from our community members and is interested in finding out what they love about Penticton.
We are profiling different residents for our community section, by asking them to answer a list of questions about Penticton and why they think it is so great.
This week we are profiling Bethany Handfield.
Handfield moved to Penticton 11 years ago, after a career in the Vancouver film industry.Her parents had returned in the area and she and her brother decided to follow suit. She was followed by her brother’s family shortly after.
Now, Handfield owns an online business called Exploring Encaustic which sells encaustic art supplies (painting with wax) nationally. she recently joined her partner, Tim Tweed, in his company, Splendid Bastard Beard Co., where they create handcrafted small batch beard balms and beard oils. Splendid Bastard won “Small Business of the Year” at the 2017 Penticton Chamber Awards.
“I am a board member of CanwaxWest, which supports the development of encaustic painting in Western Canada, a member of the The Long Gallery + Studios, and a supporter of our arts council and public and private galleries,” she said.
Find out what Handfield thinks about her community of Penticton.
When someone says ‘Penticton’ what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Our amazing art scene. We are so blessed to have such an incredible wealth of talent when it comes to musicians, visual artists, writers, and dance groups. There is really something to suit ever taste.
The Penticton Arts Council, Penticton Art Gallery, and Shatford Centre / Okanagan School of the Arts, and businesses like the Dream Cafe and Saint Germain Cafe & Gallery work so hard to bring top notch local and international talent to our little community. Paul Crawford, at the Penticton Art Gallery, has been instrumental in curating groundbreaking exhibitions – some of which have been firsts for Canada.
We have working artists of all ages living in our community and that definitely contributes to the energy and vibrancy of our city.
If you could change or improve one thing about your community what would it be?
Reasonable housing costs. The threat of having to move elsewhere is always present for many of our neighbours and it would be a shame for Penticton to lose any of it’s vibrant artists and makers due housing. It would be truly wonderful if there were live/work spaces available for artists as they have in many cities like Vancouver and Portland.
Beyond artists, the housing crisis effects our most vulnerable and it is sad thing when people work full time, sometimes at multiple jobs, and are still in a precarious place.
What’s your favourite local company?
Splendid Bastard Beard Co of course— I really do tip my hat to all of the small business owners in our community who are the backbone of who we are as a city. These are the people who make Penticton a fun and unique place to live.
What are the top three places you would recommend that tourists visit when they are in Penticton?
- Penticton Art Gallery
- All of the amazing private galleries along Main and Front Street including Little Long Studios and Saint Germain Cafe and Gallery
- The Dream Cafe
- The Penticton Community Market
What do you see for the community in 20 years?
I see a city that has embraced arts and culture and has recognized that, along with our incredible nature, wine, and adventure tourism, there is a synergistic value to supporting all aspects our city has to offer. I hope to see an increase in eco-density housing – with a potential for more live/work spaces.
Our city encourages small business and creates a space for them to thrive and grow.
I also hope we stay small and unique. There is something so perfect about a town nestled between two lakes that is unlike anywhere else. I hope we maintain our natural spaces and don’t go too much further down the sprawl of “big box” and “chain business” path. We are so very lucky to live where we do and in the natural beauty of where we are.
We are looking to profile as many community members as possible. If you would like to be profiled or if you would like to nominate someone please click on this link and fill out the questionnaire.