Last Thursday evening 55 people gathered at the I.O.O.F. Hall for a Conversation Cafe to discuss cultural issues in Summerland.
Conversation Cafes are designed to facilitate discussion by all participants in a free-flowing type of atmosphere. And that certainly was the case last Thursday.
There were many responses to the first question: “What does culture mean to you?”
Art as in painting, dance, photos, quilting, traditions of a family, live theatre, and music were just a few of the things mentioned.
People mentioned how they enjoyed seeing plays at Centre Stage Theatre and movies in Memorial Park.
Someone mentioned they would love to have a Summerland version of the Kitchen Stove Film series and have international films shown here in Summerland.
People also mentioned the impact of location and geography on our local culture. The beaches, orchards and vineyards. How wineries are impacting our culture (favourably); especially when music and food was included.
Food was a recurring theme in several table discussions. How food is an expression of cultural diversity and identity.
Some mentioned, fondly, The Taste of Summerland – just one of the many festivals that used to be held in what was once called The Towne of Festivals.
In addition to “obvious” examples of cultural assets in our community (Centre Stage, the Art Gallery, Library, Street Banners, the Bear sculpture) many table groups mentioned the “small-town” atmosphere, the tradition of volunteerism (although a number of people mentioned that it was getting increasingly difficult to find volunteers) that is expressed in so many ways from Meals on Wheels to all the other projects by service clubs and other organizations.
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The Arts Palette is written by David Finnis, publicity chair and President of the Summerland Community Arts Council.