First Saturdays in Kimberley

The goal is numerous, cross-promoted events on one day

First Saturdays are a concept that you need to wrap your brain around, but once you do, it’s simple. A number of people in Kimberley have been getting together to discuss and brainstorm First Saturdays, and it’s a go, says Carol Fergus from the Arts Council.

The idea is to try to get as many events happening in Kimberley on the first Saturday of every month (from May to October) as possible. Then the events cross promote each other, build on each other, and hopefully people attending one event head to check out another.

“We called a meeting to see if there was interest in trying to develop First Saturdays and the first meeting was a tremendous success,” Fergus said. “There was a lot of interest, a lot of people and a lot of letters of support.”

The concept of tying events, many of them arts and culture based, together has been tried by other communities and it has been successful.

In Kimberley, the first Saturday in May is the Dynamiters Bull-O-Rama and Fergus said the First Saturdays concept will just build around that.

“There are other things going on that day, like a HomeGrown Coffee House, a show in the gallery at Centre 64. June 1 is Marsyville Days. At the same time there is a quilt show at Centre 64, the Railway will be operating, Tony  Austin will be doing a forge workshop in Marysville, the Marysville Artisans will be doing in-store workshops, the first of the Nature Park walking tours from the Platzl is June 1.”

The idea is that with all events promoting each other, a person might leave Marysville Days and decide to see the quilt show while they are out. Or take a train ride and decide to check out a concert. Eventually, the First Saturdays build to the point that an organization like Rotary may hold a pancake breakfast in the Platzl because they know people will be out and about and they want to take advantage of it.

There are all kinds of ideas, Fergus said, such as Chateau Kimberley and the United Church partnering to put on a high tea or music and artisan demonstrations in the Platzl.

“The plan is to get enough events happening that groups will want to put  on their own events because they know there will be people around. We want partnerships and people to take ownership over different events.”

There is an opportunity to apply for some funding through BC Creative Community grants and the City and Tourism Kimberley will assist with those applications, Fergus says. The funding would assist with promotion and perhaps a coordinator for First Saturdays. But funding or not, First Saturdays are a go, she said.

“It’s time to get people moving, get more events happening that attract more people. I think it’s an exciting concept.”

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