Last year’s First Saturday were a successful experiment — successful enough that giving them a second year is a definite go.
Spearheaded by the Kimberley Arts Council, and supported by Tourism Kimberley and the City of Kimberley, First Saturdays provided a day each month where there was an effort to have a variety of activities and entertainment to offer locals and tourists. Although mainly centred in the Platzl with live music acts as the anchor, there were a host of other activities as well, from the Dynamiters Bull-A-Rama to tying in with Marysville Daze; high teas and hikes, buskers and artisan sales.
Last year First Saturdays got off the ground with a provincial Creative Communities grant. Those funds will not be available this year, which forces First Saturday organizers to seek other funding sources.
While the lion’s share of all work on First Saturdays is done by volunteers — and more are needed — there are some things that require payment.
For instance, says Carol Fergus of the Arts Council, it was recognized last year that live music in the Platzl was the biggest factor in keeping people hanging around. But live music does not come without a cost.
“It’s the biggest cost but it’s the biggest draw,” Fergus said.
It’s not just the cost of musicians — though you do want to pay the acts something — but the sound system.
Every effort is being made to source funding.
In the meantime, planning continues. A rough outline of themes has been decided. May will be Kimberly Goes Country to tie in with the Bull-A-Rama. In June it will be Celebrate Heritage, July will be Celebrate Summer, August Celebrate Arts and Culture as First Saturday ties in with the new Kaleidoscope Fest; September will Celebrate Community and October is of course, Oktoberfest.
While the Arts Council has taken the lead, the ultimate success of First Saturdays depends on different groups taking ownership of different Saturdays, and cross-promotion of all events.
And it also depends on volunteers. There are all sorts of volunteer positions available including Finance Committee, Communications Committee, Partnership Committee, Entertainment, Children’s Activities, Art Market, Art Walk/Workshops/Demos, Site Coordination and assistance with set up and take down each First Saturday.
If you’d like to join the group of dedicated volunteers driving First Saturdays in Kimberley, email or call the Kimberley Arts Council/Centre 64 at 250-427-4919 or email@example.com.