Full confession: I’m not an artsy type. I rarely go to concerts, plays, art shows, or other such events. Well, other than my daughter’s dance recitals. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good musical as much as the next person. Cirque du Soleil is pretty cool too. But that about covers my patronage of the arts scene. Other than the obligatory dance recital, I typically average maybe one artsy-type event a year.
So imagine my surprise when I find myself attending, all in a single year living in Golden BC, two Summer Kicks music concerts, a ballet production, a play, a stand-up comedy show, the Snow King celebration (Golden’s unique and very fun winter festival), an art gallery reception, a campy ski movie with a bunch of naked hippy skiers (yes, it was a bit weird), and a ‘Lens and Pen’ evening of photography and poetry. And of course, the obligatory dance recital. That’s about eight times more artsy-type exposures than normal. And that doesn’t even include the events I had hoped to attend but couldn’t Ziggy Marley sold out before I had a chance to buy tickets. So did Bruce Cockburn. There was a modern dance production I wanted to see as well but was out of town for.
What might account for this sudden uptake of the arts?
It’s not like I’m bored and looking for things to do. Living la vita Golden might not be as hectic as life was in Calgary, but it’s certainly just as full. Between a full-time job, the kids and their activities, the house, a new puppy, a husband who travels all the time, finding time for outdoor activities, fitness, and community involvement (oh yes, and #thisgoldenlife), becoming a connoisseur of the arts in Golden isn’t the first thing I tend to think about when I get up in the morning.
Yet, here I am, finding myself eager and excited about all the different arts and culture events Golden BC has to offer. I’m constantly on the lookout for local artwork. I read my Kicking Horse Culture newsletter emails top to bottom, interested to learn what new acts and events are happening around town.
For readers not familiar with Golden, Kicking Horse Culture is the organization responsible for all things arts and culture in Golden and the surrounding area. Their mission is actually to “engage, energize, and enrich the cultural life of Kicking Horse Country.”
And this they certainly do.
I suspect this is one the main reasons for my recent uptick in artsy-ness – Kicking Horse Culture does a really really good job of making the arts accessible and interesting to Goldenites. They also make it really really affordable. Summer Kicks concerts are free. (There’s one every week of the summer, held in Spirit Square in downtown Golden.) Meanwhile, the cost of attending a ticketed event is only $50 for our family of four with school-aged kids -- even less if we’re organized enough to buy tickets at the early bird rate.
The other enjoyable thing about taking in arts and culture in Golden is how community-involved it is. When Ballet Kelowna came to town, they hosted a hip-hop workshop for interested community members the day before the big performance. The modern dance troupe 605 Collective did something similar when they came through. How fun it is to have the opportunity to learn and dance with professional dancers -- especially if you’re a local kid or adult who loves to dance.
When we went to see a modern rendition of the Christmas Carol by Motus O (a theatre company from Ontario), our 14 year old daughter, along with 20 or so other community members who auditioned for parts in the show, got to act and dance along with the main Motus O cast, showing off their talents and doing a truly bang-up job of getting Goldenites into full holiday spirit.
That’s a huge part of what makes the arts in Golden BC so enjoyable. It’s inclusive, it’s accessible to everyone (no shi shi stuff), it’s affordable, and it’s also really good. No slouch artists or acts, all great talent.
I can’t wait to see what this next year will bring.
- For more information about arts and culture in Golden BC, go to Kicking Horse Culture’s website, facebook page, and YouTube channel.
- Visit the Art Gallery of Golden (right in downtown Golden BC and definitely worth stopping in. It’s got beautiful art, gorgeous pottery, jewelry, textiles, sculptures and more. AGOG is one of my favourite spots in Golden for buying gifts).
- View a calendar of local arts and culture events on Tourism Golden’s website and also on this Golden BC events site.
- Visit Golden BC's museum to get a taste of Golden’s interesting history.
- Coming soon: a #thisgoldenlife directory of Golden BC artists, artisans and other creative types.