Autumn Movement - Poem by Carl Sandberg
On July 7th, 2017, a storm raced across the skies of our region, lighting up the countryside with its electricity, igniting our lives. Its power was undeniable, swift and voracious. The fires would see so many residents of the Cariboo Chilcotin flee our homes and taste the life of a refugee. The rhythms of our summer stumbled over innumerable obstacles, as we sat glued to our media for information that might keep us feeling safe. A blanket of smoke surrounded us all, unifying the experience for our communities.
As the crisp autumn air touches down its frosty edges, a time of turning inward naturally unfolds, and perhaps we might come to a new understanding of all the fire has left us with. Autumn evokes a natural death and dying, while we struggled with these themes in the heart of summer, building up friction and discomfort. Now, as the times passes, we digest, we process and we re-create.
From the perspective of arts and culture, this could be a time ripe with creation. Our feet literally held to the fire, we saw the power of transformation and clearing up close. In this time, art can be a channel for stress, for meaning-making and pure inspiration from all that was billowing in our sphere of experience. As an organization representing the values of a creative community, we encourage the expression of the these ideas, and are seeking ways to support our artists and community members with program ideas that address creative ways to cope.
When the evacuation order for Williams Lake was lifted, our very dedicated Art in the Park coordinator, Laura Ulrich and her assistant Kiera Dolighan, set up at several events at Boitanio Park, including Performances in the Park and Welcome Home Williams Lake, providing colourful crafts for our young people to explore. We are so grateful to these two for bringing their energy to this program in a summer full of uncertainty. Art, especially for young people, can be a salve on a shaken soul, and we are so proud of our team for working through challenging conditions.
As we regroup and bring forward ideas and programs for the next season, our aim is to focus on our local talent, resilience and cooperation. As ever, we are intent on bringing arts experiences to our young people, and supporting existing programs that enhance our community, like the upcoming Earth Friendly Holiday Event, our Giving Tree project , which sees hundreds of warm woolies donated to the most vulnerable members of our neighborhood, and more musical education via the POPS in the Park fundraising efforts, in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club.
As we digest the events of this fiery summer, it's lit a fire in the belly of our little organization. With creative intention and thoughtful planning, we'd like to offer up our energy to the community, building up the creative culture that makes Cariboo strong.