The winner of the lifetime achievement award delivered thousands of children into this world and has created countless pieces of art.
Michael Sime, received the distinguished award Friday at a dialed back but inspirational Penticton and District Arts Awards show, presented by the Penticton Arts Council, at the Leir House.
The 82-year-old retired obstetrician and gynaecologist told the group gathered that are provided him confidence as a young boy when he was struggling with learning disabilities.
“When I was nine years old I was sort of a dyslectic underachiever and I drew a duck and the duck was used on the front of a school magazine. To me at this age with my learning problems this was huge,” he said.
He didn’t have a chance to delve deeply into his creative side until well into his career he quipped, “I have delivered a lot of babies. I don’t even know to the nearest thousand on three continents Europe, Central Africa, Saskatchewan and Penticton.”
Sime has spent time on a variety of mediums including pottery, painting and drawing. He’s known for his whimsical drawing style and credits the arts community in the South Okanagan for his success.
“It’s not about me. It’s about the arts community in this community. It’s because of them I am driven to do what I do … It’s very whimsical when I draw. I try to abstract myself from the purpose when I draw. It’s what I feel not what I see,” he said, followed with another quip. “I do have some success. I make a tonne of money, at least enough to buy a cup of coffee occasionally.”
Longtime saxophone musician Donald Wade received this year’s music award, he echoed Sime’s comments about the community.
“We are presented with two forms of beauty. One of them, all we have to do is look out the door or go to the lake. The other form, however, requires the human animal to create it,” he said. “It is such a delight to stand in this room, in this town, in this area, and just soak up the art. We are so lucky to live here.”
Earning the first ever Business Supporter of the Arts was Cannery Brewing Company.
Patt Dyck, owner of the Cannery Brewing Co., listed off the ways the arts community is an integral part of the business including live music every Sunday, concert series, arts fundraising events including Soup Bowls Projects, at Taste of the Arts, being part of the Arts Rising Festival last year, hosting Pecha Kucha talk series, sponsoring Many Hats Theatre Company shows, and using local artists to design labels.
“I often say that the diversity of the events that we host at the brewery speaks volumes about the depth and breadth of Penticton’s culture. It is our privilege to work and partner with folks from all walks of life as we help them host their events,” she said.
Wendy Goudie of Get Bent Yoga and Dance, received the arts educator award. The studio’s apprenticeship program also won the Dance award.
Goudie has brought countless girls up through dance, helping to increase their self esteem and provide an outlet for creativity.
She uses dance to teach life lessons like resiliency, time management, critical thinking and teamwork.
“In order to master anything it takes a lot of time and a lot of mistakes and the mistakes associated with building those skills are not fun mistakes to make, and when you layer those with art they suddenly have so much more appeal,” she said. “I think a lot about it often like hiding broccoli in a candy bar. Because if you wrap these uncomfortable, really difficult lessons in this beautiful art young people will come back for it and take it and come again and again and they’ll get it. There is such incredible value in that.”
Other winners Friday night were: Get Bent Apprentice Group, Dance; Skyler Prunnett, Graphic Arts; Adam Lewis Schroeder, Literary Arts; Maddison Tebbutt, Media Arts; Michael Perry, Visual Arts and Ivy Allen, Youth.