Next Friday, the Shatford Centre is throwing its doors open wide and inviting the public in for a little taste of how the building is progressing from school to arts centre.
The event is A Taste For The Arts, and organizers are bringing together a selection of Penticton’s culinary establishments to provide food, specialty teas and coffees, beers and wines for arts patrons as they get a look behind the scenes at the ongoing transformation into a centre for the arts.
“Phase 2 is all about continuing to enhance the building, getting the studios going,” said Jane Shaak, one of the organizers. “Phase 1 was the main things, like the elevator and the washrooms … the big things that had to happen to open the building.”
Along with being fed, visitors to A Taste For the Arts will be able to meet with artists as well as faculty from the Okanagan School of the Arts.
“We wanted to be festive and fun. All these different restaurants are bringing different things, so it’s a lovely taste from everybody, lovely food and appies and some entrees and desserts,” said Shaak, who said the food will be served buffet-style to encourage visitors to mill around and tour the building.
“We’ll have is lots of displays showing where we have come, which is a heck of a long way and also some of the vision of what could happen here,” said Shaak. “We wanted to do something to bring in people that care about the arts.”
A Taste For The Arts, which is a fundraising event helping to continue the work at the centre, gets underway at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 18. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at the Shatford Centre, 760 Main St., by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 250-770-7668.
The focus now, Shaak said, is on keeping the momentum going and getting classrooms, studios and workshops up and running. The centre has already played host to some major arts events and shows, including the Federation of Canadian Artists’ Triptych show over the summer.
More recently the centre hosted a two-day ArtsBC workshop, Sustainability Semesters as well as the Broadway International Dance Workshop, which brought two So You Think You Can Dance veterans to the centre for two days of intensive instruction.
“This is the first time in Western Canada. This dance convention is a really big deal. It was very cool that we got it,” said Shaak.
“It is nice to see that some of these events are really coming. That dance convention wouldn’t have come here without the Shatford.”