LAKE OF BAYS – Wanting to continue the ability to offer children’s and adult classes, the Huntsville Art Society asked Lake of Bays council to continue with its support of such programs.
Brenda Wainman Goulet and Vicki Dodds with the society made the request for funding during the Nov. 13 council meeting.
“We’re very fortunate in this area to have a history of art and of course the Group of Seven leading the way for us,” said Wainman Goulet. “It’s a beautiful area that inspires artists and it’s continuing to throughout time.”
She said the community is also fortunate to have so many talented artists that share their skills and help others learn them and according to studies the creative economy accounts for about 43 per cent of the local income.
Over the past three years, the Huntsville Art Society has been offering children and adult programs in Baysville, Dwight and Huntsville.
“Parents, whether seasonal or permanent residents, have enrolled their children in classes that take place from fall through Christmas and March breaks and extend throughout the summer,” she said. “And for the adults they’re able to explore the creative side of themselves.”
Funding from the township would also continue to support gallery shows at the Art Space Gallery in Huntsville.
Wainman Goulet said shows at the gallery continue to educate visitors and encourages new artists to participate in events throughout the year.
“Living here my whole life, I’ve seen how the integration of the art tours and the art around our towns and the art shows have brought a really rich fabric and cultural experience for everyone that lives here and visits here,” she said. “The artists and their studios give the tourists a complete and connected experience; something that sticks with them and they want to come back and visit us again.”
The Art Space Gallery also provides students from area schools to have an opportunity to share their work and has become a place teachers bring their students to learn about various kinds of art, Wainman Goulet told council members.
Dodds said they’d like to continue running the art classes in all three communities and they’re looking at starting a Lake of Bays art tour that would lead people around the lake.
“We’re really fairly dependent of the fundraising we do ourselves, and the generosity of councils such as yourselves,” said Dodds.
Coun. Nancy Tapley said the art society is doing a wonderful job and she would like to see even more adult classes. “A strong creative economy encourages more artists to move to the area,” she said. “Because of the uniqueness of art there really is no risk of overlapping and copying, it’s all so original. It’s an incredibly good fit for us and it does draw a lot of groups up here.”
Counc. Terry Glover said he’s a big supporter of the arts and would love to see the tour around Lake of Bays happen.
In previous years Lake of Bays has provided between $2,000 and $3,000 in funding.
Mayor Bob Young said the request would be discussed during budget deliberations when new items are brought forward.