When local artist Angelique Gillespie first heard of a car crash on Hwy. 93 in Kootenay National Park this summer that took the lives of a travelling family, she was touched.
“I had these bookmarks, and instead of giving them away as I always do at the Tour of the Arts, I instead asked people if they were interested in giving a $1 donation in memory of the family,” Gillespie explained.
She raised $45 and decided to put the money back into the valley by donating it to Black Star Studio’s Rising Stars program, which provides art supplies to daycares and preschools.
From there, the bookmark project began to take off without Gillespie planning for it to, and she decided to reach out to students at David Thompson Secondary School.
“I went to Robyn at the school and when I told her (about the project),” she says. “She thought it would be a good idea to have the students take the project and raise money that could benefit kids in the valley.”
Led by Gillespie, students pitched in to help make bookmarks on September 8 during art teacher Robyn Oliver’s art class.
Sixty of these hand-made bookmarks are also being sent to the classmates of children who passed away in the accident back in their home in the United States.
Bookmarks can also be purchased at Pynelogs Cultural Centre, which has also stepped up to help promote and support the endeavor. Other venues for bookmark sales are in the works. Proceeds will continue to go to Rising Stars.
“The students here liked the project immediately,” said Oliver. “They got right into it and enjoyed it because it’s quick, emotive and abstract, making the designs for the bookmarks.”
“I’m delighted that people understand,” said Gillespie. “It started with a bookmark and has gotten to this point.”