After much hard work and dedication, the Columbia Valley Arts (CV Arts) Tour of the Arts 2011 went off without a hitch.
On July 31, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., artists from across the Columbia Valley and beyond showed their works to an enthusiastic public at various valley locations spread between Fairmont and Windermere.
Artists and CV Arts volunteers started setting up the day’s displayed on the afternoon of July 30, working until the evening and starting up again at 8 a.m. the morning of the tour.
“We sold 780 passports this year, which is 30 up over last year, which we are delighted about,” said Lynda Tutty, chair for the Tour of the Arts. “People were leaving the sites with smiles on their faces.”
At the five site locations (Nichol home, Stewart home, Swansea Ranch, McBlain Home and Gratton home), artists had set up wonderful displays of their work, featuring anything and everything from painting, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, iron and wood-working and much, much more.
Edgewater artist Susan Farhni, whose work was on display at Swansea Ranch, was one of several artists returning for another year on the tour. She said she’d had another wonderful day.
“I had a great time and was successful last year, and I had a great time again today,” said Farhni.
Farhni also contributed a painted chair (featuring a mountain scene) to the Muskoka Chair Auction, a first-time feature for the tour.
Artists Tracie Truscott, Sherry Mallach, Cathy Parkes and Nancy Sorensen also painted contributing chairs, with one on display at each site and up for bids at the Celebrate the Arts reception at the end of the day at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort Ski Chalet.
“The artists seemed very happy, a lot sold a lot of their art and received good exposure. People took their cards and we usually have guests calling back to get contact information they forgot to take from a certain artist they met at the Tour,” said Tutty.
“It’s such a fabulous opportunity to meet other artists and people,” said Farhni. “It’s great to get out and hear how well your work is received.”
Along with the Muskoka Chair auction, this was the Tour’s first year featuring live music at each of the sites and reception.
“People really liked the music,” said Tutty.
“It was such a huge boost to the ambience of the sites. We so enjoyed that the musicians and site-owners donated their time, talent and land for this.”
“It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a great community thing,” said Kathy Schofield, who was a part of the site committee that helped direct traffic, parking and more during the day.
“It was better than last year, if that’s even possible,” added Nora Efford, also with the site committee. “There was such wonderful art. The calibre of art was excellent.”
Plans for next year’s Tour are still in the works, and discussion will begin for 2012 likely in September, according to Tutty.