ArtZone dreams up future plans

Local artists and art enthusiasts gather to set goals for the non-profit
ArtZone’s Activity Table last summer. Photo from ArtZone on Facebook.

ArtZone Sun Peaks recently held a workshop to plan how to expand programs and make art even more prominent in the community.

On April 19, local artists and art lovers gathered to review how successful the non-profit has been over the past few years and set goals for the future. Marj Knive, president of ArtZone, said the day consisted of four guest speakers and an envisioning session.

“We were pretty proud of what we’ve done in the last three years,” she said. “So we didn’t change a lot about our mission or our vision for the organization, but came up with some ideas that we can do to expand our offerings.”

The first guest speaker was Arlene Schieven, CEO of Tourism Sun Peaks (TSP). ArtZone and TSP often work together to host events, such as the art tents at the summer market. Knive said Schieven provided great suggestions on ways they could continue to collaborate more frequently.

“We’re keen to continue on with our relationship that we’ve started and work together to really try to bring more tourists into the area and promote some events that maybe have bigger crowds,” Knive said. “Certainly, that would benefit both tourism and the businesses.”

Mayor Al Raine also spoke at the event. Knive said one of the biggest challenges for ArtZone is the lack of a physical space to gather in, and that the conversation with Raine helped set realistic expectations.

Raine spoke about the results of a survey the municipality conducted in 2020, which put arts and culture at 63 per cent of importance to the community.

“Of course, they’ve got a lot of things that were in the 80 and 90 percentiles. That makes them determine their priorities,” Knive said.  “From the municipality’s point of view, there’s really not any money available for running a building or helping us out in that regard.”

Raine also expressed that he doesn’t think there is a lot of available space for ArtZone. Knive said he suggested there might be conference space available with the expansion of the health centre, but not much in terms of ArtZone having its own building.

The other guest speakers included Nancy Greene-Raine from the Sun Peaks Historical Society, who discussed cultural work and funding. Local artist Zuzy Rocka also attended, and spoke about the role ArtZone has played in helping her emerge as an artist in the community.

After the guest speakers, ArtZone held an envisioning session to plan for the next few years.

“When you’re dreaming pie in the sky, and what you could do if funds and buildings were no problem, we came up with all sorts of wonderful ideas that we could do someday down the road,” Knive said. “But we also came up with some things that are absolutely doable now, and I think it will be quite exciting.”

Moving forward, ArtZone hopes to broaden into areas of music, film and writing. Knive said one of the specific ideas that came from the session is expanding locals night at the film festival to encourage young community members to submit videos of them doing snow sports or biking. 

She added they also came up with many other fun ideas they aren’t ready to share with the public yet. To help get the ideas into motion, ArtZone has created a committee to begin planning. 

“We just are going to continue on doing what we’re doing, but broadening the spectrum as much as we can,” Knive said. “So stay tuned.”

For more information about ArtZone or to see upcoming events, visit

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