Quail’s Nest open house re-energizes arts community

Penelope Johnson, Special to Times Chronicle

The big bay doors roll up on Sunday, May 15 at Oliver’s newly renovated Quail’s Nest Arts Centre on Airport Street.

After two years of near-isolation, Oliver’s arts community is ready to party. Visitors to the Quail’s Nest open house between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. will be greeted with art displays, demonstrations, live music, an art market, and a barbecue. Information booths will provide an opportunity to meet many of the region’s artists or register for upcoming classes. Art groups will be accepting new students and members. Free admission to the public.  

Fibre artists, painters, quilters, actors, sculptors, crafters in metal, textiles and paper, and multimedia artists will all showcase their creativity. Shoppers browsing through the marquees and stalls can purchase art cards, embellished clothing, vintage jewelry, tapestries, pine needle baskets, fabric décor, resin artwork, theatre tickets, or a copy of the brand new One Hundred X One Hundred/ x̌cəcikst X x̌cəcikst local history book. 

The Desert Sage Spinners and Weavers Guild and GNR Alpaca Boutique will each demonstrate fibre techniques. The Guild’s famous wool yurt will lure the curious into its cozy interior. The RipOff Artists reveal what famous Cubist painter they will be emulating in their upcoming challenge. Grandmothers for Africa will raise funds for relief efforts by selling ethnic jewelry and accessories. SOAP Theatre allows visitors to tiptoe behind the scenes in their rehearsal space. The public can view sets and costumes up close, and meet actors from recent productions. 

Folk-rock duo Badgentina (aka Stephen and Lisa Toon) will add an upbeat vibe during the middle of the day. Bounce Radio 1240 will broadcast on site. Shutterbugs can capture the moment with the set of colourful quirky quail frames and props.   

All artists are members of the Oliver Community Arts Council – the organizers behind this colourful re-opening. The arts council will be promoting their CreateAbility program, summer’s Music in the Park, and the Fall Art Show and Sale. Handbills, entry forms, and memberships will be available. Those interested in renting the renovated facility can tour the site’s amenities and view a large-screen slideshow of their many activities. Door prizes include wine, handicrafts, ticket giveaways, and décor items. 

The open house welcomes visitors to 5840 Airport Street. Public parking is available on the north side of Big Blue. 

During the pandemic, the arts council received BC Arts Council funding to bolster arts and culture resilience. Last year, this funding was shared across a dozen community projects. For the open house, Oliver’s arts council is grateful to the Ross Fitzpatrick Family Fund and the province of B.C. For more information, visit OliverArtsCouncil.org.  

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