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Arts & Culture

Supporting Abbotsford Creators

April 30, 2020

As we round out our first full month of social distancing, many of us have adjusted to the new normal. Happy hours on Zoom, workouts in the living room, and birthday parties in the driveway have started to feel a little less bizarre with each passing day. The ways we consume arts and culture have changed, too. Some of us are reading more than ever and taking in virtual museum exhibitions we wouldn’t have had time for in the past. Others are mourning the loss of live concerts or jam nights and the closing of art galleries. We’ve spent the past month connecting with local Abbotsford creators in the hopes that we could get their work out to a larger audience and increase the support of the local arts and culture scene during this trying time. Read on to find out more about our creators and where you can find their work.

Musicians

Abbotsford is emerging as a popular spot for up and coming musicians. With live sessions happening at local restaurants and breweries almost every night of the week, as well as popular events like Jam in Jubilee, there is no shortage of amazing singers and songwriters in our cultivated city. Unfortunately, live in-person performances have had to press pause for the time being and musicians are finding new ways to bring their music to the masses.

Ryan McAllister released his latest album this month (find it on your favourite platform) and has been putting on some amazing live-streamed performances.

Greg Neufeld and Kyler Pierce have also been taking part in some fun live-streamed shows, even collaborating with local charities to raise money for the performances.

Need something new for your quarantine playlist? Check out Teen Daze and The Restless Willing on Spotify or Apple Music!

(Photo of Kyler Pierce by Robyn Bessenger)

Authors

Like many of us, you may be finding yourself with some extra time to tackle the books you’ve been meaning to read. Or maybe you just need a break from Netflix. Either way, Abbotsford is home to some great authors and we’ve rounded up a few to add to your reading list or suggest for your next Zoom book club.

Chad Reimer’s Before We Lost the Lake examines the natural history and ecology of Sumas Lake, its occupation and use by the Sema:th and other First Nations, its colonization by White immigrants, the environmental changes brought about by introduced plants and animals, and the campaign to drain it.

Seamus Heffernan has returned with a follow up to his acclaimed crime fiction novel Napalm Hearts with Ten Grand. The sequel follows private detective Thaddeus Grayle as he takes on a high stakes case of a missing wealthy banker in the underworld of London.

Need something for the kids? Check out Roxi the Rescue Dog Helps the Elephants by author Carolyn Drew and illustrator Debi Pirie. This colourful story tells the tale about a rescue dog who helps save other animals. A heart-warming tale!

(Seamus Heffernan)

Artists

Many Abbotsford artists have been busy in their studios, using their art as a way to escape the uncertainty of our current situation. Although galleries and events such as the Downtown Wine and Art Walk have been put on hold for now, artists are finding ways to showcase their work through social media channels and art exhibitions that have been moved online.

Contemporary artist Linda Klippenstien has used this time to focus on art exploration and has debuted a number of new pieces on her Instagram featuring light and bright floral paintings, perfect for spring.

Abstract painter Joy Kinna has been busy in her studio working on commissioned pieces as well as selling her current collection on her website. Freshen up your space with a new piece that can be delivered locally, shipped or picked up contact free!

The beauty of the Fraser Valley inspires Nina Kroeker and that comes through in her paintings. Missing mountain adventures? Snag one of her gorgeous painted mountain scenes to bring the joy of exploring inside.

Kaitlyn Felske, artist and owner of Lily and Ollie Design specializes in fiber, paint and illustrations. Her Etsy shop is currently on pause, but she is creating embroidery kits that will allow you to learn from home and is also open to custom orders!

Looking for some ceramics? Dave Dobie of Pottery by Dave creates one-of-a-kind mugs, bowls, vases and more. Check out his website for where to buy or how to order online and browse his Instagram pages for tons of great behind the scenes videos of his process.

Other local artists are encouraged to check out the ‘Unprecedented Times’ project. A joint initiative of the Reach Gallery Museum and the Abbotsford Arts Council, they will be partnering together this summer to offer local artists paid opportunities to share their work with the public. Artists are invited to submit proposals for artwork that will be showcased through a suite of online digital presentations. Selected artists will receive fees for their participation. Find out more at www.thereach.ca/athome and www.abbotsfordartscouncil.com

(Joy Kinna)