It’s been another exciting year for the Winding Rivers Arts & Performance Society (WRAPS), with multiple concerts, two plays, the annual Plein Air paint-out, and two events—RAWK Camp and the Fine and Dramatic Arts Camp—aimed at introducing the arts to younger members of the community.
As always, the music covered a wide range of genres and styles, and took place indoors and out in Ashcroft and Cache Creek. Music in the Park continues to attract a devoted following; and what better way to spend a summer evening than sitting outdoors at the Heritage Park in Ashcroft, listening to live music, as the occasional train trundles past?!
WRAPS was able to stage two plays this year, starting with the one-woman show Shirley Valentine, starring Spences Bridge dynamo Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan in a play that is by turns hilarious and heart-breaking, while fall 2016 saw the WRAPS repertory company stage the classic black comedy Arsenic and Old Lace. Both shows played to large, appreciative audiences who demonstrated yet again that there is a huge love for live theatre in the community.
The fifth annual Plein Air paint-out saw nearly 50 artists descend on the area to paint it in all its glory; and it is always wonderful to see how outsiders interpret our landscape, which can be daunting. “For the strong eye only” is how writer Bruce Hutchison described the landscape around Ashcroft; and year after year, the artists who come here show us that landscape through fresh eyes, sometimes in ways that inspire us to look at our surroundings in a new way.
RAWK Camp was a new departure for WRAPS, allowing participants to unleash their inner rock star and see what it takes to create and make music, then perform it before a live audience. The Fine and Dramatic Arts Camp was once again popular, allowing children and youth to engage with local artists and musicians to explore art, music, theatre, and more.
All of this could not be accomplished without the generous support of organizations such as United Way, the Government of B.C., AG Foods (Safety Mart), and the Village of Ashcroft. This year WRAPS was also privileged to receive generous donations from Ashcroft resident Esther Darlington, and Christopher and Jackie Berkey (via the Christian Labour Association of Canada).
WRAPS would not—could not—exist without the help and support of all the dedicated volunteers who bring these events to life. Whether it’s taking centre stage in a play, or designing and building the stage the actors work on, or making and serving refreshments between acts of the play; or setting up and taking down the lights and sound for a concert; or organising and running an arts camp or Plein Air event: it all takes hundreds of hours of work, which dozens of people are willing to do because it brings pleasure to many.
And of course the events would be nothing without the hundreds of people who come out to support the music, theatre, art, and more. Thank you to everyone who came out and made all the hard work worthwhile.
The directors of WRAPS would like to wish everyone a happy, safe, and prosperous 2017. See you at the show!