Celebrate the arts at the New West Cultural Crawl

The 16th annual event is back and bigger than ever, Aug. 10 and 11 at venues around the city

For artists, it’s a chance to connect with people who might otherwise never see their art. For residents, it’s a chance to discover the artistic talent that’s quietly thriving all over the city. For visitors, it’s a reason to take a jaunt to New Westminster.

Whichever group you fall into, you’ll find a good reason to support the New Westminster Cultural Crawl. The 16th annual event is on Saturday, Aug. 10 and Sunday, Aug. 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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“I’m psyched for this one,” said Karen Justice, the gallery coordinator for the Arts Council of New Westminster.

The arts council presents the event in partnership with Van Dop and Associates. What began as a small “art walk” organized by Van Dop Gallery owner Trudy Van Dop has now become a giant citywide event spanning all the city’s neighbourhoods, with individual artists and art groups showing their work at studios, galleries and other venues.

Art lovers can pick up a brochure with a map of all the locations and visit as many of them as they like on Crawl weekend.

“It’s good way to connect and meet the creators in person,” Justice said. “It’s good exposure for those artists. I like it because it’s such a mixture of more experienced and emerging artists; that’s one of the things I really like about the Crawl.”

The Crawl kicks off with an opening night reception on Friday, Aug. 9 at 100 Braid Street Studios, running from 6 to 9 p.m. You can mix and mingle among the art (yes, there’s a cash bar) and plan out your route for the following two days.

This year’s Crawl features many established venues, including Van Dop Gallery, Plaskett Gallery, Amelia Douglas Gallery and the Gallery at Queen’s Park.

It also features some new highlights, including the New West Artists’ new gallery on 12th Street and the recently expanded 100 Braid Street – where owner Susan L. Greig has opened an entire second floor of artists’ studios.

“Braid Street has so many artists participating, with Susan’s expansion to the upstairs of the building,” Justice says. “It’s just a phenomenal number of people. It’s sort of like the Parker Street of East Van’s Cultural Crawl – people can go to one location and see a lot of different mediums and different artists.”

The Crawl also features some less traditional venues, such as Cap’s Bicycle Shop and Museum in Sapperton and Steel & Oak Brewing Co., where visitors can stop for a beer amidst the art.

It also incorporates a number of special events, including a walk-and-talk tour of Margaret Halsey’s east end “dog fence,” an Inter/Action artist talk at The Gallery at Queen’s Park, the first in this year’s OpenStage New West series, and an exhibition opening for a new show at the Anvil Centre Community Artspace. (See details in sidebar at end.)

Artists in the Boro is also returning with its annual favourite, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in the Port Royal Community Garden, which features live music, kids’ art activities and hat-making along with tea and goodies.

Also happening in conjunction with the Crawl is PechaKucha New West Vol. 23 – the Pride edition, which is happening Saturday evening and serves as a kickoff for New West Pride week.

The whole idea, Justice notes, is to bring artists together – across mediums, across genres, across disciplines.

“Artists can be a little bit isolated without that community, without those connections,” she said.

The end result, she said, is a win not just for the artists but for those who have a chance to experience their work.

“There’s always something new that surprises me about the human imagination; it just gets stretched and expanded,” she said. “That’s something to celebrate.”

For a brochure and full details, see https://newwestculturalcrawl.com/





Fence Walk and Talk, 1 to 2 p.m.: Meet at 335 East Sixth Ave. and 805 Cherry St. to meet Margaret Halsey, the artist who created the fence bearing portraits of dogs and cats.

PechaKucha New West Vol. 23, 7 to 10 p.m.: Turn up at Massey Theatre, 735 Eighth Ave., for this kick-off to New West Pride. Tickets $10 (plus service charge). Info: www.masseytheatre.com.



Fence Walk and Talk, 1 to 2 p.m.: Meet at 335 East Sixth Ave. and 805 Cherry St. to meet Margaret Halsey, the artist who created the fence bearing portraits of dogs and cats.

OpenStage New West, noon to 4 p.m.: Stop by the Queen’s Park bandshell for performances by local emerging artists, an open mic and a chance to take part in family-friendly hands-on art activities.

Inter/Action with Annette Nieukerk, 3 to 4 p.m.: Stop by the Gallery at Queen’s Park for this talk with Nieukerk, whose work is on display in Allegory and Grace.

Exhibition opening: Identity, 6 to 8 p.m.: Drop in to the Anvil Centre Community Art Space (third floor, 777 Columbia St.) for the opening of this new exhibition showcasing work from Clarissa Argueta, Eden Fine Day and P.J. Patten.

(For complete and up-to-date event info, see www.newwestculturalcrawl.com.)



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