Top Arts & Entertainment stories from January to June 2023

A selection of the top art stories from the first half of 2023.


26 – Artist find spiritual healing through painting

As a residential school survivor, Daniel Rafael‘s art was all black and full of angry scribbles.

“I was angry, and I couldn’t understand why I was angry,” said Rafael, who lives in 70 Mile House.

Nowadays, the indigenous artist uses vibrant oranges, fiery reds and brilliant yellows, the colours of sunsets and nature surrounding cultural symbols like eagles, orcas and ravens.

Art was a big factor in the self-taught artist’s healing as it has always been a part of his culture. One of his grandfathers used to carve and showed Rafael how to do it too. He learns from everything, even his mistakes.

Somewhere along his journey, his art took off and he considered attending Emily Carr as other Indigenous artists have done, but he said it was too expensive. “I know my artwork is worth a lot of money but I’m not interested. I’m retired.”


9 – PSO tour band prepares for Whistler concert

Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s tour band practiced for the Whistler Music Festival.

Band teacher Jasmine O’Leary said they had 30 students ready to travel to Whistler which gave a bit more motivation for perfecting the pieces of music.

Liam Guimond was excited to go to Whistler, as this was the first time they would have gone out of town to play music. He added this was the biggest band they’d had since the start of the pandemic.

O’Leary said it was difficult during COVID to motivate her band students, something that had changed this year.

“I definitely try to pick music that’s enjoyable for them to play and have different challenges within so they can develop different skills,” O’Leary said. “That includes their musicality, their expression, their tone and their intonation. I always want to pick something that’s a little rhythmically challenging as well.”

23 -Artist Inspired by Nature in latest exhibit

Artist Bonita Forsyth washes away her mistakes as she did a cougar in a piece she was working on. While she enjoyed the look of it the image did not fit the vision she had of the painting.

“They’re not all perfect and sometimes they don’t even look good but I can see the finished product. So I know I can keep going with that and it’s going to work. But yes, I have those times when I like to wash it away.”

Her show, “Inspired by Nature” was on display at Parkside Gallery from Feb. 24 to March 25.

Part of that inspiration came from living in Lac La Hache. There are so many places and so much wildlife in the area, she said.

“I can just go up into my studio, put on some music, grab my paintbrush and have my subject researched, position and habits sketched out,” she said.


2 – Photographer shares Cariboo’s soul in new book

After three years spent capturing the soul of the Cariboo, photographer Neil Jolly shared his work in his debut book, Gone Cariboo.

He said the area is very picturesque with the old log cabins and old farm equipment all over the place. He had taken thousands of photos of his new home, noting that the weather conditions here make for great landscape photography.

After renting an old cabin on the ranch of his friend, Lyle Wilson, he fell in love with the peace and beauty of the area and decided to move here permanently with his dog, Frodo and horse Jackson.

As he got to know the ranch his photographs improved as he got to know the land and get got a feel for the soul of the place.

9 – PSO student turns Capstone into screenplay

Grade 12 student Garrett Nash loved well-written stories so much he decided to try his hand at creating a 40-page screenplay for a short film for his Grade 12 Capstone project.

He said he’s wanted to write books since he was a child, noting he’d been inspired by books like the Hardy Boys and movies such as Enders Game.

His screenplay told the story of a man named Gene, who got the cops on his tail after a dispute with friends and he winds up in a car crash, injuring three people. The rest of the story sees Gene atoning for his actions and fixing the mistakes he’s made.

Nash said he intended to make writing his career and after graduation plans to study journalism at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, saying that he sees journalism as a stepping stone as it’s writing about real stories.


20 – Capturing a person’s essence in graphite

Figure drawing is arguably one of the oldest art forms on the planet and local artist Patsy Granberg said it’s one of the most reliable ways to grow and improve as an artist.

She said it’s about hand coordination and is super relaxing. It can be quite gratifying to find a likeness and something you feel good about in the end. The artist has attended life drawing classes for 35 years but said she still hasn’t mastered it.

Granberg said she was told many years ago that lots of short drawings improve your abilities more than sitting and drawing for four hours.

When she sketches someone, either nude or clothed, she focuses on their face, hands and feet. She found hands can especially be very expressive and give a lot of emotion to a drawing.

Granberg said that while most of her sketches end up starting fires, she considers a class a success if she walks away with at least four she likes.

27 – Local artist shares love for wood burning

100 Mile House artist Lisa Haerttrich discovered her love for pyrography, or wood-burning, during the COVID-19 lockdown. She began it as a way to keep busy, but it became the focus of her art for the past three years.

When starting a piece she spends a lot of time looking at the wood and tends to sketch out her drawing making sure it’s perfect as once the wood is burnt there is no going back.

She also enjoyed picking the right pieces of wood to sand down and oil. The burnt design stands out on a nice piece of varnished wood.

Haerttrich has done approximately 50 pieces and experimented with wood-burning clocks, small poster pieces, and walking sticks.


25 – Bathroom murals inspire at Mile 108 Elementary

The bathroom stall doors in the boys’ and girls’ washrooms at Mile 108 Elementary were painted with a variety of murals incorporating inspirational sayings.

Andrea Taylor, president of the Mile 108 Elementary school parent advisory committee, said they felt the message of these art murals was harmonious with the school district school district’s core operating values which are respect, responsibility, kindness, caring and acceptance.

She was inspired by similar murals she saw on the stall doors at Horse Lake School back in 2021.

It took a bit of work to get approval for the project, she said, adding that Mark Doolan, then principal of Mile 108, was instrumental in getting the murals approved.

Joanne Young and Elisha Campbell painted the murals. Taylor said they were blown away by what the two artists came up with.


29 – Dancers showcase their grace, skills at year-end show

Hundreds of South Cariboo boys and girls showed off their dancing skills at Raising the Barre Academy of Dance’s first annual year-end show.

This was a chance for students to demonstrate what they learned said Jelina McLean who founded the studio last year and said she was incredibly proud of how much her students have grown over the year.

Dance has proven popular in the community and they have over 200 students.

McLean said all of the classes from those under the age of five to adults performed at least one dance including ballet, hip-hop, interpretive, and acrobatic with several students taking multiple classes.

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