Following on the heels of 2014 Westside Culture Days, I assembled a group of dynamic individuals and created an arts council with a business foundation of position descriptions, committees and business plan. Our strength was grassroots active involvement in the community through projects and programs.
2016 was our second year being nominated and short listed for Key Business Awards through the Greater Westside Board of Trade.
It was through my involvement and passion for SWAC that I met some incredible people, and led to my attending the En’owkin Centre to learn the Okanagan language and Indigenous Studies.
2015 – 2016 Suk’wtemsqilx’w West Kelowna Arts Council (SWAC) as Chair:
- Developed Public Art Policy for City of West Kelowna through Arts Council
- Developed Policy and 5 year MOU between SWAC and Skyway at Kelowna International Airport
- Created connections with two major First Nation entities, En’owkin Centre and Okanagan Nation Alliance
- Signed MOU regarding cultural protocols between Westbank First Nation and Suk’wtemsqilx’w West Kelowna Arts Council
- Researched Best Practices and liaised with three different government jurisdictions to further cultural actions: Kelowna, West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation
- Researched Best Practices and liaised with three governmental levels for further cultural developement: Federal, Provincial, Municipal
- Writing weekly press articles supporting community projects
- Wrote business proposal and standards for businesses requesting artist works in business
- Wrote 10 year business plan, policy and procedures for the Arts Council
- Led and developed strategic plan for Arts Council with ten others
About Suk’wtemsqilx’w West Kelowna Arts Council (SWAC)
Suk’wtemsqilx’w West Kelowna Arts Council (SWAC) supports both Indigenous and non Indigenous artists and cultural bodies within and surrounding the City of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation in Okanagan BC, also referred to as the Westside. We are interconnected, with both communities weaving in and out of land, business and home.
Suk’wtemsqilx’w West Kelowna Arts Council is an incorporated society under the BC Society’s Act. This arts council followed on the heels of the 2014 Westside Culture Days where the artists in the community were canvased to find out if this council was needed. It was supported from the grass roots. Our strength came from the projects created in the community by our members.
Our leadership includes a strong board composed of 9 artists and business people, and is supported by two ex officios: the Recreation and Culture Manager from the City of West Kelowna and Operations Manager of Sncǝwips Heritage Museum of Westbank First Nation.
I was privileged to lead a dynamic group from inception (2014) to January 2017. Some of these tangible accomplishments are:
- YLW Airport Kiosk gained in 2015 through our inaugural presentation of our business plan at the local Chamber of Commerce, Greater Westside Board of Trade which impressed the Kelowna Airport manager with our focus on business and Indigenous partnerships and creative commerce.
- Westside Culture Days Provincial Launch gained in 2015 for 2016 through our activities both before and after our incorporation as a Society.
- Partnerships gained for our local artists with businesses such as West Kelowna Yacht Club, Westbank Lion’s, TD/Canada Trust, Royal Bank and many local businesses.