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Castlegar gaining national attention for local program

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
May 14th, 2014

It seems Castlegar has a national celebrity in its midst … but our rising star is a program, not a person.

Castlegar SculptureWalk was featured today in a Globe and Mail story written by Marsha Lederman (click here to read it), whose interest was tweaked by Burnaby-based artist Ron Simmer’s What the Nose Knows.

SculptureWalk executive director Joy Barrett says this kind of attention is heady stuff, indeed.

“It shows how we’re really beginning to go national, if not international,” she said, adding they get submissions from around the world, including an entry this year called Dreamer by Belgian artist Rik Beuselinck, sponsored by Ernie’s Used Auto Parts.

“People are starting to take notice of Castlegar as the Sculpture Capital of Canada,” she said, adding that trademark took years to secure and was only recently awarded to our city. “It has only been five years, and Castlegar now has more than 50 sculptures.”

This years SculptureWalk offering includes 32 new sculptures (a record for the program), all of which were placed last Saturday. Barrett said that within a week, there will be roughly 10,000 brochures with the route map and ballots for voting on your favourite artwork. They’ll be available at City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Centre, and in ballot boxes all along the route.

Barrett said the program is incredibly important to Castlegar, drawing national and international tourism and attention to our Happily Ever After (the city’s tagline), but also attracting foot traffic and activity to a downtown core that was previously, in Barrett’s words, “a dead zone”, thus ultimately injecting vibrancy and energy into the Castlegar experience.

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