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HeART Walk 2022 a regional effort

Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Fort Nelson and Hudson’s Hope will be taking part in HeART Walk this year, bringing local artists together to create art installations for their communities.  

Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Fort Nelson and Hudson’s Hope will be taking part in HeART Walk this year, bringing local artists together to create art installations for their communities.  

Haley Bassett, executive director for the Peace Liard Regional Arts Council, says she’s excited to see fellow arts councils from across Northeast B.C. take part, making it a truly regional effort this year.  

“It’s quite the ambitious project this year. Fort Nelson and Hudson’s Hope are new on the roster this year, it’s definitely coming together and there’s a lot of artists who’ve applied already. So, we’re just ironing out who goes where,” she said. “Roughly 40 artists are what we’re going for, and it’s a team effort between the Dawson Creek Art Gallery and all of the community arts councils.”  

“There’s a lot of collaboration – it’s good for artists, it’s good for the community, and it’s good for businesses,” Bassett added.   

The Fort St. John Arts Council, the Chetwynd Community Arts Council, the Northern Rockies Regional Arts Council, and the recently formed Peace Valley Arts Council in Hudson’s Hope, are all bringing artists together for the project.  

Chetwynd Community Arts Council president Tiffanee Griffiths says it’s great timing for the initiative, with a legacy art installation having just been finished for the town’s medical clinic.

“We’ve been working on the art atrium for the past couple of years, so the first one we gifted to the district office, that was a new building. Our medical clinic is pretty new as well, and so we did try about two years ago to do a call-out for artists and then the pandemic happened,” she said. “By early 2021 we finally got the call out.”

Local artists gifted works of art to the clinic, with the pieces becoming permanent fixtures in the atrium. The arts council even purchased supplies for the artists to work with, completing their pieces over an eight-month period.  

“Our council decided this time around we would purchase really nice, high-quality easels, paints, brushes, in whatever medium of the artists’ choosing and ask them to make something for our medical frontline heroes,” said Griffiths.  

Griffiths said the art community is starting to become more active again after somewhat of a hiatus over the COVID-19 pandemic. A world-record breaking event is planned for the fall, inviting 500 artists for a painting party in Spirit Park.  

“Since the pandemic’s been lifted, it’s been full force ahead – all of these projects we’ve been sitting on,” she said.  

Griffiths added that artists really need face-to-face time to build off of each other’s creative energy.  

Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative.  

Got a story or opinion? Email Tom at tsummer@ahnfsj.ca