Celebrating Canada’s emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival will bring a 98-square-foot outdoor mural in collaboration with Kwantlen First Nation.
Members of the public, too, will be able to participate in the collaborative ‘paint by number’ art mural, which will be a centrepiece at the festival on July 23 and 24.
“The mural is a way to have the community come together in-person to create a collaborative piece that reflects the theme of reflection, recovery and rejuvenation,” said festival co-founder and artistic director Dave Quinn.
“We invite everyone to join us in the painting of this beautiful symbolic mural.”
The artwork will be based on a design by two Kwantlen First Nation artists – Elinor Atkins, whose traditional name is Miməwqθelət which translates to “the first bird to sing in the morning,” and Noah Atkins, whose traditional name is Ncwaʕ, a very old name and held very close to the Joe family. It belonged to Noah’s maternal great great grandfather, born in 1818 and died in 1916.
Ncwaʕ was the Chief of Shackan – the land of many small rocks.
The two Indigenous artists are brother and sister, who were selected via a call for Kwantlen First Nation artist submissions. While the two artists will be leading the painting session, members of the public will be able to follow along and get a firsthand experience of painting a mural. The painting supplies will be provided by the organizers.
“As a big sister, it is an honour to collaborate with my brother on something beautiful to share with all of those on our unceded territories. It is also a wonderful opportunity for us to practise the traditional inter-generational transfer of knowledge and it is a way that us as Kwantlen youth can engage with the surrounding community and share a little bit about us as Kwantlen people,” said Atkins.
As live musical events return and local businesses take a fresh breath after two long COVID years, it is time to acknowledge those who overcame adversities and managed to entertain communities.
For one such honour, the Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival has been nominated for the 2022 Canadian Live Music Industry Awards (CLMA). The local organization will compete nationwide for the overcoming adversity award.
The CLMA awards will celebrate the live music sector in Canada across 19 categories.
“It is an incredible and long-awaited reunion of a community so badly impacted by COVID-19,” said Karen Zukas
She also encouraged industry members to cast their votes for the CLMA voting categories by visiting cmw.net.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced live music events to shut down, the festival continued with its first live-stream format in 2020 and then a hybrid event in 2021.
“It was a challenge, but we were thrilled to be able to continue to offer jazz fans and our community performances featuring local and established jazz artists and emerging talent,” said Zukas.
“We took our learning from these new formats and produced two comprehensive resource guides on how to host a virtual festival with support from CreativeBC. We were delighted to share the guides with other music festivals and non-profit arts organizations across Canada,” she continued.
Zukas further thanked sponsors, performers, artists and volunteers for their support.
“It is because of our community that we are able to explore, learn and expand the festival each year and offer world-class performances and events for jazz fans from around the world.”
For this year, the organizers are all set to come back with full in-person programs, offering more than 60 bands across eight stages, art installations, Kwantlen art & cultural exhibition, a kids zone and more around the entire community.
For more information, people can visit fortlangleyjazzfest.com.