Music, dance and art workshops will be available as the fourth annual Youth Arts Festival opens next week in Nelson, Trail and Rossland.
The festival, which runs from Feb. 13 to 20 at local venues including the Nelson and District Youth Centre and Oxygen Art Centre, is a combination of arts events meant to encourage and celebrate youth talent.
This year’s festival features an all ages Dance Cypher, taking place on Feb. 14 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the youth centre. Come bust some new or old moves in the all ages all styles cypher, with dancers and MC’s present from the Nelson, Trail and Rossland youth dance community, and featuring DJ Ripple! This event is free and open to the public to participate or observe.
On Feb. 15 from 7 to 10 p.m., local musicians Evan Kinsella, Darnell Wolfe, Mike Meaney and more perform at the Backstage Lounge and Open Mic Night. This is a drop-in open mic event for youth aged 15 to 29, so bring your instruments! The night will also include the signature collective drawing tables, the famous pin making machine and tasty eats. This is a free event, taking place at Oxygen Art Centre.
The Ouro Collective performs Tangent at the Capital Theatre on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. with special guest performances by Dance Fusion youth dancers. Tickets are $5 for youth and students and $10 for adults. Buy tickets online at capitoltheatre.bc.ca. The Ouro Collective will also be teaching a number of hip-hop workshops, hosted at various dance centres in the Kootenays.
Throughout the festival, creative workshops and other activities will be happening around the Kootenay community. Oxygen Art Centre will host an evening of life drawing with music; a guitar workshop preceding the backstage lounge; an artist trading card workshop; as well as a portfolio development workshop for those who are thinking about applying to art school or wanting to start exhibiting their work! These events are all free and open to youth aged 15 to 29.
The goals of the Youth Arts Festival are to encourage youth to pursue their artistic talents and interests, and those of their peers in a professional and meaningful way that can be celebrated by the community at large though attendance at the all-ages events.
The festival also provides mentorship and workshops that develop skills, educate and inform youth about professional art practices. Everyone is invited to come out and support this important programming initiative and celebrate youth arts culture in our communities!