A modified Castlegar Sculpturewalk is set to go ahead this year in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
Sculpturewalk executive director Joy Barrett said there will be a number of changes made to the event to meet physical distance safety requirements.
Those include cancelling the event’s opening gala on May 16 and introducing the exhibit online, having additional spacing between each sculpture exhibit, creating new physical distance signage along the route and having stickers direct walkers one way.
Barrett said the current layout of Sculpturewalk helps to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.
“When you see people going around Sculpturewalk generally, its not usually big crowds,” said Barrett. “It’s usually just small families with three or four people wandering around on their own.”
Each year, the people’s choice award is given out to the artist who receives the most votes for their sculpture. The City of Castlegar then purchases the sculpture to add to its growing artwork collection.
Barrett said organizers are also looking at the best way to implement online voting this year.
“We will probably be working with QR codes and/or have website voting,” said Barrett.
“However, we don’t want this to turn into an online popularity contest where artists with the most social media followers get the most votes.”
Since the events takes place for an entire year, Barrett said people can wait a couple months to see the sculptures if they are concerned about the current COVID-19 risk.
By having a modified Sculpturewalk, Barrett said artists will receive the financial support they need to continue pursuing their work.
“So much of our funding from the sponsorships, sales and leases go directly to the artists, which is one reason why we really want to push ahead,” said Barrett.
“All of the artists receive honorariums and 70 per cent of any sale or lease. This is a really important source of revenue for them and if we cancelled, that would be a big financial hit to them.”
There will be 30 different sculpture pieces as part of the 2020-2021 event.
To learn more about the event, visit the Castlegar Sculpturewalk website.