The Making of an Art Show

What does it take to put on an art show you ask?  The Blind Bay Painters have hosted their annual art show every year for about 50 years now and while many groups struggle to find volunteers to put on events and activities, there is no shortage of artist volunteers to assist in the making of the Blind Bay Painters Art Show and Sale.   The 30+ artists work throughout the year finessing their art getting paintings ready for the once a year event.  But putting on an art show requires different skills; it requires leadership, organization, work ethic, and teamwork.    We are thankful to the great leadership we have had over the years,  for leading the group in sometimes difficult situations such as the prior year flooding in the hall.  While this may have stopped some groups, we all strongly advocated that “the show must go on” and we were right!  It was one of the best years for visitors and sales, we have had.   While last year it was simplified to the upper level of the hall to workaround this problem, this year we have a renovated gallery and both levels to enjoy for our now 3 day show!

A month or two before the art show begins, all the planning occurs.  Decisions are made at meetings with all members about show content, times, payment processes, advertising, group projects, themes, prizes to be awarded, etc.  Instructions and procedures are fine tuned, posters are made and distributed, and on the day prior to the art show, there is excitement in the air as paintings are brought in and registered, art is hung, flowers are arranged, food is refrigerated, and the artists are all doing their pre-volunteered jobs to prepare!

During the show, artists take shifts greeting guests, and assisting visitors, managing sales, and helping in the kitchen offering beverages/snacks. Voting slips are handed out to determine which painting will become this year’s people’s choice award.  Door prizes are shown and draws are made on the final day to determine winners.

At the end of the show, all the artists come together again, to collect their unsold artwork, help out with cleaning the hall and to give our final hugs of the summer, to our friends that we hope to see again in September.   It’s a day of pride, for an event that we have all come to love, and we all know could not be done without everyones help and participation.

So what does it take to put on an art show, you ask?  For us, it takes a willingness to step up and do what needs to be done, even if it’s outside our comfort zone.  It’s knowing that an art show doesn’t just happen, it takes lots of work and cooperation.  And it’s an appreciation to everyone for all their efforts, so that we all can benefit from a community event that brings people together!




Blind Bay Painters’ Annual Art Show and Sale


The Blind Bay Painters are hosting their annual art show and sale during the Canada Day weekend! The artwork varies in size, medium, and styles, so there is something for everyone.  The Reedman Gallery, within the Blind Bay Hall, will house original artwork not seen before!  There are handmade boutique items from the artists, as well as jewelry, scarves, prints, cards; and free goodies with beverages to enjoy as you explore the eclectic variety of artwork.  And our popular group project this year is called “Development of the Shuswap”.  Come see what that’s all about!  There will be door prizes and we’d love to hear your voice by placing a vote on your favourite piece of artwork!

The Blind Bay Memorial Hall is just a nice stroll from the Centennial field and is air-conditioned, great opportunity to take a break from the hustle and relax in the cool surroundings filled with beautiful art.    Pop on down to the Blind Bay Memorial hall and if you have visitors during the Canada Day celebrations, encourage them to explore all the arts that Blind Bay and Shuswap area has to offer!

New Vision for the Thompson Nicola Shuswap Chapter

New Vision for the Thompson Nicola Shuswap Chapter

The annual general meeting for the Thompson Nicola Shuswap Chapter (TNSC) of the Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) was held at the Blind Bay Memorial Hall on Tuesday, March 12th.  The new President, Mairi Budreau was confirmed and past President Cathie Peters will continue on as Treasurer.  Mairi, along with the chapter members thanked Cathie and Sandy for all their efforts over the years.  Their dedication and hard work is appreciated.

Once the business of the meeting was done, the members shared a critiquing session of any art that artists wished to have reviewed.  Artists are often nervous about having their art critiqued, but soon find the value of having other artists evaluate and offer advice, far outweighed the initial hesitation.  You learn so much, not only when your own art is being reviewed, but with all other critiques, on how to have a critical eye in the future for your own work in progress.

Deb Milner-Lively then did a demo of a streetscape for the Blind Bay Painters that amazed the crowd as usual and there are several signed up for her workshop right here in Blind Bay Hall in September.

I’ve had a chance to ask Mairi, the new president, if she would mind sharing her insights and vision of the TNSC with Art in the Shuswap.  Here were a few questions we posed for her, and her responses.

You recently became the new President of the TNSC of the FCA. Can you tell me a bit about the goals of the chapter and the vision you have as the new President? 


Thank you for sharing the TNSC with your readers! It is an honour to serve the pursuits of fellow artists.
The short-term goals of the chapter are to build up the number of members by offering extra support for artistic ambition, goals and dreams. One way is providing a membership card that has discounts for art supplies, another is  hosting a third annual show to give supporting membersexhibition experience, another is to host that annual show in the Shuswap and to hold more general meetings in the Shuswap. Some of these goals are already in place some are in progress.

Long term goals are branching out the membership to Merritt and Barrier because artists in outlying areas can feel isolated and would benefit from camaraderie and support and opportunities to learn and exhibit.

My vision for the chapter in addition to expansion, is to provide inspiration that feeds the hunger to gain skills, to nurture the experiences, challenges, rejections, successes and goals, big or small, that artists encounter; a more personal approach because artists are sensitive and often-times, loners.

As members of the Federation of Canadian Artists founded by Lawren Harris of the Group of Seven, we are in essence an extension of the Group of Seven’s vision of artists in Canada shaped by the land we live upon.

What area does the TNSC chapter cover and if you are an artist who is interested in becoming a member, how do you begin?


The area of our reach is broad and it’s in our name Thompson Nicola Shuswap (and beyond!)

There are many benefits of membership like discounts on workshop fees, receiving Art Avenue magazine, exposure in a national organization, exhibition privileges and more that is explained on the website.
To become a member I suggest to first go to the hub of our activity, the website. From there, you can join online  

Or be a welcomed guest at a meeting and connect with fellow artists, see how we critique artwork, watch the demo or guest speaker and see if we are a good fit for you.  Artists can sign up at a meeting. We accept credit card, debit, cash and e-trans.

Or email the  Trish House will fill in the brief application form for you and accept payment by credit card over the phone and e-trans.

TNSC Membership is $20 per year.  $50 per year membership fee to FCA as well.

Are there ways to participate in the arts through the chapter, if you are not an artist but an art lover?


Indeed there are! Art lovers can volunteer at shows, events, and fundraisers. Donations are welcomed and appreciated to offset the expense of shows, venues, instructors, and outreach to our expansive area of artists.
Sponsoring show awards is another meaningful way to participate. There is a donation page on the website.
We are still building our Board of Directors so putting administrative skills to use is highly valued by the Chapter.

If you have any questions about the TNSC feel free to contact Mairi Budreau by email president@tnsc.caor visit the website