Rossland Council for Arts & Culture turns 20!

The Rossland Council for Arts and Culture (RCAC) celebrates its 20th anniversary this year! RCAC_celebrate_20_yearsThe organization was formed in 1998 by a group of artists and interested residents who saw the need to form an organization to promote arts and culture in Rossland. The founding members were Mary-Ann Kelly, Amber Hayes, Renate Fleming, David Livingstone, Amber Salerno, and Louise Drescher.

It was identified early on that there was a need for an arts facility that could accommodate performances, coffee houses, gallery and/or studio spaces and possibly an arts administration office. The historic Miners Union Hall was identified as the building that could be developed to meet some of these needs. In the first 10 years, the RCAC undertook to facilitate many improvements to the Miners’ Hall which included purchasing equipment, updating acoustics, and generally improving the space. Over the last 10 years the vision of creating a useable space in the attic came to fruition. This was done in collaboration with the City of Rossland as part of a larger upgrade to the Miners’ Hall.

During the early days the RCAC supported the Firehall and Rouge Galleries. The group worked hard to become accredited with the BC Arts Council, which then allowed them to access more funding and expand its programs. This has allowed them to fulfil their mandate to support the development and promotion of community artists, to provide the community of Rossland with opportunities to increase their experience of the arts through presentations, exhibitions, workshops and performances. The arts council has been successful in fulfilling this mandate through the various programs that it administers.

RCAC’s youth programming was started over 10 years ago with the Under 19 Film Festival which has been very successful and has now evolved to allow youth to explore various skills in the process of film making and other digital media arts.

For more than 13 years the RCAC has hosted its annual Performance Series. The performances are based on artistic excellence and professionalism with a variety of musical genres to appeal to a diverse audience. The RCAC continues to develop a broader audience for live theatre and comedy. Improv and 1-2 person plays have been successful gateway performances. This series continues to be a popular and well known program of the RCAC.
The public art program has been an exciting expansion for the RCAC. The landscape of Rossland has indeed been enhanced by the sculptures which both visitors and residents enjoy. The Random Acts of Culture program allows art to be placed along trails and is being further developed with new ideas.

Joe Hill Coffee House was revived under the leadership of Michael Gifford. This program gives local talent the opportunity to perform in front of a supportive audience as they hone their skills. This program continues to run thanks to the support of many devoted volunteers.

The RCAC continues to develop and diversify its programming with a newly formed Visual Arts Committee. They are also introducing a movie night to bring a different form of art to the community.

All of these accomplishments have been possible through the efforts of its volunteers.In recent years, the RCAC was able to hire one part-time contractor to assist with the administrative tasks but to this day most of the work and development of the organization comes from a dedicated group of volunteers who continue to foster the mandate of the arts council. None of this would have been possible without those who volunteer their time and energy serving on the board and helping at the various events.

The RCAC is celebrating their anniversary next week, October 12, 13, and 14. All activities are taking place at Miners’ Hall. The weekend will kick off with an exhibition of local art and a reception to thank its members and the community. This will take place in the Lily May Room on October 12 at 7pm. The art exhibition will also be open to the public on October 13th and 14th. On Saturday, October 13, RCAC is hosting a dance with the Devils You Don’t, a high powered energetic local band which will be the perfect way to celebrate this milestone!

For more information please go to

Members Appreciation Event, 12th October, 2018 7pm Lily May Room Miner’s Hall
Online Tickets to “The Devils you Don’t” RCAC Fundraiser Dance, 13th October, 2018 8pm Miner’s Hall
A Juried Art Exhibition “Celebrating 20 years in the making” 13/14th October 1-5pm

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For more information please contact:

Meghan Wright
RCAC Executive Administrator