Promoting Arts & Culture
The RCAC was founded in 1998 by a group of artists who recognized a need to promote and grow the arts & culture sector in Rossland. Rossland has a vibrant, sports and recreation centered community. It has an equally vibrant arts community of over 150 visual, performing and literary artists. RCAC’s vision is to make Rossland as well known for its arts and culture as it is for its sports and recreation.
Our programs and activities are driven by the following core values:
- To support and promote local and emerging artists of all ages
- To expose artists and audiences to new artistic disciplines
- To ensure artistic programming is affordable, inclusive and accessible
- To foster and support both artistic excellence and artistic innovation
The RCAC Board of Directors is a working board whose members support all aspects of programming and operations. We have a subcommittee structure which enables members to be involved in areas they are most passionate about. The committees include: Performance Series, Public Art, Youth Programming, Visual Art, Miners Hall, and Film Series. We also employ two part-time staff. An Executive Administrator who supports all administrative needs of the organization, provides grant-writing, and coordinates programs and activities. As well as a Program Coordinator who does marketing for the organization and coordinates the Performance Series program.
The mission of RCAC is to provide, promote and further cultural and artistic opportunities that enhance the quality of life in Rossland.
President, Performance Series Committee Chair, Visual Arts Committee, Public Art Committee
Vice President, Marketing & Membership Committee Chair, Film Series Chair, Performance Series Committee
Secretary/Treasurer, Public Art Committee, Marketing & Membership Committee
Member, Visual Art Committee Chair, Marketing & Membership Committee
Member, Miners Hall Committee Chair
Member, Youth Art Education Program Chair
Member, Miners Hall Committee
RCAC Programs, Public Art Initiative
The Rossland Council for Arts & Culture (RCAC) has made a long-term commitment to public art through our Public Art Program. For the past 12 years, the RCAC has been building a curated collection of public art installations in downtown Rossland.
Eleven permanent sculptures are already installed around Rossland including: The Storytellers (Sculpture, Rossland Public Library), Peace and Remembrance (Mural, Rossland Cenotaph), Two Bears Playing (Sculpture, Post Office), Rusty the Horse (Sculpture, Queen & Columbia), Sphere of Influence (Sculpture, Revolution Cycle), V-Formation (Sculpture, Mountain Nugget Chocolate Co.), Lily May (Sculpture, Miners Hall), Salmon and Turtle (Sculpture, Washington and Third Avenue), Mighty Ursus (Carving, Centennial Trail), Booty and Cookie (Carving, Centennial Trail), and Monte (Carving, Centennial Trail). All of our public art is installed in public spaces that are accessible to ensure that the art is available to all.
Since 2014, the RCAC has been participating in the West Kootenay Regional Sculpturewalk Program by hosting one or two sculptures per year. This series of ‘rotating’ sculptures are selected from the inventory of the Castlegar Regional Sculpturewalk. Each year, RCAC, in consultation with the City of Rossland, selects a new sculpture. Leasing allows us to change sculptures on a regular basis and keep our sculpture offerings fresh and current while stimulating discussion around art and the subjects that are being portrayed. It also allows us to support a greater number of artists through our lease payments.
Biannually the RCAC hosts the Wood Carving Symposium. This unique event brings three artists to downtown Rossland where three sculptures are carved live in the Sourdough Holdings Parking lot next to the Rossland Fine Wine and Spirits store. The three sculptures are then installed on Centennial Trail. This event allows the community to see wooden sculptures come to life through the use of different tools and carving styles.
Youth Arts Education Program
We engage with local, provincial, and international artists to support youth to learn about other cultures and communities. The purpose of the youth arts education program is to provide accessible arts programming for Rossland’s youth. We engage with them to learn about arts and culture through their other interests. As an active, outdoor-oriented town, Rossland has a strong sports culture. As such, RCAC’s Youth Arts Education Program continues to focus on sports-inspired art skill development.
This program is for Rossland youth ages 9 to 18. For each of our workshops we can typically include 6 to 15 youth, although it does vary based on the nature of the workshop. Youth in our rural town do not have the same opportunities to meet successful professionals in the arts and these opportunities are highly valued by kids and parents alike.
Performance Series Program
The Performance Series Program includes a Professional Performance Series and an emerging artist Joe Hill Coffeehouse program.
Our professional Performance Series has an excellent reputation for high quality, entertaining and affordable performances and forms the foundation of the RCAC’s community programming. The Performance Series serves the community by bringing live, professional performances representing a diversity of genres to our remote community. This series comes to fruition through the dedicated work of the Performance Series Committee, made up of 3 volunteers, who select the performers for the series. Criteria for selection include diversity of genres, affordability, supporting a mix of emerging and established Canadian artists, artistic excellence and audience development.
Keeping ticket prices in the $15-$30 range, selecting at least one danceable performance, and introducing our audience to live theatre and other performance arts are top priorities. Ticket prices are kept low so that they are accessible to all members of the community and we do give out complimentary tickets to the community. A crew of up to 12 volunteers per show take care of setup, take down, ticket sales and concession at the performances.
The Joe Hill Coffeehouse hosts amateur performers for 15-20 minutes sets with professional lighting and sound. Performers come from around the West Kootenays to perform on stage in Rossland’s Legion. Joe Hill is run entirely through a dedicated group of volunteers. On coffeehouse days, a team of 5-6 volunteers set up the venue, sell food, beverages and merchandise, take tickets and clean up at the end of the night. Entry is only $3 per person, which is used to offset cleaning costs.
The Visual Arts Program
The mandate of this committee is to provide an opportunity for all levels of artists and artisans, ranging from hobby or emerging artists to professionals to come together in the community to exhibit their work. By offering exhibitions that celebrate all facets of creativity, including craft, wearable art and more traditional art forms, we hope to inspire our community to push their creative boundaries. Exhibitions introduce artists and craft persons to the broader community that can encourage financial support through the purchasing of an art piece or functional craft piece as well as introducing the community to traditional crafts and various art forms that may or may not be in danger of dying out.
These exhibitions provide the opportunity for locals and tourists alike to interact with local art, while also increasing the opportunity for artists to exhibit their work and raise their profile in the community. By supporting artists we are supporting the economy and vibrancy of Rossland.
It is important to us as an organization to support the financial wellbeing of artists. Over the last four years we have been building capacity to remunerate artists for entering our exhibitions. We provide additional support by providing financial awards for juried categories or a “People’s Choice” award. Unlike other art forms, visual artists/artisans only get paid when a piece is sold. Our exhibitions are free for the public and all people of all ages are welcome. The exhibitions are held in the Lily May Room of the historic Miners Hall in Rossland and offers an opportunity for all levels of artists and artisans to display their original work for the broader community to view and enjoy.
The Miners Hall committee is committed to supporting and stewarding the Miners Hall. In recent years an art hanging system was added to the Lily May Room to allow it to be used as an art gallery, furniture was replaced and added to the Lily May Room’s Green Room.
This committee, through fundraising and securing volunteer support, assisted in the transformation of the Miners Hall attic to the Lily May Room.
Annually, a series of films are shown in the Miners Hall. Each year has a different theme and provide an opportunity for the community to watch an older film on a big screen.