Nurturing local arts and culture

By Tom Read

Founded in 2004, TACT is THE place to go for information about arts, culture and tourism on Texada Island. (logo by Shelley Thomson)

About a dozen Texada Islanders got together for a few hours one recent evening under the banner of TACT (Texada Arts, Culture & Tourism Society) to make plans for nurturing on-island arts and culture in 2010. Linda and I, as long-time TACT members, attended the meeting and were delighted with the positive energy and ideas that emerged. Here’s a few:

1) How about starting a new one-day Texada Music Festival (working title only), for the pleasure of local people, bringing together island and regional musicians from many musical genres in an easily accessible location — perhaps even at the old quarry site previously used by Jazz on the Rocks? After some excited discussion that quickly started to become detailed planning, a committee to “make it so” came together right on the spot, propelled by mutual passion for music and community.

2) An astute new member of our group mentioned that the Thursday Handi-Dart bus comes over from Powell River empty, takes Texadans to Powell River and back, then at the end of the day returns to Powell River empty. Could we find a way to fill that bus with visitors from Powell River by giving them something interesting to participate in on Thursdays? Transportation is always an issue for arts and culture events on Texada, so this insight may prove quite helpful in planning future events.

3) It’s been several years since TACT sponsored a community discussion of potential arts and culture activities on Texada. One of TACT’s main purposes is to support islanders who want to put on an event or activity that can be construed, even quite loosely, as having to do with the arts or culture. So the group decided to hold a “Texada Arts & Culture Think Tank” next February 24 at the Texada Legion to invite people throughout the community with new ideas to come forward. As in any brainstorming session, no idea is too crazy; it’s the unusual ideas that sometimes garner the most enthusiasm. Yours truly volunteered to take a leadership role in organizing this get-together.

4) TACT’s website ( is getting updated and improved by Maggie Timms, who also happens to be TACT’s newly elected treasurer. The website provides a comprehensive overview of Texada Island for visitors, and after five years in existence the site has great top-level positioning for anyone who searches on the words “Texada Island.” It’s available for use (cross-link or web page) by any local business for a mere $25 annual membership in TACT. Individual memberships, by the way, are $10 for those interested in participating in TACT but who don’t run a business.

5) TACT renewed its commitment to support both the Texada Fly-In and the Texada Aero-Space Camp for 2010. These back-to-back summer activities keep getting better and better every year, and lots of exciting new ideas and volunteer opportunities are taking shape for the coming year. Consult the TACT website (above) for a link to details as they unfold.

6) New in 2010: TACT visitor information brochure racks will be added at Centennial (gas & diesel) Station, the Texada Island Inn and the Gillies Bay Store, thus complementing the existing visitor centre at Manyana in Blubber Bay. Kudos and thanks to O. C. (Doby) Dobrostanski for the nifty new visitor info logo, which will shortly appear at each of the above locations.

And that’s just the meeting highlights. Not too bad for a rainy night in mid-December, eh?


3 Responses to “Nurturing local arts and culture”

  1. 1 David Parkinson December 18, 2009 at 16:42

    Wow, this is all good stuff! I especially like the idea of a think-tank to pull ideas out of the community. I’ll be interested to see the sort of things that come from that process.

  2. 2 ET December 29, 2009 at 09:34

    Why not base the bus on Texada? or at least start a weekly run there?

  3. 3 tomstexadajournal December 30, 2009 at 10:35

    Thanks for the suggestion, ET. The current Handi-Dart bus run provides a much-appreciated service for Texadans going to and from Powell River, but it’s apparently not used by Powell Riverites who want to visit Texada.

    I hope in the future we can have a full-time Texada-based bus that would meet people coming off the ferry at Blubber Bay and then make the rounds on Texada. This could serve both visitors and Texadans who commute to jobs in PR. It’s interesting that we already have such a Texada-based bus which provides excellent service for island residents — as long as they’re not older than 18 years of age. Why not let everybody ride the school bus so long as the kids get priority? It’s a tax-supported bus, after all.

    Seems to me it’s all just a matter of setting community, Regional District and perhaps School District priorities, which is a function of local leadership.


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