Arrow Lakes News
Black and white patterned tablecloths and hurricane lanterns filled with river rocks decorated dozens of intimate café tables. Clusters of black and white helium balloons were placed about the room. In the glow of candles and fairy lights, more than a hundred people dressed in black and white were entertained by several different local musical acts and a live art auction complete with auctioneer, local gallery owner Anne Béliveau. This was the second annual Arrow Lakes Arts Council’s Black and White gala; a fundraiser and celebration of art in Nakusp took place Saturday night.
All available tickets were sold in advance for the glitzy, cabaret-style fête held at the Legion Hall. Party-goers were decked out in all manner of clothing styles in keeping with the suggested dress code of black and white. Local business owner Ali Raskob spoke with the Arrow Lakes News, “It’s a lovely evening- everybody looks fabulous.”
Bartenders Charlene Duncan and Jane Merkley served up beer, wine and two special drinks created just for the occasion. Merkley described the signature drinks, “They are inspired by autumn in Nakusp. The cocktail is organic pomegranate juice, vodka, red and white wine, local pear juice, and to zen it out: a little bit of green tea.” The signature mocktail was entitled Saudi Champagne; made with white grape juice and sparkling water over ice. This reporter sampled both, which were delicious. There were also finger foods set up buffet-style including meats and cheeses, dips, crackers, and fruit.
The point of the event was to celebrate local art and artists and to raise money for more public art, so the big draw was the live auction which saw the lights come up as each of the donated pieces was presented by Molly Bell and described by Anne Béliveau, who auctioned them off to the highest bidders.
“People were pretty tight tonight. It’s a charity thing to help art and I don’t think people opened up their pockets enough to help the artists in the area,” said Clark Taylor, whose wife owns a local gallery, when asked what he thought of the night’s event.
Party guest Barb Murphy agreed, stating, “We enjoyed it immensely. It’s Nakusp and it’s the arts, we’re all struggling. How do you balance generosity with getting by?”
Béliveau commented, “It would be so nice to get more young people involved in the arts here, volunteering with ALAC. These events don’t put themselves on. Thanks to Cassia (Parent), we have been able to access some of the next generation and that is really what we would like to see more of.”
Organizers really thought of everything to make the event diverse and entertaining; ticket holders were given numbered cards for bidding on the auction items, local artist Amy Surina was on hand to draw anime-inspired caricatures by donation for ALAC and there was a contest to match artists with samples of their art.