The earliest records of an arts council go back to 1984. At that time the groups were smaller and less varied, but over the years this group has remained active without lapsing at any time.
The arts council has always served member groups as an umbrella organization, which supports the arts and sponsors certain events. The Tumbler Ridge Community arts Council, at one point called Tumbler Ridge Community Arts & Culture, has been instrumental in encouraging the talents of all varieties of arts, and artisans, including music and performing arts. EVENTS: Past and present, the groups have been created, renamed and started brand new. It has been a varied swatch of artistic flair over the years. Some notable events and traditions that may be remembered are: Entertainment Live (an initiative to bring in performers of a high caliber), Christmas CarolFest (a community effort to perform Christmas songs), TR Exhibition Days (a gallery of visual arts display), Free For All also accomplished this, with an evening called – Off the Wall – where people brought in their personal collections (not their own original work) and there was a wine and cheese affair. DRAMA & IMPROV:
There were several drama groups over the years. There may have been more, but, those recorded in arts council archives were Tumbler Ridge Amateur Community Theatre, as well as Tumbler Ridge Adult Community Theatre and also Theater Tumbler Ridge. For the first time a children's drama group was formed in 2002, started by Vicky LaPrairie at the request of her daughter Eva. While Eva rounded up approximately 40 children, word spread and the drama group had 40 plus participants in the first production held in the fairy-tale street of TR, – bah Humbug – an adaptation of (A Christmas Carol). Remaining on after the LaPrairie family moved to Fort MacMurray, Alberta, was current director Erin Hanna, who has managed the young people's group for four years. Spawning from that is the new adult drama company, Grizzly Valley Players who successful played to two showings of a variety musical production called TR Time Travel through the Musical Decades to sold-our crowds.. The group intends to sart up in September and take their next production to the Zone, a Peace Region theatre competition. In the past the Tumbler Ridge Amateur Community theatre did well in this same competition several times. A very popular improvisational sketch comedy show is put on by the members of Mid-Winter Review Crew. Please read their complete history also in this commemorative issue of TR News.
MUSIC Tumbler Ridge has a great many musicians and vocalists here who are extremely talented. Many are secretly crooning at family barbecues, while some crave the spotlight and come forward to be part of a united group. Tumbler Ridge Artists Musicians and Performers (TRAMP) was the group that banded together to have local musicians, vocalists, dancers and anyone else who wanted in. TRAMP disbanded and in its place several years later Tumbler Ridge United Musicians and Performers (TRUMP) was created and is still active under the direction of Brian Bray. TRUMP was the creator behind the Java Jive Coffee House series, at first played in the TR Public Library. The Java Jive was sponsored by TRCAC. Because of their sponsorship through use of the arts council sound equipment, TRUMP now has a full sound system of their own, purchased with the proceeds collected at their event. CHOIR And while the band played on, the choir kept singing.
The original community choir in Tumbler Ridge was called the TR Choral Society. It was an actual registered society with upwards of 32 voices strong. The first director for this choir was Jacquie Facca, followed by Lucinda (Cindy) Lockwood and currently directed by Dawn Wagner. Wagner started out with the choir as member of the soprano section. The choir is now called the TR Adult Community Choir. Wagner's mother, Dolores Logan was an accompanist for the choir at tone time and although there have been brief periods with accompanists; the choir is actively seeking anyone who could join with them for this very important purpose. Th choir has sang at prominent events, such as annually at Remembrance Day services, Easter and Christmas services, Gideon Song Festival, their own Christmas concert and most recently at the 25th Anniversary celebration on April 9th at Town Hall. The longest standing members of the community choir are Barb Schuerkamp and Bill Hendley.
QUILTERS The Quilter's Guild, also known as the Ridge Rippers, stays very active and dedicated year-round. The beautiful creations they make and display are a great show of teamwork and unity. They have been generous in donating many of their fine works of arts for raffles and prizes at events.
LIBRARY TR Public Library upholds the literary aspect of the arts council. They bring in poets and authors and encourage the importance of literacy in our community. The programs they offer range from young children to people of any any age, such as seminars and workshops. They often have a very full calendar of events and activities to keep everyone busy and enjoying library services all year long.
WILDERNESS FAMILY CONFERENCE The Wilderness family conference is an annual gathering of music, fellowship and worship. It is a week-long conference previously following Grizfest weekend and held on the grounds where Grizfest was set up. This year marks the inaugural set up in the Claude Galibois Centre, which is hoped to become the Coronation College in the future.
TR MINISTERIAL ASSOCIATION The united coordination of the many denominations in Tumbler Ridge is indeed a rare thing. Not so in our amazing town, where this group bands together or events and common ground on issues pertaining to the churches in our community. The Ministerial Association is highly supportive of the arts and culture prospect, certainly with some very talented musicians and vocalists.