The Evolving and Growing Arts Community In Tumbler Ridge

The Tumbler Ridge Visioning and Labour Market Planning Project partnered the Tumbler Ridge Community Arts Council (TRCAC) with the District of Tumbler Ridge Economic Development Department (EDO), Northern Lights College (NLC), Tumbler Ridge Secondary School (TRSS), and Tumbler Ridge Employment Needs Services (TRENDS).

The information TRCAC was in search of has been collected, analyzed, and synthesized in the final Project Report, which is now complete and available online at www.trfuture.org

TRCAC committed to serving 100 hours towards the Project, in exchange for the opportunity to receive survey information on community arts and cultural issues. TRCAC was pleased to be part of this venture and learn what we could from several questions within the study. In most labour market studies, the focus is on labour and trade. Placing the Arts in the study acknowledges the contribution that the Arts can make to the life of the community.

There are two distinct sections to the information. One is related to the facilities and the other to the type of entertainment that residents are looking for.

Residents would like to have indoor and outdoor performance space that would allow for a variety of entertainment from concerts, to movies, to cultural festivals to video-conference arts events brought in from other areas. TRCAC has given some consideration to the development of a Performing Arts Centre that would host some of those events. Such a facility could also provide space for equipment storage, recording studios, and display space for our community?s artists.

From the entertainment side, residents are looking for a diverse variety of entertainment. The most frequent request was for movies, followed by music festivals and dinner theatre. They would like to be able to tap into traveling performances that tour the country. Opinions are spread out over a diverse cross-section of people who may enjoy some things and not others. There is a need to expand the types of performances available and to find ways to engage more people in trying out new entertainment modes.

Residents indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with the community events that are being held. They do travel out of the community for many different activities ? primarily shopping. When we are in other communities we also take in some of the entertainment that is offered there.

People clearly appreciate having a multitude of entertainment choices. Our challenge is how to make the entertainment events in Tumbler Ridge the ones of choice that the community wants to attend regardless of what else is going on. The upcoming dinner theatre is one way that TRCAC is working to provide a diverse entertainment to the residents.

The question of the best way to advertise in Tumbler Ridge remains a difficult challenge. Despite newspaper ads, posters across town, restaurant and service area tent cards, electronic and standard bulletin boards, the general public does not always notice. We all lead very busy lives. Often we miss the information that lets us know what is happening so we can participate in it. TRCAC will continue to work on this area.

Building a wonderful performing arts and/or theatre addition to the Community Centre would be beneficial to the entire community. The venue will need to house events and guests that will bring in good attendance. Outside of Tumbler Ridge, audiences are willing to pay substantially more to see events. We may have to get used to paying similar prices to make a performing arts center become a reality.

TRCAC will continue to work with the community to help it realize its vision of having a vibrant arts community.

We look forward to your ongoing support of our efforts.