© Jocelyn Turner - Amherst Daily News
Andrew McGregor (left), the arts council coordinator, and Dale Fawthrop, deputy mayor, are starting to plan for a music video featuring Rockabilly music, just one of the ways to feature the different arts in culture in the town of Amherst.
AMHERST – There’s a new council in town. The arts council is hoping to bring together artisans in the area and help them benefit from the different events that take place in Amherst.
“We felt that Amherst was one of the number one places in the Maritimes for arts and culture,” said deputy mayor Dale Fawthrop. “There are a number of musicians, visual artists and four different theatre groups here in this small community. There’s lots of scope and lots of interest for the arts. We felt that we should have an arts and culture strategy.”
The council hopes to enhance artistic events and business opportunities of those events.
The council has already had two meetings but one of the more important meetings is scheduled for Monday.
“We are having workshops with artists from various disciplines.”
The meetings will be first in a series of meeting for arts where the committee is introduced to different groups of artists and find out what they are hoping to gain by having the new council.
“It’s to open a dialogue with the community,” said council coordinator Andrew McGregor. “One of the problems with arts communities in general is communication. What we’re trying to do is open those pathways for communication whether you want to talk to (Fawthrop) or myself. It’s sort of an introduction that they’re there and they’re available for that compensation for both feedback and ideas.”
Fawthrop said part of the council’s mandate is to foster the growth of artist initiated events and find ways for different artists to work together to enhance events.
“We’re a council that will serve as a means of communication between the different artists in town so that, for example, if there’s a theatre even going on, is there an opportunity there for either artists or musicians to add value to the event.”
The council is also accepting members from surrounding communities as many artists live outside of the town of Amherst but do a lot of business there. The council is also looking at the feasibility of an arts and culture building in the town of Amherst.
“Amherst should work towards becoming a cultural capital of Canada,” said Fawthrop. “It’s a designation that is given out to different communities each year. Sackville New Brunswick actually got it a few years ago and there’s a fair bit of grant money and a fair bit of hype and good publicity, tourism opportunities and artistic events that come with that title.”