LSM Newswire

Sunday, May 3, 2009

BC Scene Festival Wraps-up

BC Scene Festival Wraps-up

Next up: Prairie Scene in 2011

OTTAWA (Canada) BC Scene, the largest gathering of British Columbia artists ever presented outside the province, culminates this weekend with two sold-out shows by Diana Krall, Canada's internationally acclaimed queen of jazz.

BC Scene, the National Arts Centre's dazzling multi-disciplinary arts festival, began April 21 and ends today. The festival featured 600 artists from disciplines as varied as music, theatre, dance, visual and media arts, literature and culinary arts, in more than 30 venues around the National Capital Region.

Ms. Krall was not the only B.C. artist to perform to capacity audiences over the last two weeks. Others included dance sensations Crystal Pite and Wen Wei Dance; classical music performers Borealis String Quartet, musica intima, Francois Houle, Hard Rubber Orchestra and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; rockers Hey Ocean!, Said the Whale and Black Mountain; world beat master Celso Machado, jazz saxophonist Seamus Blake and Celtic-Punjabi electronica band Delhi 2 Dublin. Also playing to full houses were theatre productions such as BIOBOXES, Moms the Word 2: Unhinged and the children's opera Jack Pine. Culinary events were also a big hit, notably the cooking demonstration by renowned B.C. chef Robert Clark and National Arts Centre chef Michael Blackie.

British Columbia artists have been creating a buzz in the Nation's Capital since the festival's opening night event called SWARM, a unique and mind-opening tour of visual and media art installations at 11 local galleries that culminated in a massive party in the National Arts Centre lobby.

It's no wonder Heather Moore, BC Scene's Producer and Executive Director, calls this latest edition of the festival "the best ever".

The National Arts Centre created the Scene concept back in 2003 with Atlantic Scene, followed by Alberta Scene in 2005 and Quebec Scene in 2007. In addition to providing a national showcase for artists from the different regions of Canada, these festivals are designed to help emerging and established artists further their careers thanks to an innovative presenters' program. For example, about 60 presenters producers, buyers, or talent scouts from 17 countries (including Canada) were invited to BC Scene. The initial reaction by participating presenters has been very positive. Discussions are underway that will likely soon culminate in invitations to dozens of B.C. artists to perform across Canada and abroad.

Since 2003, hundreds of Canadian artists have benefited from being a part of the Scene festivals. For instance, after Alberta Scene, Alberta artists received 150 new bookings. A survey done six months after the 2007 Quebec Scene found that performing arts groups had already received 51 bookings that represented more than $500,000 in revenue.

Ms. Moore and her team of organizers are already working on the next edition of the festival, the Prairie Scene, which will showcase the artists of Saskatchewan and Manitoba in the Nation's Capital in the spring of 2011.

Partners

BC Scene would like to thank the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia, Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts for their generous support of this event.

The National Arts Centre and National Arts Centre Foundation gratefully acknowledges the support of Presenting Partner Plasco Energy Group, Special Partners The Radcliffe Foundation, The Audain Foundation, Martha Lou Henley, Milton and Fei Wong and Dr. Donald B. Rix. Acknowledgment is also extended to Major Partners Enbridge Inc. and Hy's Steakhouse and Cockail Bar, as well as Supporting Partners Anndraya T. Luui, Canwest, HSBC Bank Canada, Holiday Inn and Screen Siren Pictures. BC Scene Media Partners include CBC/Radio-Canada, National Post, Vancouver Magazine and Western Living, Ottawa Citizen, LeDroit, and the Vancouver Sun.

The NAC Foundation also extends a warm thank you to the B.C. Strategy Council and Friends, a committed group of individuals whose leadership, support and guidance have been key to the success of BC Scene. The B.C. Strategy Council and Friends is led by Honorary Chairs Milton and Fei Wong, Chair Donald B. Rix and includes David Aisenstat, Michael Audain Foundation, Shirley Barnett, Peter Bentley, Eric Charman, Robert Fairweather, Moh and Yulanda Faris, Martha Lou Henley, Joanne Louie Mah, Anndraya T. Luui, Radcliffe Foundation, Scott Shepherd, Donald Shumka, Kathleen Speakman.

For more details about BC Scene or to view event photos, visit bcscene.ca.

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