KaBoom! gathers local talent at Port Moody City Hall
By Julia Siedlanowska, Staff Writer
The City of Port Moody is organizing a project called “KaBoom!” to showcase its local artists. An idea set in motion last summer by the Port Moody Arts and Culture Committee, the project has compiled a directory of registered artists, as well as a showcase of their talent on April 5 at the City Hall Galleria.
“It’s a who’s who of artists,” says City Councillor Zöe Royer. “The legacy piece from this event will be the catalogue of every artist, Port Moody-based, that has registered for this event. It will be a book that will showcase key Port Moody artists and further elevate our distinction as a ‘city of the arts’… and also give added exposure to many of our artists who have international acclaim.”
The event will feature over 25 performances, while the catalogue has over 140 registered artists. The hope is to put Port Moody artists at the forefront in the eyes of area residents, and to create a community of performers who not only know each other, but also recognize each other’s work.
“We want everybody in the Lower Mainland to know that Port Moody is an artist centre—a community of artists. We want all eyes drawn towards us,” says Rose Kapp, an event coordinator hired by the City of Port Moody to help organize the project.
“It’s actually a two-part project,” says Kapp, “It’s the evening party—like an artist happening from the ‘60s. The other part of it is the catalogue or compendium. It’s going to be a 64-page catalogue of as many performers and artists who will have sent in their submissions, and we have about 140. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.”
Although Port Moody bears the title “City of the Arts,” and has a large number of self-identified artists, this is the first effort to create a print registry to organize them all. Kapp believes people will be surprised at the numbers they hear, saying that even event coordinators did not expect there to be such a high number of artists based in the city.
Brad Letwin, one of the Arts and Culture committee members, wants to showcase artists in a way that would “advertise” them.
“We didn’t want to discriminate about the type of art that was being done so we wanted visual artists, performance artists, musicians, writers, and we wanted to put them together in a compendium, in a print medium so that people could actually look and see who was here, and have kind of an immediate knowledge of what was around.”
Councillor Royer also has other people in mind for the directory, saying “I hope that when city planners are meeting with developers or city staff are meeting with investors, not only will they present them with our annual report, or our focus newsletter… but they’ll present them with a compendium of Port Moody- based artists, because it’s the ‘City of the Arts.’”
Peller Estates Wines has been a supporter of the project along with several local businesses. Letwin revealed that performers would include Mr. World Canada 2013 Frankie Cena and the Caulfield School of Dance; however, he wanted the rest to remain a surprise.
One confirmed artist is Sarah Dixon, creator and artistic director of Rebel Haunt Theatre, a Port Moody theatre company performing site-specific theatre. Dixon is also one of the organizers in charge of KaBoom!’s performance night.
“As an artist I believe the existence of art and artistic creation is a basic human need. I see KaBoom! as a gathering that celebrates all art and the amazing act of creating it,” says Dixon. “An opportunity for artists and the community to come together and honour the creation and presence of art in our lives is not to be missed,” she added.
This will be the first event of its kind in Port Moody and organizers are confident in its success.