The Sooke Fine Arts Society (SFAS) voted this week to suspend the live version of the 2020 Sooke Fine Arts Show & Sale for this year. Instead, SFAS will move forward with the possibility of a virtual show and sale during the same time period of July 24 through August 3, 2020.
SFAS has been closely following the unfolding impact of COVID-19 on the world, the country and the community of Sooke. While work was already well underway for the July 2020 show, the growing pandemic highlighted the need to consider alternate options and a timely response.
That time arrived this week. With the ongoing uncertainty of pandemic impacts, the SFAS board of directors decided to re-imagine the live event into the possibility of a virtual event, one which will honour the SFAS arts tradition and also consider community, artists’, and patrons’ health and needs.
SFAS President Eileen Badiuk notes, “This year will mark only the second time in 34 years that the show has not been staged in Sooke’s SEAPARC Arena, and the decision was made thoughtfully and carefully with the focus on what is best for our community. Rather than cancelling the 2020 show altogether, we agreed that a virtual show was one way in which we could still support art and artists during these extraordinary times.” She adds, “It is our intention to remount the live show again next year with gusto for our 35th anniversary.”
“The arts are often where people look for hope, inspiration and comfort in difficult times,” says SFAS Executive Director Terrie Moore. “We’re seeing that already as artists everywhere – musicians, authors, painters, art galleries and museums – are posting live recordings and virtual tours. One way that Sooke Fine Arts can contribute to this movement is by adapting our event into a virtual show.”
Artists are encouraged to continue creating their works in anticipation of the virtual exhibit. SFAS will be investigating the logistics for the new, virtual art show over the next few weeks, and will update artists and the community regularly with information about the show via the website and through social media.