If you had been strolling the sunny sidewalks of Steveston on Sunday, Sept. 8, you may have overheard music drifting up from beside the community centre.
If you had been curious enough to venture closer you might have noticed the speakers, the small blue tents, the wooden stage, and the crowd made up of families, lounging teenagers, and dancing toddlers.
The event, "Arts in the Park" began at 12 p.m. and ran until 8 p.m. It featured 29 performers made up local musicians, poets, a martial artist, an improv team and an inspirational speaker.
Singer/songwriter Gio Levy drew out some Spanish Media, while bands like Green
Tree and Funkshwey had audiences grooving from their lawn chairs and picnic blankets.
But what may come as a surprise is the fact that the entire event was organized by local teenagers - Angelica Poversky and Emily May as a way to get youth outdoors.
For the Another noteworthy point: they put the entire event together in little more than a month.
The event was initially Angelica's assignment. In July, she attended a "Get Outdoors BC" Leadership Summit in Squamish and was given the option of either planning an event, or a long-term project to get youth outside.
As a passionate slam poet, Angelica's initial idea was to organize an outdoor slam poetry festival. It was later, while considering the performance line-up that this vision shifted to accommodate a variety of acts.
Recognizing the huge task ahead, Angelica approached Emily for help a few days later and "Arts in the Park" was born.
Meanwhile, other "Get Outdoors BC" attendees planned events such as: scavenger hunts, amazing races, In the weeks that led up to the event, flyers were distributed, Facebook updates posted, performers contacted and sponsors collected. The sponsors were McDonald's, Starbucks, Safeway, Save On Foods, Cobbs Bread, Coast Capital Savings and Get
Outside BC. It was a stressful month for both of them, but the end result was a smooth-running, organized concert, made up of talented local youth. The audience, that grew as the day progressed, was friendly and was kept entertained for the duration of the event. And the organizers sang praises about the commitment and effort of the volunteers.
Both Emily and Angelica made appearances on the stage, as well. Emily performed three songs - singing and playing the guitar - and Angelica recited some original poetry. They thoroughly proved how capable they are both in the spotlight, and behind the scenes.
"The feedback has been amazing," said Angelica. "We've already had people asking about whether there will be an Arts in the Park 2014."
Anna Toth is a J.N. Burnett grad and attends UBC.
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