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Arts Council targets youth

In the last few years of its 42-year life, it's struggled and scraped, eeking out a meagre existence while trying to attract attention and funding. But the Community Arts Council of Richmond (CACR) has found a new spark of late.

In the last few years of its 42-year life, it's struggled and scraped, eeking out a meagre existence while trying to attract attention and funding.

But the Community Arts Council of Richmond (CACR) has found a new spark of late.

It's a spark that was first felt in the fall of last year when CACR took part in the nationwide Culture Days festival of art, putting on a host of arts-related activities for adults and kids.

However, it was the kids who seemed more interested in what CACR had to offer that day and it's for that reason the volunteer run association is going down the youth route once more.

"Last year, we had things for both adults and kids, but it was much more popular with the kids, most of the adults were trying to drag their kids away," said Margaret Stephens, CACR treasurer.

"So we decided to go exclusively after the kids this year and tailor everything to them.

"I think also parents are now beginning to realize that art is an important factor in their kids' lives and that it can have a positive impact."

Culture Days runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28, 29 and 30 at more than 50 locations across Richmond - all of which are free.

CACR's contribution to the festival this year takes place on the Sunday at Thompson Community Centre on Granville Avenue and Lynas Lane from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

They will have lots of fun activities, such as: Play with Clay; make miniatures from PlayDough; make and take a Halloween card; face painting; a colouring station; decorate a mask; and CACR's own brand of "rock, paper, scissors, where children can paint a rock, create a painting on paper or create their own collage.

"Everyone has a talent and it's just a case of bringing it out in them," said Stephens.

"If we give them a positive experience then maybe it will encourage them to take up art and have a positive impact on their lives.

"Maybe they're not good at sports or even academically, but if they find something they're good at, it can make a big difference in their lives."

Artists, organizations and community groups in Richmond are hosting more than 50 free participatory arts and culture activities during the Culture Days weekend.

For more information. Log onto www. culturedays.ca or pick up a brochure at the Richmond Cultural Centre or your local community centre.

acampbell@richmond-news.com