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CONTRIBUTION · 8th June 2012
Sarah Artis
Calling all Northwest BC artisans and art lovers!

Northwest BC artisans who work with natural materials will gather in Terrace at the end of this month to learn from industry experts how to succeed in the art world.

The Beyond Lumber - Art from Nature conference and art show (www.beyondlumber.ca) will take place Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30 at Waap Galts’ap Longhouse at Northwest Community College's Terrace Campus.

"This event is a tremendous opportunity for all artists of the Northwest to get together to learn, network and be inspired. I'm definitely not going to pass up this opportunity to learn new skills and gain knowledge from a great group of inspiring folks and speakers," says carver and painter Rod Brown.

On Friday, artisans from throughout the region will participate in various workshops such as Working with Galleries, Marketing your Work, Photographing your Work and Business Start-Up. At lunch, keynote speaker Alano Edzerza, a young and successful Tahltan artist who grew up in Terrace, will speak about his journey to becoming a professional artist.

Edzerza runs a gallery (www.edzerzagallery.com) in Vancouver and has his own line of sportswear which features northwest coast art (www.edzerzasports.com). His portfolio includes creating large scale installations and designing the Dutch team's uniforms for the 2010 Olympics.

Edzerza's presentation is open to the public as are a salmon BBQ and the Beyond Lumber art show opening that night from 6 to 8pm. On Saturday, artists will display their art and give demonstrations and talks about their work and experiences. Edzerza will speak again as will Tim Strang, marketing director for Hill's Native Art in Vancouver. Everyone is welcome!

Beyond Lumber is being organized through a partnership between the Skeena-Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics (SNCIRE) (www.sncire.ca), Skeena Diversity Society (www.skeenadiversity.com) and Northwest Community College (www.nwcc.bc.ca).

Inspiration for the event comes from the idea that supporting Northwest BC artists is just one of many ways to help diversify the region's economy and make it more sustainable.

"Sometimes a single tree is worth much more when it is used to produce high quality art than when it is milled for lumber," says SNCIRE Executive Director Rick Brouwer. "By focusing on high value products such as art first and commodities second, we are taking better advantage of our natural resources, and that is key if our region wants to escape the boom and bust cycles."

This is the first year this event will be held and it's expected to become an annual or biannual celebration.

For more info go to www.beyondlumber.ca

Registration deadline for the conference and keynote lunch is Tuesday, June 26, 2012.