Guests cheer at the Mayor’s Gala for the Arts

The 13th annual Mayor’s Gala for the Arts hosted around 300 guests

Last Saturday, guests poured into the Colombo Lodge for a night of fancy to celebrate the arts and culture in our city. Guests were treated to a beautiful theme: Viva le Arti: Under the Tuscan Moon.

The venue was beautifully decorated, and guests wore their finest outfits to attend the dinner and awards ceremony. TRU’s very own Alicia Ashcroft was the MC for the evening and kept the audience laughing with her silly banter as always.

This year, there were three awards given out for different categories: Emerging Artist, Enduring Supporter, and Corporate Champion.

Before the awards were announced, James MacDonald, Artistic Director at Western Canada Theatre, announced that one of the nominees for the Enduring Supporter category, Phyllis Mader, had passed away in December of 2019.

There was also a performance by singer Eva Tavares, accompanied by Daniela O’Fee, who sang a song from the famous musical, Phantom of the Opera.

Afterwards, Mayor Ken Christian announced the winners of each category, starting with the Emerging Artist Award. This award was won by Marcella Barz, a young musician in Kamloops.

When accepting her award, Barz said “Thanks to the time and energy of many volunteers, I performed in the Kamloops Festival of the Performing Arts for over ten years. I spent six years playing in the Thompson Valley Orchestra and three years in the Kamloops Community Band. At South Kamloops Secondary School, I was able to take part in so many different music programs.”

Barz added that “As you can see, Kamloops is a wonderful and supportive community for musicians.”

Following Barz, Mayor Christian announced the award for the Enduring Supporter category. This award was won by long-standing Kamloops Symphony member and founder, Michael Powell.

“I still play cello in the Kamloops Symphony. I was sitting so close to the Viola section in those days, that I ended up being married to one of the Violists.” Powell said when receiving his award. “My wife and I are founding members of three Kamloops Orchestras …  I am very proud to be one of the three founding members left in the Symphony.”

Lastly, the award for an outstanding Corporate Champion in Kamloops was announced, the winner being Lee’s Music, a prominent supporter of the arts in our community. Unfortunately, the owner, Mike Miltimore, was unable to accept the award, so Bonnie McLean did on behalf of him.

McLean said “I would like to thank the mayor’s gala for recognizing the work Lee’s Music does in the community. They do a lot and it’s behind the scenes so you don’t always notice it, but I notice it. Music in the Park, which they’ve been doing since it started, Art in the Park, the Children’s Art Festival, all kinds of things.” Mclean added that they “Also provide music classes with great teachers, run a locally owned and operated music store in the city, and help out musicians in the last minute.”

The guests cheered for the winners of each award and continued to enjoy desserts and coffee before the winners of the silent auction were announced at the end of the evening. It was a successful evening for the many guests and sponsors of the event were very much to be thanked for providing food and drinks, entertainment, and for making the event possible.