Multigenerational community art project will be displayed across Oceanside until the fall

Samantha Thomas' creation is one of 30 pieces of artwork on display across Oceanside. || Photo submitted by Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce.
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Thirty benches built by Ballenas Secondary woodworking students and made into artwork by local artists are on now on display across Oceanside.

Artists of all ages submitted their vision of a welcome bench for the community. The results are now displayed publicly from Nanoose to Lighthouse Country.

“We initially created this project with the purpose of engaging visitors and locals in the community and supporting our local artists. The benches will help to transform 30 different public spaces and we encourage people to get out and explore our amazing community and see all the artists creations! We’re so proud of the results and we hope you enjoy the tour,” said Kim Burden, executive director of Parksville and Qualicum Beach Chambers of Commerce.

The Qualicum Beach and Parksville and District Chambers of Commerce partnered with The Old School House (TOSH) in Qualicum Beach and the McMillan Arts Centre (MAC) to manage and coordinate the Oceanside Benchmark, Inspired by the Search project, which is designed to encourage community connection, creativity and collaboration.

“The Oceanside Community Arts Council with the McMillan Arts Centre are so proud to have been involved with this exciting artistic project in Oceanside. We hope that our community at large enjoys the wonderful, creative and innovative designs created by our local artists,” said Jennifer Bate, executive director of the MAC. 

“With thanks to our Oceanside Arts Council members, Anne and Andrew Collins for contributing their creative energies to making this project such a success and kudos to the Chambers of Commerce for their vision and commitment to the Oceanside Benchmark project.”

Residents can follow the project on social media, participate in a self-guided tour of the benches, take a selfie with the artwork and vote for their favourite piece. The ‘People’s Choice’ artist will receive a $500 prize. Benches are on display until the first week of September and then will be auctioned off with proceeds helping to support the participating artists, as well as the coordinating not for profit organizations. 

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