Weekend focuses on the arts in Langley

The arts means different things to different people. For some, it’s singing and dancing. Others think of crafts and poetry.

Fort Langley will be celebrating it all at the third annual Celebration of the Arts this weekend.

The move to the third weekend in September is hoped by organizers to attract even larger audiences, but with the same calibre of performances, according to David James, the chair of the Fort Langley Celebration of the Arts committee.

“We held the first two celebrations on holiday weekends, when people were away doing many things,” James noted. “This [change in timing] is a strategy to boost the audience numbers.”

Kicking things off Friday night at 7 p.m. are Marcel and Elizabeth Bergmann, who have been part of the celebration since the first year, with Kwantlen First Nation adding to the mix at the Fort Langley Community Hall.

Saturday rolls into a wide range of children’s activities, such as beading, arts and crafts, and drum lessons offered by Kwantlen First Nation, free of charge, at 10:30 a.m.

A full weekend of activities is a lot to organize by a group of dedicated volunteers.

“We are a committee of the Fort Langley Community Improvement Association (FLCIA),” James said of the people behind the event. “We are very grateful to them [the FLCIA] as they have gone above and beyond to get things ready with the stage and the hall. They have been just amazing. The celebration committee is a group of very, very industrious and cooperative people. I feel very fortunate to work with them.”

For poetry lovers, Lindi Nolte and Company put on an afternoon of poetry at 2:30 by donation and the Willie MacCalder Band takes the stage for a community dance starting at 8 p.m. Expect everything from traditional music to boogie-woogie and barrelhouse to keep everyone in the hall jumping.

Sunday has a jam-packed schedule, with the five-person 1659 Baroque Ensemble at 3 p.m., Jodi Proznick and Friends performing jazz at 6 p.m., a salmon barbeque at 7:15 p.m., and the closing ceremony by the Kwantlen First Nation at 8:15 p.m. free of charge.

When asked why the committee works so hard to put the event on, James answered, “Because we’re continuing a tradition established over the last two years of presenting a very high level of performance… and audiences have loved it.”

Event prices vary. Tickets can be purchased at Wendels and Euphoria Chocolates.

“On Saturday, particularly, the tourist information kiosk in front of the hall will have tickets there as well. If people buy four tickets, they get a fifth one of their choice for free,” James noted.

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