MELANIE MINTY: Let’s drum up some support for the arts in Surrey

Minister Fassbender, we are looking to you to help our community arts now

Billy Knutson will bring his Rhythm Wellness drum workshop to Surrey Arts Centre in September.

SURREY — We have to adjust to climate changes – weather and political. Learn to use less water, even when it’s raining, and keep informed of who is doing what in the political scene. So take shorter showers.

Premier Christy Clark made a surprise cabinet shuffle. Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Peter Fassbender takes over from Coralee Oakes as B.C.’s Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. That appointment may have escaped your notice, as we were all evaluating Fassbender’s appointment as Minister Responsible for Translink.

I guess that is fair. After all, we can all see the value of transit in our community. Building a better community through arts and culture is more of a challenge to get attention. And we all know what transit means. And we know what sport is. But what is covered under Cultural Development? We need to know, and Fassbender – the cultural organizations in our communities are now relying on you to help with their survival.

Oh, not just Peter either, folks. Cultural development has to be grassroots as well. Parents need to advocate for solid arts programs in schools, get funding for these programs and encourage kids to participate in cultural events as much as they are encouraged to participate in sports. Both are important in building healthy, vibrant communities. But it seems that sports gets more attention and funding. Gotta admit, it is easier to encourage a child to be a sports hero, where there is potential for a multi-million dollar income, rather than looking at an iffy income as a performing artist.

So there it is. Rich sports star or starving artist. Somewhere we are missing the main point. The object is to build better people who contribute to making a better community. Through involvement with community theatre, arts clubs, dance lessons, youth orchestras, choirs, bands and theatre programs, we are giving our kids the opportunity to be creative, learn a skill good for life, interact with others, gain confidence and be valued for whatever talent they may have. Encourage, not discourage. Take kids to live theatre, drive them to dance lessons, let them know that loving to sing or draw is more than OK.

Our politicians may not admit that we are in an economic recession. Times are tough, and have been for a while now. Our community theatre clubs are looking at eroding income from ticket sales. Digital toys occupy the younger generations. It is so easy. Nintendo does not make Surrey a great place to live. Getting families involved in the arts is a positive step in creating good communities. Just sayin’.

OK, there is the challenge. Get involved. How about starting with the SAGA Thursday Artist Talk with Billy Knutson on Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m? I hear all you soccer parents out there moaning. Artist talk? Are you crazy? Well, maybe – the jury is still out on that one. But here is a crazy idea from Knutson.

A drummer, he believes music has a way of breaking down barriers. This artist talk, an evening event, will discuss “rhythm wellness.” This form of recreational music making removes the challenging learning curve by using accessible percussion instruments, creating a fulfilling experience for everyone.

“Rhythm is as ubiquitous as gravity, acting on us for good or bad, regardless of our awareness of it,” Knuston says. After an evening with Knuston, you will become more aware of it and learn how rhythm and music helps us relate, listen and build community.

Get that? Build community. You go, Billy.

Knutson started in the health and fitness industry 28 years ago and in 1998 founded Functional Fysical Fitness Inc., a Total Wellness Company. He combines a wide variety of studies and experience aimed at the integration of the whole person and community. Knutson discovered the power of group rhythm and drumming in 2005 and, since that time, has immersed himself in a variety of musical and drumming studies, for individuals and groups. Visit his website, Rhythmwellness.com.

You know, I was just thinking that Knutson could use a few tap dancers to go along with the drums. Well, why not? I know a whole community of tap dancers making a better community. It’s our own brand of rhythm wellness. And now Billy. The possibilities are as endless as they are creative.

Minister Fassbender, we are looking to you to help our community arts now. Get those grants out so we can rebuild and survive right now. As we build our better community with more interest and public support, we won’t need the grants. Everybody wins. We got the rhythm going now.

melminty@telus.net

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Suspected drugs, counterfeit cash seized during distracted driving stop: Surrey RCMP

Police said incident happened near 152nd Street and Fraser Highway

Fate of five-district policing model in Surrey rests with new police board

Whalley/City Centre, Guildford/Fleetwood, Newton, Cloverdale, and South Surrey districts formed under McCallum’s watch in 1998

North Delta students talk mental health in newly-published book

The book was researched, written and published by students in Delview Secondary’s Innovation 10 class

Surrey teacher wins provincial award for his work teaching art to students

Clayton Heights teacher Dennis Memmott recognized with award granted by his fellow art teachers

Guilty plea withdrawn in West Kelowna murder trial

Tejwant Danjou’s application to have his impromptu guilty plea removed was accepted by the court

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Lawyer gets house arrest for possessing child porn

Maple Ridge resident gets nine-month term

Police renew appeal in help finding missing Maple Ridge woman after vehicle found

Ridge Meadows RCMP released a new photo showing the missing woman walking east on Dewdney Trunk Road

Canada prepared to monitor for community spread of COVID-19: Tam

The U.S. confirmed one case of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, in California Thursday

Most Read