Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 13, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
_ THt inHMIDCt HERAID Wedneidoy, Oclooer 13, 1971 4rts Council is busy helping 33 groups develop PAST AND PRESENT These two pictures give c er-lightly" history of the Le.hbridge Allied Arts Council and the Bowman Arts Centre. At left are a few old newspaper clippings recounting the Bowman open- ing and some of the activities that have taken place there. Above are Dr. Keith Lowings, AAC president, and Joan Waterfield, business manager. Another stalwart on the AAC team is Carol Wotkinson, executive secretary. Mrs. Woterfield describes ih. AAC as a "working council" ond says any member con be called upon to perform mundan. (but essential) tosks such as returning props after a play is finished. Dr. said the situation "looks good for tremendous expansion" of the AAC, particularly now that civic administration has been reorganized in the cul- turol field. By HERB JOHNSON" Staff Writer What is the Lethbridge Allied Arts Council and what does it do? It is a 33-member organiza- tion comprising groups that all have some relationship to the general field of culture. According to the somewhat formal terms of the constitu- tion, it encourages, fosters and c o-ordinates cultural develop- ment in the city. The council's current presi- dent, Dr. Keith Lowings, while agreeing with the words of the constitution, puts the basic function in more concrete terms when he says the coun- cil is a "pool of expertise" based in the Bowman Arts Centre. The Bowman Centre, run by the council using a yearly grant from the city this year) is the focal point for much of the cultural activity in Lethbridge. According to Joan Water- field, council business man- ager and along with executive- secretary Caroi Watkinson regular at the centre every day, the old former school is a "working building." The location, close to bus routes, city hall, the Family Y and the new Central School drop-in centre is she says. People drop in all the time, many simply to find out if there is anything going on that might interest them. Often there is. If there isn't, either Mrs. Waterfield or Mrs. Watkinson will go out of their way to find out if one of the member organizations has an activity to offer that would be suitable. If there is sufficient demand for a type of activity, the coun- cil is there to provide the re- sources and know-how to get a new group started. Mrs. Water- field emphasizes that pro- grams at the Bowman grow out of the needj of the community. 'If the people want it, we'll find a place for she says. Dr. Lowings, who feels the Bowman centre is ideal for the function it serves, agrees. He points out that one reason for the council's success is that it grows with the community needs, rather than through try- ing to find programs to fill a huge "chromium-plated" build- ing filled with janitors who worry about the carpets. And the council is a success. Unlike others in the province that have fooled or become mere booking agents, the local organization is deeply rooted in community affairs and is the one allied arts group in Alber- ta to receive a provincial grant. The grant, along with untold hours of volunteer work from the directors, keeps the council going. The city grant is used only to keep the Bow- man building functioning. The building houses five council member-groups which require a bit of permanent space the Lethbridge Handi- craft Guild, the Lethbridge Sketch Club, JoUiffee Academy of Dancing, Playgoers of Leth- jridge and the Oldman River Potters Guild. Their rent mon- ey helps pay the bills. Groups that want to use the building on an occasional basis 3ay a nominal S5 fee. Member clubs are allowed 12 free meet- ings a year. Most of the member groups don't need permanent head- quarters and use the building as the need arises. Drop into the centre almost any time in the afternoon or evening and there will be ac- tors or singers or artists of some type in various nooks and crannies all doing their thing. Dr. Lowings points to this as- pect of the operation as a pri- mary function of the arts coun- cil. Not only does it try to get young people involved in activi- ties outside their first field of interest through putting them in contact with a variety of ac- tivities, but the building itself, because it houses so many dif- ferent things and people, acts as a catalyst in broadening the youngster's scope. Opened as an arts centre in 1965, the old Bowman School has become the focus of activ- ity for an organization that reaches into all cultural fields in Lethbridge. Lethbridge losing grip title on Lethbridge, Sunshine Capital of Canada, lost to Medicine Hat last month by 1.2 hours of sun- shine. According to the Lethbridge weather office, the city had 193.5 hours of sun in Septem- ber while Medicine Hat had 194.7. Pinchcr Creek had the most snowfall in the area with 8.4 inches. Lclhbridge had 2.3 inch- cr, and no snow fell in Medi- cine Hat. Mean temperatures were 51.5 degrees for and 52.8 degrees for Medicine Hat Pinchcr Creek averaged a dul- ly 48.6 degrees. Lcth bridge experienced a high of 85 degrees and a low of 27. Mcxlicine Hal. hit 87 and 28 and Pinchor Crock had tem- peratures of 80 and 25. Started in 1957 The recorded history of the Lethbridge Allied Arts Council dates back to 1957 when the first organizational meetings were held. Representatives of various lo- cal organizations were in- volved in laying the ground- work for a co-ordinating body for cultural activities in the city. By the spring of 1958 things had jelled and the new arts council was on its way. The March 27 edition of The Herald carried a story with the heading: "Lethbridge Allied Arts Council becomes a re- ality; slate of officers named." Err. Van Christou was named president; Ted Godwin was vice-president. The group's sec- retary was Mrs. Jessie Baalim and David Howell was the first treasurer. There were 18 local organiza- tions in the council at the time of its formation. Some are still part of the arts council; others, such as the Lethbridge Jazz So- ciety, have faded away as the cultural climate in the city has changed. First project undertaken by the new council was the spon- sorship of the National Ballet from Toronto, which was book- ed into the Capitol Theatre on its way back home from a tour of the United States. The original members at this time also completed the con- stitution, which set out the group's objectives. They were: "to encourage and foster cultural activities in Lethbridge and district; to co- ordinate the activities of mem- ber organizations: and to co- operate with other groups and individuals in the promotion of cultural activities, and the pro- vision of facilities for the cul- tural development of the com- munity." Overture concert series membership drive this week The Lethbridge 0 v e c hire Concert Series annual mem- bership campaign is being held this week. Season ticket-holders arc en- titled to take in four a Czech folk ensemble, four So- viet harpists, a boys' choir and a Gilbert and Sullivan ensem- ble. Ijcthbridgc is one of Ifi cen- tres in western Canada affil- iated with the concert series or- ganized by Vancouver bassoon- ist George Zukcrman. Membership for the season Is or for senior citizens and students. First concert of the year will bo Nov. 6, when the folk group from Czechoslovakia will nppear in Lethbridge. 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