Fair promotes art and culture among youth

Sooke Family Arts Fair pairs up with garage sale for a day of fun

Sooke residents will have more to rejoice about than just the coming of spring, because the 10th annual Sooke Family Arts Fair and garage sale are fast approaching.

The event runs April 16 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at  SEAPARC Leisure Complex.

Started by the Sooke Community Arts Council 10 years ago, the idea was to promote arts and culture among youth.

“We see lots of families come and visit and try the activities, and just increases awareness of some of the activities that kids can do in the community,” said Debbie Clarkston, a member of the arts council and one of the organizers of the event.

Activities are wide and colorful across the spectrum, including playing with clay, leaf pounding and making marble prints, but also focus on interaction as well, allowing kids to take part in dance and music events.

“Kids are invited to take part in everything,” Clarkston noted, adding that storytelling, performances from dance and music students, as well as numbers by the Sooke Youth Show Choir, make up a large repertoire of things to do.

New this year is yarn art, while kumihimo (the art of Japanese braiding) makes a welcome return after a long hiatus.

Over the years, the fair included drama activities where kids dressed up in costumes, and on another occasion, were able to pick up a random musical instrument and learn to play it.

“The idea is exposing youth to the wonderful variety of the arts and allowing them to experience a bit of everything,” Clarkston said, adding that the fair couples well with the garage sale that will be taking place at the SEAPARC on the same day.

Admission to both events is free.