Letters: Open letter to council

Artists' market proposed in Sooke by local art dealer

Deceived by the indifference you have shown to the “Art Lane Market” project I presented to you last December, I would love to receive a public explanation, please. Our Sooke residents deserve to know why you do not want to collaborate with a project that will bring money to their pockets?

On Oct. 18, 2010, a group of artists, supported by 350 signatures from local business and tourists, presented our idea to the district. We requested help in installing small metal structures where the artists could hold their works and a piece of land where to host the event. To our disillusion your engineer department said, “the idea is great, but the district only helps not-for-profit groups.”

A year later, on Dec. 12, 2010, I did a Power Point presentation to council clearly explaining that in exchange for your help you could charge is rent and licence fees. I also asked an amendment to the parks bylaw to allow the market-lane to be open seven days a week all year long starting in May 2012. Nevertheless, May is already in our doors and you,instead of politely answering us, decided to invest all the reserved money for arts in the creation of another not-for-profit  umbrella society of the arts’ elite. Apparently, the regular citizen, the “little guy,” the artist who really deserves help right now has to keep waiting. Perhaps some day he/she will have the chance to see some profit from the extraordinary broad project planned for futuristic times. However, let us not forget how many chances to win the Boardwalk Signage Contest were given to artists last year, 13 days notice to create three works and to enter the contest.

Therefore, once again, I beg you to amend the parks bylaw in our favour to allow people to make some money during these hard economic times. Our project will allow residents to sell paintings, crafts, carvings, knitting, books, CDs, music instruments, and all other kind of artistically designed items. It will put food on people’s tables in a so difficult moment.

Conclusion, I will keep waiting for your answer to gather the artists and start the association. We will use our own tents and find our own piece of land, if you cannot lend is one.

Lastly, I really hope I will not receive a morally incorrect answer from you stating that you are giving “our project” to a not-for-profit group because this project is meant to be created and organized by an association of independent artists. Artists are capable to administrate their own business.

Margarita Dominguez

Sooke