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May 16th, 1969

An all over the town festival all summer long

By Norman Wilson

One of the most diverse and imaginative grass roots festival plans to be put forward in Vancouver has now been unveiled by the intermedia organization for this summer.

It involves 75 performing artists taking part in events over a three month period from Midsummer Day to Labor Day.

The imagination, talent and genuine festive spirit that has been put into it has won immediate acclaim and support from many people, and approval already from some of the civic bodies affected by it.

It has for instance, been given the full backing of the Tourist Bureau and the approval of the Parks Board in whose parks many of the events will be taking place.

With such backing, it now faces its main financial hurdle with growing optimism— that is, its appeal to Mayor Cambell and city council for the necessary grant to make much of it possible.

With the unrealistic and extravagant old-style Vancouver Festival now dead and buried, the council should be able to see its way to give this enterprise its full support. It can do this without any fear of possible losses forcing council to dig deeper into its moneybags later in the year to rescue the enterprise from debt.

For this festival will undertake only those projects for which it has money available in advance.

The project is especially worthy of civic support on two further grounds. For it is providing work for, and thereby helping to develop the talents of artists who come from within the community.

Second, these artists are giving their services at a nominal sum to get the festival off the ground. The non-union amount budgeted for them is in fact $10 per day when performing. People who combine artistic skill with such public spirit have to be deserving of the fullest public support.

This festival will also be providing a further civic purpose because it will be taking the festival out to the people— in the parks, in open spaces in the downtown area like the Courthouse Square, the Queen Elizabeth Theater Plaza and the lobbies of large office buildings and on the city's many beaches.

The idea is to make this city a fun place to be all summer with happenings and events springing up largely unannounced and sporadically wherever the artists find people to entertain .... free.

It is completely in tune with the type of indigenous, mainly out door, festival which this magazine and many other interested and involved people in Vancouver now favor and have been seeking to prompt to replace the defunct festival.

So, to the festival under the stars idea put forward last week, we can now enlarge it to a festival under the sun and stars. That is the over-all concept. Now here are details of the Intermediate plans—

A Troupe of the Seasons under Ted Hicks will present mime performances on a daily basis. The 10 people in this group will perform six to eight rehearsed and improvised sketches.

Traveling in a van from place to place, they will appear in downtown locations and community parks.

The Vancouver Living Theater, a group of 12 under Dean Fogal will perform in places similar to Troupe of the Seasons mostly on a twice weekly basis, predominately over weekends. The main feature of this group is the ease with which it can involve audiences in its presentations.

The TheCo Dance Group of Helen Goodwin, a group of up to 30 performers, artists, architects will program two series of participatory events, "Summer Places" and "City Spaces."

Incidental Sculpture Projects involves a number of Intermedia-associated painters and sculptors who will be presenting temporary , spontaneous exhibitions of abstract sculptures in public spaces.

An example of incidental sculpture projects was the erection of a 20-foot-high, brightly colored plywood pyramid which was placed in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery during Intermedia's exhibition in April.

Water Scapes. In this, a group of artists will be decorating a barge, with unusual reflective materials which will be towed to a prominent location off Stanley Park.

At an advertised hour searchlights will be trained on the barge, which will burst into a cacophony of color and light, reflected repeatedly in the waves.

In addition, small sculptured floats will be released from a boat and carried to shore by tidal action. The floats will be retrieved by the public, especially children, as a special souvenir of Summer.

Living Light Sculpture. This is a plan for a series searchlights in strategic locations in Stanley Park to dramatize the majestic quality of our Douglas Fir and Cedar giants.

The surprisingly low amount Intermedia is seeking for this 11 weeks of entertainment for people all over the metropolitan area is around $20,000 —compared with 10 times that amount for just two weeks for that.................

Intermedia is looking for the major part of this amount at City Hall, but it is also seeking proportionate help from the B.C. Government, Burnaby Council and the Vancouver Foundation.

We join in urging these official bodies to give their maximum support to this new festive summer spirit among its citizens, It could be the start of something much bigger in the future.


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