Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin visited Selkirk College today in Nelson, as part of the celebration for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. The last time the college was visited by a royal representative was by Queen Elizabeth II during the 1971 tour of British Columbia, when she stopped at the Castlegar campus.
Austin said that along with her passion for the arts she has a strong heart in supporting everyone who was affected by the recent pandemic. This meant helping by providing an award focusing on music and the arts in both an individual category as well as an organizational category. The winners of the awards would see a prize in the amount of $10,000 for an organization, and $5,000 for an individual entry.
Selection of the candidates will be chosen by a jury, which is entirely independent. Austin said they received over 100 applications for the award, but only 25 would be selected, and the selection is to be announced shortly. This is to work in conjunction with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The students at Selkirk College’s Victoria Street campus have been putting out a vast array of work, ranging from textiles and blacksmithing to pottery and metal casting. The school has the capacity to take on a maximum of ten students, but this year they admitted 11 because of the demand from within the industry.
“I think this is a small community, where artists are really accepted,” Austin said. “Artists are a strong part of the community of Nelson.” She felt that so many artists got their start right here in the community, and with the small class sizes that the college offers it helps harness the potential of each student.