Whitehawk Arts Council celebrate 40 years

The Whitehawk Arts Council celebrated its 40th year anniversary with a special ceremony that was accompanied by entertainment showcasing the arts at the Preeceville Trinity United Church on April 6.

Miles Russell, president, was master of ceremonies for the event.

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Entertainment was provided by: Maggie Bartel, Cheyenne Peterson, Rayanne Westermann, Lizzie and Maggie Ivanochko, Kiera Balyski and Lynnel Person.

There were displays that featured the past 40 years of history of the council and a variety of art from various local artists.

Miles Russell welcomed everyone and spoke briefly on the organization. “The first performance held was Paper Wheat in August of 1979 with the council officially organized in October of that year,” he said.

He acknowledged Ivy Krauss as being one of the first members of the council and still an active member in the council.

“Ivy also held various positions on the board and worked with the provincial body of the Arts Councils in Saskatchewan known as Organizations of Saskatchewan Arts Councils,” stated Russell.

"We were a very small group when we first began," said Krauss. "Our goal was to bring visual and performing arts to the local rural area. We had a difficult time getting financial support in the beginning but over the years it has improved with sponsors, patronage and donations. There was a time in 1984 where the organization was looking at disbanding but we decided to give it one more try and I'm glad we did," said Krauss.

The Whitehawk Arts Council has sponsored 131 performing arts events in the Stars for Saskatchewan series over the years and has hosted more than 50 exhibitions through the visual arts program.

The official organization of the Whitehawk Arts Council in October 1979 involved the communities of Sturgis, Preeceville and Norquay and became incorporated in Saskatchewan on July 6, 1987.

The Whitehawk Arts Council organization of volunteers is dedicated to the sponsorship and appreciation of performing, visual and literary arts. The council was named after the first post office in the Whitehawk District.

Many individuals were involved in the creation of the Whitehawk Arts Council. The first supporters were: Wade Hainstock, Jeanne Butler, Dr, McKitterick, Fred Barker, Wendy Parsons and Zach Dietrich. The first executive committee that was recorded was made up of: Wade Hainstock, Yvonne Morken, Jeanne Butler and Fred Barker.

The council has supported Sturgis Sports and Rodeo, as well as community events such as Autumnfest and drama festival events. It has also contributed to the Sturgis Composite High School lighting and stands and Preeceville Legion Hall lighting and curtains.

The council is part of a province-wide network of more than 44 community arts councils under the umbrella of Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils.