The Umbrella Project kicks off in Gyro Park

The City of Penticton Arts and Culture Committee is launching The Umbrella Project in Gyro Park Saturday, June 16, during the Downtown Penticton markets to showcase the colourful work conducted to date.

"We're hoping everyone comes out to see the completed umbrellas in Gyro Park. It should be an incredibly visual display," said Charlie Utz, Arts and Culture Committee Co-chair. "This innovative fundraising project has been embraced by artists in Penticton, and we hope the enthusiasm spreads throughout the community."

The Umbrella Project is an annual fundraising opportunity for the Committee designed to support public art and cultural projects in the City of Penticton.

The City provided the seed money for the Committee to purchase 30 patio umbrellas, which serve as the cornerstone of the project. Local artists have signed up to paint the patio umbrellas, and these colourful pieces are provided to sponsors for display in visible locations. An Umbrella Guide will be produced listing all the locations where The Umbrella Project submissions can be found, and the guide will be available at the Visitor's Information Centre, Downtown Penticton markets and other locations for guests to pick up and follow the trail of colourful umbrellas.

Proceeds during each step of the process will be held in trust for future art projects by the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee.

The Umbrella Project is seeking additional sponsors who are willing to showcase the umbrellas. Businesses and private donors can sponsor and host an umbrella from June to September for $300. In September, sponsors will be invited to permanently purchase their umbrellas for $200. If they choose not to purchase it, the umbrella is then auctioned off at the Reimagine Art Festival.

Anyone interested in sponsorship is asked to contact Committee Co-chair Charlie Utz by phoning 250-493-0007 or email, or Dustin Merritt at 250-493-8540 or via email. Sponsorship forms are also available online at The Umbrella Project page under the blue Community tab.