In 1980, Chatelech art teacher Enid Goodman Kelly and her students went looking for a venue to display the students’ creations. The students, Enid states “were enthusiastic and eager to show their parents, family and community their art. The Sunshine Coast Art Centre was the perfect choice.”
That first year, of what has come to be known as “The Young People’s Own Show”, Chatelech was the only school represented. The following year Chatelech invited Elphinstone and Pender Harbour Secondary to join them.
In 1983 Enid Goodman Kelly left Sechelt for a few years and in her absence the Sunshine Coast Arts Council took over the reigns as producer of the “Young People’s Own Show”. Shortly thereafter the Arts Council invited Sunshine Coast Elementary schools to join the exhibit.
Each year a call goes out to all elementary and secondary schools on the Sunshine Coast. The only stipulation is that the work entered is created in the school over the current school year. The annual exhibit occurs each spring and is divided into two sections. Each exhibit runs for approximately two weeks – the elementary schools starting off with the secondary schools following.
The exhibit has become a favourite among many of the Art Centre’s visitors. The students’ work never fails to amaze and often belies the age of the creators. The heroes of this exhibit continue to be the teachers. Amidst all of their pressures and deadlines, and competing with a myriad of demands, the Sunshine Coast teachers find time to inspire their students with unique and educational projects, and in so doing help to create the next wave of Sunshine Coast artists.
This year’s Young People’s Own Show starts with the Elementary Schools from April 20th – May 8th and is followed by the Secondary Schools from May 11th–May 29th. The exhibit is held in the Doris Crowston Gallery in the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre, at 5714 Medusa St., Sechelt. Gallery hours are Wednesday – Saturday, 11am–4pm and on Sundays from 1–4pm.