The Search for Burns Lake’s Centennial Artist, a once-in-a-century art competition featuring $11,000 in prizes and gratuities, is now underway in the Lakes District. (Submitted illustration/Lakes District News)

The Search for Burns Lake’s Centennial Artist, a once-in-a-century art competition featuring $11,000 in prizes and gratuities, is now underway in the Lakes District. (Submitted illustration/Lakes District News)

Once-in-a-century art competition now underway in Burns Lake

The Search for Burns Lake’s Centennial Artist, a once-in-a-century art competition featuring $11,000 in prizes and gratuities, is now underway in the Lakes District.

The eventis being held this year to celebrate the arts and Burns Lake’s first 100 years. Artists with close ties to the Lakes District are eligible to participate, and 24 will be chosen to complete two-dimensional works of art in scenic locations around Burns Lake during July and August. The winner, selected by an impartial jury, will become Burns Lake’s Centennial Artist and receive a commission valued at $2,000.

Runners-up will receive similar awards, and each artist chosen to compete in the plein air events will receive a gratuity valued at $100. One lucky artist under the age of 19 will also be crowned Burns Lake’s Junior Centennial Artist.

Michael Riis-Christianson, curator of the Lakes District Museum & Gallery, hopes dozens of artists will enter the competition. Winning it, he said, could be a life-changing event. “In addition to the cash prize, the winning artist will receive a huge amount of publicity, which could lead to other commissions and more work. Entering costs nothing, so why not take a chance? Someone is going to be crowned Burns Lake’s Centennial Artist this year, and it might be you!”

Lyle Graham, president of the museum society, agrees. “The Search for Burns Lake’s Centennial Artist will promote the arts in the Lakes District, support local businesses, and help celebrate the centennial,” Graham said. “Given the magnitude of the competition, we also feel it will draw attention to our community and everything it has to offer.”

Graham said the society is pleased to participate in Burns Lake’s Centennial celebration, noting that The Search for Burns Lake’s Centennial Artist fits with the museum society’s mandate. “The Lakes District Museum, located at 520 Highway 16 West in Burns Lake, contains dozens of exhibits, including art produced by residents past and present,” he said. “We operate the only public art gallery in the Lakes District, and we have been gathering and preserving information, records, and objects of educational, historical, and cultural value to the region for more than 44 years.”

The deadline for entering the competition is March 31, 2023. Artists wanting more information and an application form should contact the Lakes District Museum Society by phone (250-692-7450) or email (ldmuseumsociety@gmail.com).

The Search for Burns Lake’s Centennial Artist is sponsored by local businesses, individuals, and the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.