Photo: Doug Clovechok with his Medicine Wheel
This week, I had the pleasure of meeting Doud Clovechok, my local Liberal MLA for the Columbia River Revelstoke riding, at the grand opening of his new office in Kimberley.
There had been a general call for artists a couple of weeks before, inviting artists to potential display their artwork in the new offices. I was delighted to have my submission accepted and now I'm proud to say a Kootenay Wildlife Limited Edition is hanging on the wall, among other art from local legends. Doug's enthusiasm for art is immediate as soon as you walk in and Rachel Loganberg, his Constituency Assistant, has done a spectacular job decking out the office.
I was lucky enough to arrive at the office open house during a slight lull between numerous visitors, so I grabbed Doug for a few quick questions. As the critic for tourism, arts and culture, naturally I was intrigued! He spoke to me with a genuine interest and sincerity towards the arts, surrounded by stunning art pieces
As MLA critic for tourism, arts and culture, what is your role?
To look at the policies and to make sure the BC government ‘colour inside the lines’…. Yes he actually said that! LOVE IT! He did provide me with a lot more information about this, but being the amateur reporter that I am, I've condensed it to one line for the purpose of this blog.
You mentioned to the Columbia Valley Pioneer that there’s a plan for major urban centers but not much for rural areas like ours. What are your ideas around this?
To work with local mayors and other local organizations to facilitate what we need in the area. To keep the government accountable for their promises.
What tourism, arts and culture strengths do we have in the Columbia Valley?
Our industry is tourism, we have well designed processes in this area. I want to enhance this.
Have you always had an interest in the arts?
It depends on what kind of art!
Who is your favourite artist?
Chris Eckert, a Dene Artist
What is your favourite art piece?
A bronze statue in my living room; it’s a first nations warrior on a horse crossing the creek.
Do you have a work of art that has been handed down through your family?
An Ontario Fall Scene that’s come from my Grandma then was handed down to my Mother and then to me.
Tell me about the last gallery exhibition you went to and what you thought about it.
In Vancouver I went to a modern art exhibition, I was fascinated but didn’t understand it.
Do you have a creative side or hobby?
I can draw stick men and my singing would drive wolves to drink!
But I do make medicine wheels and I am a Ceremonial Pipe Holder, part of the Piikani First Nation. My wife is a very talented watercolour painter.
I came away thinking how wonderful it is to have your local MLA representing something so close to your heart.
Good luck and best wishes Doug & Rachel!