Are you an artist? We’ll exhibit your work. Do you like music? We’re bringing bands from across the country. Do you like good food, wine, and local beer? You’ll get lots of that. Do you want to meet people? We’re bringing you together. Do you like doing things? Well, join us then. You may have heard rumblings of an ageist organization held in the hallowed halls of The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford, but the Young Contemporaries are really a group of 18-35 year-olds with big dreams of serving the Fraser Valley community. We believe that this community’s young people, if given the chance to work together, can encourage a more vibrant, creative, and fun environment.
While working as a summer student at The Reach, I had the privilege, along with my other “millennial” colleagues, of advising Gabe Kirkley, creator of the Young Contemporaries organization. Inspired by the 37,000 Abbotsford young people—and more throughout the rest of the Fraser Valley—without a centralized ‘hub,’ staff at The Reach sought to fill this need by making our facility welcoming to this demographic of creative individuals.
Our first young adult-centered event, the Uiniversity of the Frasier Valley CiVL Radio Gala fundraiser, was a hit this summer, with a battle of the bands featuring You Say Party, Oh No! Yoko, Little Wild, The New Atlas, Casey Ambrose, and The Parish of Little Clifton. The bands performed against a backdrop of SANDSTORM paintings by artist Chris Woods—art showcasing film stills from Star Wars from Darth Vader’s perspective.
This successful evening served as a blueprint for our upcoming events.
Our first official Art on Tap night begins Thursday October 17 at 7pm. Come and listen to bands Boys Who Say No and Oh Village, visit the curated, one-night only exhibition of Young Contemporary member artwork (including paintings from Trinity Western’s own, Tara Spencer), and enjoy great food and drink! Stay tuned for future events like our Starbucks Coffee “Thirstday,” Young Professionals Night, and exhibition opportunities for artists at The Reach’s A-grade facility.
On top of free or discounted admission to awesome events and exhibitions, a Young Contemporaries membership includes opportunity to nominate or be nominated for The Reach Young Artist of the Year Award, invitations to field trips, discounts on fun workshops and classes, an exclusive Contemporaries Exhibition Preview Tour, plus all the benefits of a Friend of The Reach! (Please see thereach.ca/friends-volunteers/friends)