Every Friday night starting June 19th, Invermeres art galleries will be livening up the town with the new Invermere Art Walk initiative that will run right through the summer until September 11th.  Gallery representatives from left to right are (front row) Christine Stufano Simpson, Jenn Abra, Jessie Blakley, Stephen Lebovits, Chloe Danielle Marson, (back row) Connie Artym-Bradatsch, Grey Bradatsch, Max Perrin, Shawna Tegart, Chris Jones and Jami Scheffer (missing is Deanna Gauthier). Photo by Breanne Massey

Every Friday night starting June 19th, Invermeres art galleries will be livening up the town with the new Invermere Art Walk initiative that will run right through the summer until September 11th.Gallery representatives from left to right are (front row) Christine Stufano Simpson, Jenn Abra, Jessie Blakley, Stephen Lebovits, Chloe Danielle Marson, (back row) Connie Artym-Bradatsch, Grey Bradatsch, Max Perrin, Shawna Tegart, Chris Jones and Jami Scheffer (missing is Deanna Gauthier). Photo by Breanne Massey

Collect a gallery of stamps in a passport unique to the Columbia Valley this summer.

A weekly self-guided tour of nine art galleries located in Invermere every Friday between 5 and 8 p.m. from June 19th to September 11th could mean winning prizes from several businesses within the community at the end of the summer.

The Art Walk Invermere program will be launched with a Kick Off event between 7 and 9 p.m. at Pynelogs Art Gallery and Cultural Centre on Tuesday, June 16th.

We are inviting all of the resorts, accommodators, restaurants and businesses to attend the launch party, said Jami Scheffer, Pynelogs Art Gallery and Cultural Centre executive director and gallery manager. We want to encourage them to invite all of their front end staff so that they know about the Art Walk and can promote it throughout the summer whenever a guest or a local comes by thats the whole point of the Kick Off. We want to share the idea with the community so they can talk about it.

Its also a time for all of the businesses to get together and talk about the summer, she said. Reacquaint themselves, share some ideas and do some networking. Its just an opportunity to get everyone together.

Ms. Scheffer believes the opportunity to raise awareness about the arts community and drive up tourism numbers is in the communitys best interest.

Its a new initiative, she said. There have been lots of ideas and sharing to get this project off the ground since the early spring.

Those who would like to participate in the self-guided walking tour as part of the Kick Off should start at the Cross Roads Collective at the corner of Highway 93/95 and Athalmer Road to pick-up their passports and a map with all of the participating art galleries.

Spectators will receive instructions to continue into the heart of Invermere to visit the Deanna Gauthier Boutique and Gallery, Bavin Glassworks, Artym Gallery, Black Star Studios, Effusion Art Gallery and Glass Studio, Village Arts Society and Painted Aspen Studio.

The opening night will conclude at Pynelogs Art Gallery and Cultural Centre with snacks from Fuze and Fubuki Sushi, entertainment from DJ Iliya Stankovski and a cash only bar.

There will be nine prizes donated from the nine different participating galleries for people who attend the opening night reception.

Come down here at the end for a glass of wine, listen to some live music and well have some food tastings, said Ms. Scheffer. There will be lots of things going on.

Starting Friday, June 19th and for every Friday of the Art Walk through to September 11th, each gallery will be offering a variety of attractions, from live music and buskers to local restaurant food tastings and artist demonstrations.

For more information about Art Walk Invermere, contact InvermereArtWalk@gmail.com.