Artist Andrea Cole has created the backdrop for the past six Mount Arrowsmith Skating Club ice shows.

Artist brings enchanted forest to life

Andrea Cole is the artist who will provide the backdrop for the Mount Arrowsmith Skating Club's Enchanted Forest On Ice.

Each year that the Mount Arrowsmith Skating Club hosts its show on ice, the Alberni Valley Multiplex is filled with decorated themed props. At the end of the show, the large backdrop that takes up nearly the entire width of the rink gets put away to be reused for next time. For the past six shows, Andrea Cole has been given free reign to take that blank slate and transform it into a colourful piece of art.

This year is no different. Andrea worked for one month putting the backdrop together for this month’s performance, The Enchanted Forest On Ice, taking place Friday, Feb. 24 at the AV Multiplex.

Cole had no personal ties to the club originally, but got involved through word-of-mouth. As a long-time artist and creative child, her recent background includes working with the props department at a theatre in Ottawa before furthering her education in graphic design. She also has a collection of paintings on canvas that she completed for exhibits.

When Cole moved to Port Alberni, she was approached to see if she would volunteer her talents for the skating performance.

“Someone asked me if I would do it because she knew I was an artist, and I have been coming back every year,” Cole said.

She remembers the first backdrop she did for the ice show was of a pirate ship for Peter Pan, which fit well with her experience in Ontario working on props for Disney and other movie sets.

“This is a lot more fun because I can be more involved and a lot more creative,” Cole said. “It is like doing a giant kid’s colouring book but at home I am more fine-tuned on my canvas.”

(story continued below)

She works alone in the space above the Little Bavaria restaurant with everything spread out on the floor. The canvas measures about 16 ft. by 40 ft. and she typically spends about two hours at a time working on it. She said she tends to get lost in her own space, but the job allows her to get out in the community.

“It gives me a bit of a purpose for my art,” she said. “I like doing something for the community and it uses my skills, which I like to do.”

Cole recently contributed to the Echo Pool mural project and would like to exhibit her work in more shows.

Her fairytale-inspired backdrop, complete with trees, bugs, and toadstools, as well as a high-energy skating show, can be seen on the evening of Feb. 24 at the Alberni Valley Multiplex at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at Echo Centre.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver poet to read at Alberni Valley Words on Fire

Cynthia Sharp was the City of Richmond’s 2019 Writer in Residence

Port Alberni homeowners wake up to would-be thief in their basement

Stolen items later found stashed at the end of the street

Shadow of Murder opens Feb. 21 at Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni

Classic whodunit comes from Canadian playwright Elizabeth Elwood

Wounded Warrior Run gets personal for Port Alberni RCMP participant

Run will come to Port Alberni on Thursday, Feb. 27; fundraising dinner planned for Legion Br. 293

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read