Dena McPhee

FACE or CLACS? Take your pick for new group’s name

An arts and culture organization specifically for people in the Cowichan Lake

An arts and culture organization specifically for people in the Cowichan Lake district is in the early stages of formation and volunteer organizers want all area residents to help choose its name.

The Foundation for Arts and Culture Enhancement (FACE) or the Cowichan Lake Arts and Culture Society (CLACS) — which would you choose?

This summer, artists and members of the public alike gathered for a barbecue and brainstorming session to discuss the future of artistic and cultural activities in this region. One of their top priorities was to determine a name for the nascent arts group, which will be funded by the CVRD.

“Using the email list from the barbecue, I sent out an invitation to everyone who signed up saying: What do you think the organization should be called?” said Loretta Puckrin, an artist in Lake Cowichan and one of the people spearheading the arts organization’s formation.

And while Puckrin encouraged respondents to think big, there was one stipulation everyone had to keep in mind when devising possible names.

“The government has said it must be a foundation, society or association,” said Puckrin. “There was a group of people who wanted council; well, we could use council as our user name, but it couldn’t be our registered name. Some people said that wasn’t a big problem, but others said, ‘Let’s just get a name where we don’t have to worry about [that].’”

All ideas Puckrin received in response to her email were made into a list of 12, which was then voted on through an online survey open to all members of the public. When voting closed, FACE and CLACS were tied.

Consequently, for the rest of September, people can have their say on which of the two names they like more.

Puckrin said voters she’s talked to tend to fall into two camps: those who feel a catchy and memorable acronym is most important and those who believe including a regional identifier matters more.

“FACE just caught my eye, which I thought was a good thing for the foundation. It’s very open and inviting to me. And we can have lots of fun with advertising with it,” said Dena McPhee, artistic director of the Kaatza Lakeside Players and one of the many people who voted on the first batch of names.

“[FACE] is appropriate for Facebook and facing the challenge of building a foundation, and it just stayed in my head a lot better than CLACS did,” she said.

Kathie Fielding, however, is an arts supporter who prefers the latter.

“I think this one because it outlines the area. That’s mostly why I was excited by that. Not as excited about the acronym. But it works,” she said. “[FACE] doesn’t have a place.”

Puckrin did not want to publicly state her preference one way or the other since she has been facilitating the process.

Whether its a foundation or a society, FACE or CLACS, the organization will have a board of directors and multiple commitment levels for general members depending on their interest and availability.

The CVRD has agreed that the money it set aside for the 2016 calendar year can be held over until next year, however, the organization must be fully formed and incorporated by the end of 2017.

“But our target is to have this society named and registered by the end of this calendar year,” said Puckrin, emphasizing the need for participation.

“If there isn’t a big buy-in from the community of people who are willing to do jobs, then it’s not serving its purpose and its not needed. But the barbecue just blew we me away. I was so happy with the results and the number of people.”

You can find a link to the survey on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/lakecowichan. Voting closes at midnight on Sept. 30.

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