The Nicola Valley Arts Council hosted ‘Summertime in Spirit Square’ on Friday, July 22. The event was a celebration of arts, headlined by a musical performance by the band Atlas.

“This is our first, sort of, art festival,” said Olivia Schmid, one of the main volunteer organizers.

“We wanted to get a bunch of local artists out, and lots of people in the city to celebrate creativity, as I like to say.”

The celebration took place from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Spirit Square and featured a number of games provided by the Merritt Community Policing Office. There were also plenty of arts and crafts activities provided by Arts Council and Merritt Secondary School art teacher, Shannon Dunn.

“We love Spirit Square,” said Jano Howarth, curator for the Nicola Valley Arts Gallery.

“We’d really like to have lots of activities there. It would be really nice to see that square put into good use so the Arts Council definitely wants to create some action there.”

The council’s ‘Art in Motion’ trailer also made an appearance in Spirit Square, along with the large mandala canvas that visitors could paint on. Food vendors were also present, such as the Merritt Girl Guides, who sold popcorn and lemonade to beat the heat.

Summertime in Spirit Square by Izaiah Reyes

“I definitely think this event is a success,” said Schmid. “Honestly, I think if we reach a couple of people and they are enjoying themselves, then thats pretty much a success in my book.”

The night was capped off by a live performance of Atlas, who played their debut single, ‘Queen sized lover’. The band features local artist Steve Atlas and will also be performing at Rotary Park for ‘Music in the Park’. This Thursday, July 28.

The Arts Council said they will host another ‘Summertime in Spirit Square’ this August.