Sooke artists Anika Lacerte (left), Shelley Davies, Jill Warne, and Jeannine Sayler created the art work for the book bins at SEAPARC Leisure Complex as part of the Sooke Region Literary Project. 
(Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)

In Sooke, book bins receive an artistic facelift

Literacy project turns the page on 12 years of making books available to the community

The bins are so popular that books are literally flying off the shelves.

The Sooke Literary Project celebrated 12 years of making books available to the community by having four artists add their creative flair to the book bins at SEAPARC Leisure Complex, Sooke Region Family Resource Society, and Edward Milne Community School.

“All of the bins are really well used,” said Amy Harstad, Sooke and West Shore Region Literacy outreach coordinator. “The bins are emptied every month, and many people drop off their reads. It’s very user-friendly.”

“We were asked to tell a story with our art,” said Shelley Davies, a T’Sou-Ke Nation artist who painted one of the bins at Sooke Region Family Resource Centre. “I chose the forest and tried to make it as colourful as possible and include animals and cedar trees, which are significant in our culture.”

Anika Lacerte, who initiated the project and painted one of the book bins at SEAPARC, said she views reading as a community event.

“It’s often a parent teaching a child, so I wanted to incorporate those elements into the work,” she said.

Jeannine Sayler did one of the two children’s book bins at SEAPARC.

“I was raised on the Prairies and have been fascinated by the ocean ever since I moved to B.C.,” she said. “That’s what inspired me.”

Jill Werne, who used a children’s theme for her book bin at Sooke Region Family Resource Centre, said it was great to see that they are used all the time.

“I chose nature from the grass up for my themes, so I included little bugs and little creatures,” she said.

The initiative results from a partnership involving the Sooke Region Literacy Project, the District of Sooke, and the Sooke Arts Council.

The Sooke Region Literacy project’s mandate is to build community and help people in the Sooke region achieve the sense of empowerment that comes with literacy. Work in the community aims to enhance, co-ordinate, and create literacy programs from Sooke to Port Renfrew to ensure everyone has access to the learning opportunities they need to reach their full potential.

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