LAC mounting horse fundraiser

Arts Council is kicking off a grassroots effort, titled Horsing Around

Hay, have you herd?

Langley Arts Council has mounted a new sponsorship campaign.

They’re kicking off a grassroots fundraising effort, titled Horsing Around, to support the local arts, while offering a nod to the community’s rich agricultural history, by offering fibreglass horse sculptures for purchase or patronage.

Horse sculptures are the perfect way to bring the arts and agricultural communities together, said Carla Robin, project expediter with the Langley Arts Council.

The project was chosen from several contenders by the 2010 Summer Games committee, after LAC was named one of the beneficiaries of the games’ legacy fund to promote arts and culture.

The more horses that are purchased for placement around the community, the more future arts and culture related projects will benefit, said Robin.

And she has a rather lofty goal in mind. “I’d love to see 50 horses in public places and facilities.”

Like the orcas and bears that have proliferated Lower Mainland communities in years past, the life-sized sculptures will arrive as plain white figures.

The call to decorate the sculptures will go out to artists  from across the Lower Mainland. Once design proposals start coming in, it will be up to a committee, comprised of Langley Arts Council Members, members of the equestrian community and local celebrities to choose which ones will make the cut.

Before that can happen, though, individuals and businesses will need to begin purchasing the statues, said Robin.

For a $5,000 contribution, a person or group can become the patron of a horse.

But for a few bucks more, you get to brand it and keep it.

“Another $5,000 and you get that horse at the end of the day,” said Robin. “Otherwise it goes to auction.”

The $5,000 or $10,000 fee pays for the sculpture, painting, anti-grafitti lacquering and installation, with the remainder going into an LAC fund that will support future arts-related projects.

If Robin can meet her goal of selling 50 horses at $5,000 apiece, “that’s $250,000 for the fund that goes back into the community,” she said.

The arts council is also asking people who can’t afford to purchase a horse to consider becoming a herd patron for a donation of $100 or more.

Forms include an Arab a standing thoroughbred or a grazing horse. Colts — also life sized — are available for $3,200, and Robin is hopeful people will purchase these on behalf of Langley schools, where they will be displayed until they go to auction, about 15 months from now.

The horses are being moulded in the U.S. because the council couldn’t find a Canadian source, said Robin.

“As long as people keep buying them, we’ll keep (ordering) them,” she said.

“I’d like to buy a good herd up front, to save on shipping costs.”

Once the sculptures have been placed around the community, a guide will be drawn up for visitors.

Already, the Horse Capital of B.C. has stepped up, with both the Township and the City of Langley purchasing statues. The City’s — with a theme of past and present — will stand in Linwood Park.