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GIVING BACK COLUMN: What the heck is PRAS?

Pacific Rim Arts Society is one of the longest standing Arts organization in British Columbia
Artist and executive director of PRAS Kelly Deakin flashes a heart symbol beside her wood mural ‘Community Strong’. (Westerly File photo)

PRAS? Pacific Rim Arts Society ~ this is who PRAS is!

In 1970, a small group of local individuals dedicated to the arts and culture interest of the West Coast formed a society called the “Long Beach Arts Council” to serve the area known as Ucluelet-Tofino-Long Beach and outlying districts.

The objects of the Society were to increase and broaden the opportunities to enjoy and to participate in cultural activities and to encourage latent talents which may exist among persons in outlying areas as well as locally. The purpose being:

a) to help coordinate the work and programs of cultural groups in the area

b) to stimulate and encourage the development of cultural projects and activities

c) to render service to all participating groups and individuals

d) to act as a clearing house for information on cultural projects and activities

e) to foster interest and pride in the cultural heritage of this area

f) to interpret the work of cultural groups to the community, enlist public interest and promote public understanding

g) to bring to the attention of civic and provincial authorities the cultural needs of this area

In August 1985, a resolution was passed to change the name of “Long Beach Arts Council” to the “Pacific Rim Arts Society” which brings us to P.R.A.S.

Who the heck is PRAS? We are the same society that was created in 1970 and still exists in 2022. 52 years! PRAS is one of the longest standing Arts organization in British Columbia.

PRAS has enriched the communities with the much-loved Missoula Children’s Theatre. The very popular Pacific Rim Summer Festival, the ever-anticipated Cultural Heritage Festival and the growing bigger and stronger largest non-juried Art Show on the West Coast, ArtSpash!

PRAS has created the intimate Orange Door Gallery, initiated pop up art shows and supported local musicians with the battle of the bands, Ukee Airband Contest and under the tent pop up performances. We support Tofino Poet Laureate and have an extensive lending library of art and art related literature.

PRAS is always looking for new ideas and ways to broaden the arts and culture on the West Coast. We welcome new board members and are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers.

We welcome all interested artists and art enthusiasts to join us! Email for more information to become involved or visit

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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