What civic organization would schedule a Family Day on a Monday, a school day, a workday? Answer: None. Certainly not Surrey’s SAG, Surrey Art Gallery. SAG conveners know better, but apparently a grandfather with stage 0.5 Alzheimer’s doesn’t. Yet the ad in my Art Society of Surrey magazine said June 8 and so did the tiny window on my watch display an 8. So I took Jayden out of school, both of us eager to make art with others and then to enjoy a participative concert. However, upon arrival, a large classic Rolls Royce was parked in front of the entrance to SAG and people dressed nicely in suits and knee length dresses and somber faces were entering as well. There were no other children and parents in shorts and T-shirts in sight but Jayden and I entered nonetheless and inquired where we would find the Family Day gathering. The accommodating receptionist advised me that Family Day was yesterday, Sunday, that it’s always on Sunday so families can attend, and never on a weekday. She said this with a tone that suggested that any thinking person would have innately understood this. The muted occasion was the memorial service for one of British Columbia’s most celebrated artists, Robert Douglas Genn, whom I have admired and about whom I have written before. Jayden’s grandfather was not even current enough to remember this noteworthy event.
So J and I returned to the car, MX5, top down to revisit our afternoon plans. We came up with, let’s first go to Krispy Kreme for a world famous decadent doughnut and drink and then let’s go to the Serpentine Wild Life Conservation area. Jayden calls it ‘Turpentine.’ It was to be an artsy afternoon, but I reason that artists need to spend lots of time outdoors, so this was a well-spent afternoon. My other four grandchildren also enjoy drawing and painting so I will have to come up with matching ideas for them I’m sure.