Willie Dye became Arty the Artwalker in 2012 during a Downtown Williams Lake BIA committee meeting with Bobby Sunner, Bruce Charbonneau and Jennifer Bremner. The committee was looking for a mascot to promote Artwalk and Downtown Williams Lake and turned to Dwayne Davis to create the “Arty the Artwalker” graphic.
Willie felt that they had to take the concept further and Bruce’s wife Sue made the first Arty the Artwalker costume. Finding someone to wear it was far more difficult, no one wanted to be Arty. Because the 2012 Stampede parade was fast approaching Willie said he would do it and his career as a toe painter in parades was born.
Since that day Arty has become the beloved and well-known symbol of the Downtown Williams Lake Artwalk and Sale. Arty’s career in videos has followed. Working with John Dell, Arty has appeared in several videos promoting the Artwalk, Stampede, Mural and Carvings, and many community events.
If a community event is happening in Williams Lake, you will likely see Arty there encouraging us all to have fun with it!