By KIRAN MALIK-KHAN, Connect Weekly
An appreciation for arts and culture is in full swing from now to September 27, 2015, thanks to Alberta Culture Days.
What began as Alberta Arts Day in 2008 to celebrate “events held in 30 communities”… has expanded into an annual three-day celebration that helped inspire the creation of Culture Days — a pan-Canadian movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.
In 2014, there were more than 1,200 events in 98 Alberta communities,” according to officials.
The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) with support from Arts Council Wood Buffalo (ACWB) is hosting a plethora of events ranging from poetry, theatre, dance, and calligraphy to visual arts.
Michael Beamish, culture coordinator for the RMWB has been overseeing the preparations, along with Michelle Thorne, program manager at the ACWB.
“Alberta Culture Days started in Wood Buffalo in 2009 and has grown every year since then. It is celebrated provincially from the 25 to the 27 (of September), but because our local festival has grown so much, we could not fit everything into three days. So, we had to expand the festival to include two extra days. It’s a testament to the commitment of our community groups and artists who continue to make this festival a success and their desire to demonstrate that arts and culture is very important to our community and should be celebrated,” explained Beamish.
New to the line-up this year are two photography events. Where the World Lives will be hosted by the Boreal Institute. It is a photography exhibition created by local youth, which explores our regions diverse cultures.
“The event will also feature Poi Dancing by inMotion. At Suncor Energy for the Performing Arts there will be a photography exhibit featuring the entries to their Alberta Culture Days Photography Challenge, which took place from August 14 to 24,” continued Beamish.
Another new attraction is the chance to win free season tickets to Keyano Theatre’s 4-Play Drama Series (View full drama series line-up at www.keyano.ca/theatre or call 780-791-4990). Attending three events in three different venues makes you eligible to win a draw for this prize.
Perennial favourites like NorthWord literary magazine’s poetry workshops, and readings will return along with the popular Where the World Meets, a celebration of the many diverse groups in the region through dance, music and food. Both events will be held at The Suncor Community Leisure Centre.
Additionally, an impressive line-up of theatre events is also on the agenda. Thorne added: “Alberta Culture Days 2015 also will be featuring a wide variety of theatre-based events, held at The Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts, which we are very excited to have included in this year’s festival. Friday, September 25 is the One Act Play night, which will showcase two locally produced one act plays featuring local casts and crew. Saturday the 26, we get to see YMM’s newest comedy sensation Thunderstruck Improv put on what is sure to be a hilarious evening of interactive live theatre sports. Finally, on Sunday, September 27, there will be a live staged reading of Kristen Thompson’s beautiful coming of age play: I, Claudia.”
Both Beamish and Thorne noted, arts and culture has a deep connection to life unfound in other walks.
“This festival is a chance to experience what our local arts and cultural community has to offer. It is also a time to celebrate the arts locally, provincially and nationally as Alberta Culture Days in a part of the nationwide celebration, Culture Days. Communities across the country will be hosting similar activities to ours as a way of showing what art and culture means to us as a nation. Come out, enjoy the arts, and party with the rest of Canada,” Beamish enthused.
“We are blessed to live in a community which has such a diverse population. This event allows all of our eclectic artists and cultural enthusiast a platform in which to share their passions with their greater community,” said Thorne.
“We are blessed to live in a community which has such a diverse population. This event allows all of our eclectic artists and cultural enthusiast a platform in which to share their passions with their greater community. Alberta Culture Days is a thank you to our beautiful province which all its inhabitants can enjoy together,” Thorne said.
To add to the celebration, Alberta’s historic sites and museums will have free admission and access from September 25 to 27 province-wide. Locally, this includes free admission to the Oil Sands Discover Centre. Learn more at www.albertaculture.wordpress.com.
For all local events, download the program booklet here: www.rmwb.ca/culturedays and/or contact Michael Beamish: firstname.lastname@example.org; 780-788-1498 for more event information.
– Connect Weekly –