Wood Buffalo celebrates arts and culture
By KIRAN MALIK-KHAN, Connect Contributor
Five electric days of arts and culture. Wood Buffalo celebrated Alberta Culture days from September 23 to 27.
A veritable feast of activities ranging from poetry readings, and workshops to dance, theatre, crafts, and visual art brought arts aficionados together. Alberta Culture Days is celebrated annually for three days across the province to pro-mote diverse arts and cultural activities, but the Wood Buffalo region celebrated with five days.
The Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo (MCA) hosted the annual World Meets in Wood Buffalo dance event at Shell Place.
This year was the biggest we have ever attempt-ed with 15 dances, 20 volunteers and at least 400 strong audience. The coincidence of the trade show didn’t dampen audience participation, though parking was really hard,” Thomas said.
Mary Thomas, Executive Director, MCA, was delighted with this year’s two-day event.
“Bringing all cultures on one stage for ‘The World Meets in Wood Buffalo’ is the most spectacular display of Fort McMurray’s vibrancy and diversity. This year was the biggest we have ever attempted with 15 dances, 20 volunteers and at least 400 strong audience. The coincidence of the trade show didn’t dampen audience participation, though parking was really hard,” Thomas said.
Northern Canada Collective Society for Writers, publishers of NorthWord literary magazine, dubbed Games of Names, their workshop and readings event a “pleasurable and poetic day.”
For Danna-Rae Evasiuk, Theatre Technician at Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts, Alberta Culture Days meant a weekend of outstanding theatre.
“The One Act Play Double Feature Night on Friday featured Theatre; Just Because. They presented an evening of award winning, locally produced theatre. After the performances, Pattie Dwyer led the audience through an exercise to unleash creative forces within them-selves. When the house lights came up at the end of the night, nobody was in a rush to leave. Inspired conversations took place between artists of all kinds and audience members, and a sparking of creativity filled the air.”
“Thunder Struck Improv, Fort McMurray’s premiere improvisational comedy troupe had the audience in stitches during their late-night set on Saturday. The viewer participation was mighty – with one scene even being written, on the fly, on an invisible typewriter by an audience member while being simultaneously acted out by the improvisers,” she added.
Michelle Thorne, Program Manager for Arts Council Wood Buffalo, enthused “arts and culture is alive in Wood Buffalo! At the trade show alone we promoted Alberta Culture Days and the various events to over 300 enthusiastic individuals who were thrilled to hear of all the incredible free events for the whole family taking place in our community.”
– Connect Weekly –