Alberta Culture Days comes to Fort McMurray
By Kiran Malik-Khan, Connect Contributor
Wood Buffalo is all set to celebrate arts and culture this weekend. The 8th annual Alberta Culture Days runs from September 28 to October 2. And, a variety of free events promise something for everyone.
The grand opening kicks off with the Total Aboriginal Interpretive Trail on September 28 at the south entrance of MacDonald Island Park, starting at 10 a.m.
“This stunning trail that follows the Athabasca River features public artworks created by Alberta and local artists who contributed to The Miquwahkesis Project and The Seven Teachings Project,” explained Theresa Jolliffe, Community Strategies Coordinator with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
A variety of events, workshops, and artist talks will take place on October 1. This includes a partnered event by Instruments of Change and Arts Council Wood Buffalo to present the Instrument Petting Zoo taking at The Arts Foundry at River Station.
“If you ever wanted to give the violin a try, this is your chance,” said Jolliffe. “Learn from a pro on how to plan and edit your own short action video at the GoPro Filming Workshop with instructor, Sean McLennan being hosted at Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts (also on October 1), who has been with the Municipality for three years.”
In addition, Jolliffe added, Claire Antoine, a local indigenous cultural worker and member of the Boreal Artist Institute, has been foraging berries, plants, flowers and other natural materials in preparation for hosting a Natural Dye Demonstration on October 2 at Peter Pond Mall between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
“Our local cultural organizations and volunteers begin planning for Culture Days at the start of every year. This year they have been faced with extraordinary challenges which not only resulted in the loss of valuable planning time, but have dramatically effected the structure of some organizations, not to mention their personal lives,” she said.
“I am incredibly inspired by these groups and individuals on how they’ve overcome these challenges and continue to focus on providing our citizens with high quality, participatory, experiences that everyone can enjoy and learn from. This weekend is a celebration of the amazing cultural groups and individuals who make Wood Buffalo such a special place to live.”
What began as Alberta Arts Day, “one day to recognize the value of the province’s arts and cultural communities, with 100 events held in 30 communities” grew to an annual three-day celebration.
According to the official website, there were almost 900 events in more than 70 communities across Alberta over the Culture Days weekend in 2015.
“Culture Days is a national celebration. All over Canada, people are exploring the unique opportunities that exist in their communities and experience free, family friendly activates that inspire creativity, create awareness, and strengthen collaborations. Through heritage, arts and culture, we gain a better understanding of who we are as a community,” Jolliffe continued.
“Peter Pond Mall is a huge supporter of local arts and culture. Stop in anytime during Culture Days and win one of three Discover Alberta trip give-a-ways.”
From a helicopter tour, to skiing in the Rockies, to getting up-close and personal with the Northern Lights, residents will have an opportunity to win.
Also, guests can check out the displays of traditional attire and cultural teachings organized by the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo.
Stop in at 7 p.m. on September 30, to witness the “The World Meets in Wood Buffalo,” showcase taking place in Centre Court. Though scaled down this year, this is an annual Culture Days favourite.
Visit www.rmwb.ca/culturedays for a complete list of events.
– Connect Weekly –