Alberta Culture Days

The Huntress; Rebecca Pratt of Eccentric Embellishments, 1st Place Winner at the Wearable Arts Show at the Centre for Creative Arts, Grande Prairie. Models: Heather Boos and Candice McMillan. Photo by Prairie Ranger Photography

Five Years Old and Growing up

by Eileen Coristine

During the last weekend of September Peace Country residents had more opportunities than ever to explore and expand regional art.

From the much-anticipated opening of the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie to the streets of Alberta’s Cultureville (also know as Peace River) regional artists and performers presented a dazzling array of painting, dancing and partying.

Town of Peace River residents won the honour of being designated as the cultural capital of the province in the fall of 2011. They chose to use Culture Days to celebrate their achievement by holding dance lessons on Main Street, an exhibition at the library and a concert in the evening. Their neighbor to the north, Manning, held a Night of the Arts to showcase regional artists and musicians.

Just down the highway at Fairview, the Fairview Fine Arts Centre was the host of free art lessons and demonstrations of quilting, weaving and tai chi. As in most communities, the Alberta Culture Days events were free of charge and family oriented.

A small but dedicated group of Sexsmith and area artists held an art and craft market at the Sexsmith Community Centre on Saturday, September 29. Their plan is to grow their group and hold monthly markets at Sexsmith throughout the winter. An Evening with the Artist is a special one-on-one experience that the group is  planning to offer soon.

Family Art Festival at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie

Art of the Peace kicked off the Grande Prairie celebrations with a coffee party at the Montrose Cultural Centre and the launch of the Art of the Peace Cover Artist Competition. Spring 2013 will mark the tenth anniversary of Art of the Peace Magazine and to celebrate regional artists are asked to submit applications to be the featured artist of this landmark issue.

Graffiti art created by Scott Kyca in Peace River

The Centre for Creative Arts in Grande Prairie offered a whole slate of visual art events over the Culture Days weekend. The Third Annual Wearable Art Show once again dazzled with two shows. Five Alarm Photography Competition and Exhibition, described as a friendly competition between five Grande Prairie photographers included shots by Al Gervais, Chris Beauchamp, Chris Fox, Doreen Altman and Nicky Heminson.

Cole Pardy at Fairview Fine Arts Centre. Photo by Chris Eakin for Fairview Post

At the  Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, Alberta Culture Days provided a perfect opportunity to invite visitors to  get to know the newly restored, seven-gallery facility. The festivities began with a ribbon cutting ceremony and Block Party on September 29 and continued the next day with a Family Festival including guided tours of the galleries, four new exhibits and family activities for all ages.

Alberta Culture Days is an annual province-wide celebration and is part of national 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.

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