Five Finger Friday for Alberta Culture Days!

The last week in September, who knew we’d be absolutely smothered in great arts options here in YEG? So, many it’s going to be hard to pick. I suppose we should have seen this coming, what with it being Alberta Culture Days and all.  

Honestly, I won’t even get to the Edmonton Short Film Festival. I cannot squeeze in the Accordian Extravaganza either. Yeesh.

So choose one event, or become a #YEGarts superstar and try them all. Just get out there before the month is over, in these fresh first days of fall and take in some art, faith, hope and love!

INDEX: The Leader

Nuit Blanche

A light installation in a prominent downtown building. Video projections. Sand that dances to music. A tempory soccer field and Christmas in Autumn. Yoko Ono asking you to make a wish. A highrise made of bouncy castles. A steamroller as performance art. Dancing construction cranes. A pedway full of balloons. A digital garden. An arts market. 

All of this and WAY more makes up the evening of contemporary art that is our first Nuit Blanche. Get thee downtown at 7 PM. Then wander in wonder.  

MIDDLE: The Attitude

Etsy Made in Canada 

I know. Crafts are not traditionally ‘attitude' infused. But these aren’t your nana’s crafts. Unless, of course, they literally are.

If you think about it, it takes a whole lot of attitude–and guts–to forge your own path, express you own creative voice and start you own little arts or craft business, outside of mainstream commerce. Etsy has been empowering these types of creative entreprenuers for years. This Saturday, local Etsy shops gather in person–art market style–at Latitude 53. Be there, and bring your wallet for some early Christmas shopping.

Details here.

PINKY: The Little Outlier

124th Street Gallery Walk

Image from 124th Street BRZ website.

Image from 124th Street BRZ website.

It’s hard to imagine the 124th Street arts district as ‘little’ or ‘an outlier’ but I fear today, amidst all the hooplah of culture days, this great event may slip softly under the radar.

With extended hours all weekend, you can check out Bearclaw, Bugera Matheson, Daffodil, Douglas Udell, Lando, Peter Robertson, Scott, The Front and West End Gallery! I hear there’s a great little French bakery there, too. 

Discover extended hours and details here.

Ring: The Faithful

Found Wanting by Betty Spackman

I had the blessed, deep wonder of witnessing Betty Spackman speak abou her massive installation, Found Wanting, earlier this week.

This ‘multimedia installation on grief and gratitude’ examines our relationships with the animals we consume. It’s complicated, and it is far from preachy. It is jarring and uncomfortable in the ways it shoudl be. It invites contemplation and dialogue.

While the original work occupied 3000-some-odd square feet in BC, this iteration brings one of the ‘rooms’ onto the King’s University campus. It remains a complicated, surprising, rewarding experience, even pulled from the context of the entire show. The section you will see at King’s is The Cantina. A room in constructed. It looks like the kitchen of an old farmhouse. Familiar and homey. Or like a museum, or movie set. The room is filled with objects of farm life–both serene and violent–and the remains of animals. There are so many bones.

You examine this all from a cowhide barstool. There are headphones there, to listen to various audio clips adding to and fighting with what you are looking at. Apparently the Oscar Meyer Weiner jingle plays at one point.

All I can say is you must not miss this show.

And here’s a bonus.

All of those bones from all of those pieces of the show that couldn’t be shown here? They are getting a proper send off tonight, out on a local farm. They will be rendered into pigment, and you can have some.

Yep, you can carry Betty’s work forward into your own work, using the deep umbers, blacks, browns and apparently even blues hidden within these bones. 

There will be food and fellowship. Ritual and respect. Sacred moments and celebration. It’s an invite only event, but if you are intrested, email me and I’ll get you connected. Because I just invited you.

THUMB: The Unsung Hero

Free Admission Day

As part of Alberta Culture Days, many city attractions are adopting Free Admission Day on Sunday, September 27!

Yes, Fort Edmonton Park is in. Yes to the Muttart Conservatory. Yes to the Zoo. Yes to many of our rec centres. Yes to Pitch and Putt at Kinsmen. 

Just a whole lot of wow to be had for free. Get out, relax with friends and family and gather up all the inspiration you’ll need to get you through the winter.

All the details are on the city’s website here.

What do you plan to hit up? What did I miss?

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