Stephen T Berg

Art Scene 13: Night of Artists, Mornings in Sweatpants and Art in Between

Cirque Du NOA poster from  Night of Artists website here .

Cirque Du NOA poster from Night of Artists website here.

Art Scene 13: Night of Artists, Mornings in Sweatpants and Art in Between

  1. The Bleeding Heart is forming a team to walk for the homeless on Feb 21 as part of The Coldest Night of the Year. The walk supports Hope Mission and is part of a nationwide event. I’m looking for my creative friends to ‘represent’. We need both donors and walkers to take part. You in?
  2. The Creative Practices Institute (CPI) is a new(er) artist run centre in Oliver. Meet the people behind the centre and the community that has become a part of it at their second Open Studio evening - Saturday February 7 from 4 to 8 PM. CPI also offers professional development workshops for artists. The next workshop, on Feb 17, is on bookkeeping for artists. But I’m sure you have no problems with that, right? Just in case, here is the link.
  3. From the local to the international, Sufjan Stevens has a new album coming this March. Carrie and Lowell is being called ‘the return of Sufjan’ - as in, the return of Sufjan with a guitar in his hands and folk in his heart. Not that I minded Sufjan’s experimentations, but so far I like what I hear
  4. A musician just slightly closer to home has just put out his new record. Aaron Strumpel, who co-wrote the song we featured in last week’s Storm the Perfict Podcast, has just released Bright Star. A video from that album, for Coming After You, is featured at Relevant TV.
  5. If you are reading this, you are into discovering great art and artists exploring faith, hope and love. And if you are into that, you’ll be into Image Journal. And there’s not time like the present to get into Image Journal, with 60% off a new subscription.
  6. Future Station, the massive 2015 Alberta Biennial of Alberta Art, is open at the Art Gallery of Alberta and sprawls across 3 other venues. Be sure to visit and feel the pulse of contemporary Alberta art. Oh, and watch this video to find out about the real ‘ghost' LRT station that inspired the show’s curator.  
  7. Night of Artists is bringing us Cirque Du NOA on March 6-8 at St.Albert’s Enjoy Centre. Experience "Three days of astounding visual art from all over Alberta on display and for sale by some of the finest artists in the province.
    Not to mention galas and daytime festivities full of stunning costumes, choirs, opera, gypsy jazz, country, folk, blues etc."
  8. Want to know exactly how to feel miserable as an artist? Keri Smith has 10 ways right here, and the list will inspire you.
  9. If you like lists, you should also check out this one from Maria Papova of Brain Pickings - Seven Life Learnings from Seven Years of Reading, Writing and Living.
  10. If you are into the bright and the bold, look at this work from Winnipeg artist Yisa Akinbolaji, shared on the Imago blog. Imago describes this as " work that captures a celebratory note as though it is an expression of thanksgiving, an overflow of joy."
  11. "I don't know about you, but when I'm in a hurry, I "don't have time" to stop and pick up all the good fruit around me.” - read this whole article on slowing down from The Grove Centre.
  12. If you have an hour this week, listen to Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work, being interviewed on the Unmistakable Creative podcast. It’s packed full of good advice for creatives.
  13. If you have only a few moments, perhaps you could attempt to meditate in your sweatpants, like poet Stephen T. Berg.


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Friday Finds: 5 and a Half Christmas Gifts

Tis’ The Season! In today’s Friday Finds, I reach into the internet's velvety crimson bag of gifts and pull out presents to bless your bleeding hearts! Incidentally, the bag glows and jingles every time I open it, just like in Ernest Saves Christmas. Each of these five finds have been gifts to me, and I pray they are gifts to you as well. Each one may just ‘make your spirit bright’ as you take a moment out of the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations to unwrap them in the warm glow of your screen.

Merry Christmas!

1 Gift of Vision

This week you’ve likely already heard that Apple’s new Christmas commercial was filmed right here in Edmonton. For some fanboys, this is a pretty big deal. Like me.

But beyond the ‘celebrity visitation’ story here, the Journal’s Paula Simons points out what you may, like me, have missed in this video. The fact is, Apple’s ad team found the idyllic White Christmas, right here in Edmonton. Simons’ piece elevates a simple acknowledgement or even review of the Apple ad, instead offering a gift of renewed vision to Edmonton residents, in the middle of a long hard winter.

Dear Edmonton, the world thinks you’re beautiful.

Read Simon’s wonderful bit of writing here >

3 (and a half) Gifts of Song

There are so many free Christmas EP's that come out every year, it's hard to take any of them seriously. One might wonder whether this has become a gimmicky way for artists to promote themselves. Oh heck, I'm beyond wondering.

But still, through the clutter some diamonds still shine. Here are three free Christmas albums (donations are always welcome on Noisetrade) that offer something a little different. These are three collections I have found worth downloading, and think you will too.

Merry Christmas. Good Night. Vol 3

This collection is full of songs striking the rare balance between 'modern' and 'reverent'. It actually plays as much like an indie worship album as a Christmas album. My main reason for downloading was the track Winter Wind by local artists and friends L’Ampersand. I really dig the electric piano opening and the strings later on in the song. It's not the only gem you'll find here though. Sean Carter's Glory of Men is particularly beautiful.

The Songs the Season Brings Vol 3. Beta Radio

Any album that starts out with the track The Carol of the Banjos has my attention. Again, what drew me in is not the only, or even the best, track on the album. The original song, The Songs the Season Brings is an excellent bit of indie Americana.

Hey Rosetta!, A Cup of Kindness Yet

The first song on this Christmas EP from last year, Carry Me Home, is just incredible - my favourite original Christmas song in a long while and well worth the download. Thankfully, the other three songs are beautiful, too.

OK, One More

This one is gonna cost you, but I promise it is worth it. My favourite Christmas discovery this year is by Bahamas, from a little compilation a couple of years old that I'd never heard of. Bahamas cover of Christmas Must Be Tonight, by The Band, is just heart-breakingly beautiful. Oh, that guitar!

Do yourself a favour and pay the $1.29 to download the track on iTunes. Do it now!

1 Gift of Inspiration

It seems every month or so I come across another inspiring story about Pope Francis. The latest comes from local writer and friend Stephen Berg, whose blog Grow Mercy is a constant gift itself (you really should subscribe).

Stephen writes of Pope Francis' challenge to ‘unfettered capitalism’, in favour of ‘the unfettered gospel’. Just days from celebrating Christ's breaking-through, this is a very good read and a reminder that loving your neighbour comes at a cost.

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Snow and Canadian Poets (poem by Stephen Berg)


The snow fell thick and fast yesterday, and it just wouldn't quit. Today we may feel smothered by the blanket of white. If that is you, perhaps some good poetry will help? Here is a poem for the snow, written by Edmonton poet Stephen T. Berg, and gratefully shared here with his permission. I recommend a warm cup of tea on the side.

Snow and Canadian Poets

by Stephen T. Berg

acorn, avison, birney, bringhurst all canadian poets speak of snow livesay, newlove layton, lightfoot it’s as though they were there when the meteors slammed into the earth kicking up clouds of sulfate, shrouding the great plains from sun a solar heat shield for the laurentian plateau cooling, cooling wallace, waddington watching, watching

and kroetsch on the lookout too sees that first atomic crystal crawl out from beneath a chondrite float up into the impact winter seeking comfort in a cold cloud colliding, coalescing determined hexagon fraternal deposition gluing vapour to vapour droplet to droplet spikes, columns, buttresses flesh gathering flight writes it down into his seed catalogue …how do you grow a snow flake? how do you grow a poet? wait, wait, wait then fall high up into the atmosphere

Find more of Stephen T. Berg's writing at

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