Monday, 11 September 2017 07:00

Alberta Culture Days celebrates art and culture

Written by  Demi Knight
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Alberta Culture Days are returning this year for the 10th anniversary in celebrating all the art, heritage, diversity and community spirit the province has to offer.


On Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 68 organizations throughout the province will hold events to celebrate the special occasion. Through funding from the Alberta Government these locations have received up to $200,000 to help aid in their individual events that will be held on that weekend as part of the celebrations.
This annual celebration is something the government is proud to be a part of, says Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda. 
“The Government of Alberta is proud to support Alberta Culture Days and the communities that put on amazing events every year. For 10 years, we have celebrated Alberta’s diverse and vibrant art and culture community, highlighting all the amazing aspects that make this province unique.”
These selected groups throughout the province are all set to hold one- or two-day celebrations that contribute family-friendly fun whilst exploring and recognizing the need for art and culture within each community.
Across the southern part of Alberta, three places in particular will hold events to help celebrate these days this year. Two of these events will be held in Claresholm, one organized by the Claresholm Lions Club and the other by the Claresholm Arts Society.
This will be the second year the Claresholm Arts Society has participated in the celebrations with a student art show. Here, work is collected from elementary students within the Stavely and Granum schools as well as Claresholm’s high school. 
“Throughout the year the students work is collected by teachers, then given to us at the Arts Society where we work with a local framing shop to matt all the artwork before they’re sent to the Stavely Community Centre,” says organizer Karen Linderman.
On Friday, Sept. 29 students from each of the schools go on a field trip to view their artwork before it goes on sale that evening to the general public.
Linderman adds the event will also boast refreshments and student musicians performing throughout the evening as the sale is in progress.
All artwork wished to be sold by the students is up for a price of $20, where half of the proceeds will go to the Arts Society while the other half will go right to the student who created it.
Linderman says this event and the communities’ participation in Alberta Culture Days is a great way for children to be acknowledged for their passions that otherwise may not be recognized.
“We’re hoping we get support from the community because it’s so exciting for the kids, and it really gives them a taste of what it’s like. If your passion is music, dance or artwork it’s really not put in the light the same way as sports would be in school, so this was our effort to really showcase it.”
The third location chosen to hold an event as part of the Culture Days celebrations is the High River Town Library. High River will see an event that will be hosted on Saturday, Sept. 30 as part of the Culture Days celebrations called the ‘Grate Groan up Spelling Bee and Cardboard Challenge’ where adult teams of three participate in a hilarious spelling bee battle to help raise funds to support literacy and learning within the Foothills.
As part of the government’s involvement in these annual celebrations, residents throughout the province get to experience a weekend of fun, educational and creatively stimulated exercises such as hands-on art workshops, exhibits, live musical performances, art displays, food to excite the taste buds and so much more.
Although there has been a selection of 68 official sites to hold events as part of this presentation, the Province invites everyone who feels so inclined to get involved and be a part of the movement. Encouragement is offered to all residents, companies and organizations to hold their own Alberta Culture Days events and post them to the National Culture Days calendar for better exposure and participation in the celebrations as a whole.
Last year saw a tremendous turnout of more than 87 communities and organizations holding over 315 events throughout the province, with more than 145,000 Albertans in attendance of the overall festivities. This year the province is hoping to make it even better, as art and culture are pivotal to people’s lives says Miranda.
“The arts and cultural sector not only helps make lives better for Albertans, it is also a significant economic driver supporting local businesses and creating jobs.”
This is the 10th year that Alberta has been celebrating this event, however it is a part of something bigger. National Culture days are held across all 10 provinces to create a movement that raises more awareness, accessibility, and engagement of all Canadians in the cultural and artistic opportunities offered within their communities.
A full list of hosting sites for this year’s events and the activities being prepared within Alberta can be found online at: www.albertaculturedays.ca.

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