The Centre for Creative Arts (CFCA) officially launched Alberta Culture Days last Tuesday (Aug. 30).
The province named the CFCA a featured celebration site for this year's celebrations.
“We have almost 30 events that are happening throughout the city of Grande Prairie between Sept. 1 and 30,” said Candace Hook, CFCA executive director.
Events won’t be isolated to the CFCA; venues also include The Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, Grande Prairie Public Library and Cavalcade Theatre Company.
“Everything is absolutely free, which is fantastic; as a feature celebration site for the province, we've been awarded some grant funding, and we've put that all towards making sure that all of the events are completely free to attend,” said Hook.
The programming has something for everybody, she explained.
The CFCA has two gallery shows available: Art Squared and Splash.
Art Squared will feature 30 diverse and original creations from local artists who donated the pieces, with funds generated going to Healing Arts Program. A closing reception for Art Squared will take place on Sept. 29, allowing people to get last-minute bids on their favourite pieces in a silent auction.
Splash features the art of students in the Healing Arts Program as they share their perspectives under the sea.
The CFCA will also host free soapstone carving, sewing, clay, and painting classes.
“If you've always thought about taking an art class, but you weren't sure about the investment or the time, this is a great chance you can sign up,” said Hook, noting it could be a fun night to go out with friends.
“We'll be adding more events throughout the month, too; it keeps getting better and better.”
The CFCA also has art kits ready for people to take home, with a chalk kit that includes everything anyone would need to make some sidewalk art.
“We just wanted to make Grande Prairie a little more colourful during the month of September and get people outside to enjoy the nice weather while it's still sticking around.”
Hook said after artists have created their sidewalk art, they are encouraged to take a picture of it and share it with the centre on Facebook to be entered for a prize.
“We also have drawing kits, and they're great for all ages.
“They're targeted more at like older kids or teens or adults, but anyone could give it a try, and it includes a little mini sketchbook with all the drawing supplies needed and a step-by-step lesson for you to draw a chickadee.”
The Cavalcade Theatre Company will be collecting letters from now to Sept. 17 for its performances of Letter I’ll Never Send on Sept.23 to 25.
Drop boxes for the letters are located throughout the city and will be collected by the theatre to create a show from the letters.
The letters can feature whatever the community decides to share, said Davina Dawson, Cavalcade Theatre Company secretary.
“The structure of the show is to be determined because the actors themselves get to structure their show, so it's going to be really fun,” said Dawson.
“We want to create a space that is open and welcome to all.”
The Art Gallery of Grande Prairie will host a sketch party on Sept. 17, where people can come and draw the current exhibitions with all the supplies provided.
The Grande Prairie Public Library will also be hosting a Culture Days Celebration on Sept. 24 with local vendors of all types, music and food trucks on site.
The CFCA received $5,000 from the province, and the city has also contributed $10,000 to this year's celebrations, said Hook.
The province says approximately $350,000 was distributed to 104 organizations for this year's Culture Days.
“This year’s Alberta Culture Days will be a delightful blend of visual and performing arts, ethnic and socio-cultural groups – all made-in-Alberta content,” said Ron Orr, minister of culture.
“I encourage every Albertan, wherever they are in our province, to make time to celebrate that diversity by visiting as many events as they can.”
Alberta is the only province in Canada to dedicate an entire month to celebrating artists, says the province.
For more information, go to creativecentre.ca/whats-happening/culture-days.
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News