Alberta Culture Days events seeking artists, community support

It’s almost time to celebrate Alberta Culture Days and the City is busy working with various community partners to ensure a vibrant experience for Red Deerians.

From Sept. 30th to Oct. 2nd, a variety of activities will take place including live music, chalk artists around downtown, film screenings and more. The City is currently accepting applications for musicians and the Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival, with application forms available on the City of Red Deer web site.

Greg Stafford, special events programmer with the City of Red Deer, said he’s very much looking forward to this year’s events and hopes that many citizens come out to enjoy the programming.

“What we’re really looking forward to is the community participation from all of our different partners and we’re hoping to draw a large crowd to enjoy it all,” Stafford said. “We really want to bring more ears and eyes downtown and into the various venues. We’re just putting the final description of events together but we will be releasing that soon to various community calendars.”

Stafford said the City is excited to welcome world-renowned chalk artist Ian Morris to the festival this year. Morris is a Victoria, B.C street artist who has participated in international events with a specialty in designing 3D street art. Morris will be creating on the west end of the Ross Street Patio on Oct. 1st and will be guiding selected local artists through a workshop on the evening of Sept. 30th.

“We’ve never done anything quite like this before, so it’s exciting and I think it’ll be good for our local artists,” Stafford said.

The City is also encouraging artists to apply to become a part of the Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival.

“For those who get selected, there is a $200 honorarium. We will also organize a ‘People’s Choice’ section for our local artists, and there will be a prize of a $200 certificate from Alberta Art and Drafting. We’re really looking forward to that.”

Stafford said he’s excited to announce a brand new event that will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Saturday of Alberta Culture Days – a steamroller print event, hosted beside the Welikoklad Events Centre.

“We’re going to have huge wood cuts inked and printed by a steamroller. We’ll be doing print-making on large 4×8 piece of wood. It’s not usually done with a steamroller but that’ll be really cool,” Stafford said. “We’re describing that as an initiative to bring together students, artists and the community in a cooperative event that celebrates Red Deer arts and cultural communities. That’s one of our bigger features.”

He added a number of events will take place in the Welikoklad Centre as well as local libraries.

“I think it’s important that people know Alberta Culture Days are happening and that it’s a national event. It’s Canada-wide and filters down differently for each of the provinces and then cities,” he said. “I think celebrating Alberta Culture Days really makes this a welcoming community. It brings people together and we think the culture here is very vibrant. When people come out to enjoy arts, they are relieving stress and able to relax.

“It just makes Red Deer a better place to live to have all of these aspects of art and culture in our community.”

Stafford said there will soon be a full list of featured events available on the City of Red Deer web site, as well as a number of other local community calendars.

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