Entertainment announced for artist awards gala 

The June 15 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Awards Gala will feature world-class entertainment, all with local connections, organizers say.

The array of talent for the evening will consist of best-selling author Will Ferguson, the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra and Taylor Crane, award-winning Grass Dancer with Red Deer Aboriginal Dance Troupe.

“The Distinguished Artist Awards celebrate the achievements of Alberta artists who will be honoured by the Lieutenant Governor, and these wonderful entertainers will add vibrancy, colour and humour to the evening,” said Melody McKnight, chair of the Red Deer gala committee for the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Awards.

“Having entertainment of this caliber is a reminder of how the arts continue to flourish and bring recognition to our province.”

Things get underway at 4:30 p.m. with a hors d’oeuvre reception.

Dinner follows at 5:30 p.m. with the awards gala at 8 p.m. Things wrap up with a dessert reception at 9:30 p.m.

Calgary-based Ferguson is the author of 14 books. In 2010, he was named the head writer on the Vancouver Olympics closing ceremonies, writing material for William Shatner, Martin Short and Michael J. Fox.

He is a three-time winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour and in 2012 won the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel 419.

“As a former Red Deerian, and a proud graduate of Lindsay Thurber, I’m looking forward to this,” said Ferguson. “It’s an honour to play a part in it.”

The Red Deer Symphony Orchestra will perform two selections with the Annie L. Gaetz Elementary School Choir and grass dancer Taylor Crane will be joined by various members of the Red Deer Aboriginal Dancers.

Hosted by the City of Red Deer and Red Deer College, the Distinguished Artist Awards Gala is a vice-regal event celebrating the premier artists in the province and the importance of the arts to Alberta.

The awards and gala will be the culmination of a weeklong series of arts and culture events in Red Deer.

These community-organized activities will celebrate all kinds of arts – from literary to visual to performing. From June 10 to 16, the public will be able to enjoy a wealth of free and low-cost arts events across the city, offered by members of Red Deer Arts Council.

2013 is also a special year for the City of Red Deer as it is the year of centennial celebrations in the community.

From festivals and events to museum exhibits and art shows, Red Deer is alive with activities and excitement to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of its incorporation as a city, organizers say.

The stage has been perfectly set to host The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Awards Gala, one of the most high-profile, prestigious events the City has seen.

Tickets are $125 for the full gala, $50 for the awards presentations and dessert reception only, and are available at the Black Knight Ticket Centre at www.blackknightinn.ca.

The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards is one of Canada’s most prestigious independent arts awards programs, designed to nurture talent, support excellence and grow Alberta’s arts community.

The awards are made possible through a donor-funded endowment.

The awards patron is Colonel (retired) the Honourable Donald S. Ethell, OC OMM AOE MSC CD LLD, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.