2017 Mayor’s Night for Raven’ About the Arts

2017 marks the seventh year to recognize Jasper artists for what they give to community. Usually nominations are recieved and a small group of people who have the daunting task of deciding who to give the award too…this year the decision to award was done by those in attendance at the end of the event…a daunting task because out of 18 nominees…only six were awarded.  In music, art, theatre, writing, photography and a patron.

Strategists tell us that in Canada .5% of the labour force are artists. While we have no census in Jasper of the working artists we know that there are more than the statistical 16 for our population. We are truly rich in arts & cultural talents. Which would explain why since 2011 we have recognized over 40 artists for their contribution to Jasper arts&culture.

THESE were the 2017 nominees in no specific order:

Jill Seaton, Nominated for Writing and Photography

 

Jill Seaton is a woman who had decided early on in her life that the pen was the only weapon she needed. For the last 25 years she has been quoted in a myriad of publications from CBC to various Canadian newspapers and periodicals. Her topics give voice to the denizens of Jasper – woodland, grizzly, wolf to montane Eco-regions like Whistler Creek. Jill also seeks another way to bring immediacy to her vision of a wild and original Jasper to the world – photography. From closely guarded haunts she captures ravens as they hatch, grizzly mother and cubs feasting on carrion or moose and their young. Jill understands and embodies, in both her writing and photography, the necessity of Jasper’s spirit.

 

Sandy Robinson, Nominated for Storytelling and Visual Arts

 

Sandy Robinson is a true Jasper icon. He has lived his 80+ years in Jasper and his love of community and his mountain home is evident in both his art and his storytelling. He is now retired and painting fulltime. He is a self taught artist who has attended the Banff School of Fine Arts and various workshops with renowned artists such as Harold Demont Olsen and Brian Atyeo. It would be hard to live anywhere for 80 years without having a few stories to tell. Sandy is an avid historian with a deep appreciation for Canadian history. His remembrances of a Jasper where movie stars and dignitaries once visited make for great storytelling.

 

 

Susan Millar, Nominated for Theatre

 

Susan Millar may well the opposite of Sandy in longevity having spent much less time here. But the impact she had and the professionalism she brought to 2017’s theatre production Cariboo Magi was a huge contributing factor to its success. We all know the transietn nature of Jasper – this is but one example of the amazing resource that can be found as people merge with the arts community. Susan found the ART FOR LUNCH program and was soon entrenched in organizing stage movement and props for the annual Christmas production. She has since moved back to her Parks position in Ottawa, married her best friend last weekend and we hope we will see her in Jasper again soon.

 

Oonagh Naillian, Nominated for Theatre

 

Oonagh Naillian is a natural born actor. Enthusiastic, open to ideas, up for any challenge…from joining a hockey team to joining a theatre troupe to taking the mountains by bike to being a member of the community team for Habitat. Her energy is infectious, her sense of humour is unparalleled, her accent a treasure. She may even rival Sandy for storytelling as her Irish roots leave no story unturned. But it is her theatre skills we recognize her tonight. From Monty Python’s argumentative owner of ‘Eric the half a bee’ to Cariboo Magi’s pregnant ‘Marta the child dance hall protegee’…Oonagh takes on persona with confidence and verve befitting the title thespian.

 

DJ ‘Klem’ Klymchuk, Nominated for Theatre

 

What can we say about Klem? This week you might find him driving tourists around on motorcycles with sidecars. Often you hear Klem before you see him – and not just on a motorbike. His rich deep tone has made him perfect for the role of Santa in singing telegrams or as the ghost of Christmas Present in the Christmas Carol or as a cheese merchant in Monty Python’s Cheese Shop. His is one of the first to call in when rumours start that a production is in the making, to see how he can be involved. His character lends perfectly to that of acting…thats what we can say about Klem!

 

 

Grant Carson, Nominated for Music

 

Grant Carson arrived in the cultural building within mere hours after arriving in Jasper. He had found a new home here and within the week was teaching guitar. Grant is focused & purposeful in the work that he does with his guitar students. You could say that his presence on Jasper stages has added a professionalism that we all benefit from. Knowledgeable in his artform, gentle in his presentations – he was quickly captured be the talent seekers at Parks Canada to bring life the their Whistler stage. Grant is often giving his talents to events and gatherings – definitely one of the .5% of working artists in Jasper.

 

 

Stephen Nelson, Nominated for Music

 

Stephen Nelson is one of the artists from the past 40 recipients mentioned above. He was recognized last year for his writing. This year he was nominated for his music. Stephen can be found anywhere from the Legion jam to the Canada Day stage to busking on Jasper streets. Where he has a complete range of music that allows him to present solo, he also partners with other musicians ranging from multiple piece bands to duets. You may have seen him at open mic nights at the SnowDome where he slips effortlessly between writer and musician.

 

 

Sarah Budd, Nominated for Visual Arts

Sarah Budd was nominated by her peers at the Artists Guild where she openly shares her passion for art and art history. Since arriving in Jasper she has found her way to volunteering on the guild executive where she brings new perspectives to the board. She also enhances JAG programming with interpretive talks on some of her favourite art history movements like Expressionism and Impressionism. She has always believed in the power of art – just recently beginning to paint works inspired by the park.

Vanessa Martin, Nominated for Visual Arts

 

Vanessa Martin (terribly elusive) – or as her students call her – Madame Vanessa was immediate in her desire to share art with the Jasper community when she heard Jasper was getting a cultural centre. Her classes are truly something to behold, from the design of the classroom to the presentation of materials and inclusion of all kinds of mediums…from clay to live portraiture to painting. Even before she could setup at the new building she ran a season at a temporary location to keep the passion for the arts alive in her students. The time and effort she puts into the annual ‘exposition’ for her students to showcase their semester of work has resulted in community art gatherings that many now anticipate annually.

 

Tara Erickson, Nominated for Visual Arts

 

Tara Erickson also found herself drawn to the new cultural spaces building. Being an avid creative and lover of children she quickly found a niche, an opportunity to share her art with children. Mornings became more exciting as she found ways to engage the parents and the children in a unique offering of handson imaginative musical or science based play. She built a cupboard of tools and toys that any child under 100 would be thrilled to venture into. She built a program that took on a life of its own, one that is now integrated into potential arts programming at the cultural centre.

 

 

Susan Szathmary, Nominated for Visual Arts

 

Susan Szathmary has a history of graphic design and painting and music. She has shared her art with the community of Jasper for over 25 years. Her enthusiasm for her newest passion – the art of zen tangling – also brought her to the cultural centre as she had something to share. Zen tangling, for those who are unfamiliar with it, is the art of creating images by using structured patterns. Not your typical Jasper imagery. But one that builds focus and as with any focus it creates a sense of wellbeing. To that end it is very much a Jasper medium. Susan has curated an exhibition of over 100 pieces from across Canada that is currently on display in Jasper at the Habitat for the Arts until October 12.

 

Rola Al Dakhil, Nominated for Visual Arts

 

Rola Al Dakhil came to the cultural centre wanting to give back to the community that had opened its heart to her family last year. Here was an opportunity for the arts to truly shine as her programming bridged not only her creativity  with her students, but it gave the opportunity to remove a language barrier, as only the arts can. Her approach to workshops with youth allowed for a cultural connection and exchange that was more than an art class.

 

 

 

David Hatto, Nominated for Visual Arts

 

David Hatto came to the cultural centre looking to share his Monday afternoons with anyone who would like to paint. An avid hiker and local (now retired) business man is what most of us know about David. What you may not know is that his regular Monday afternoons became a gathering around easels and paintboxes, that bridged seniors with summer staff, where he shared what he loves about colour and design.

 

 

 

 

Paulette Blanchette Dube, Nominated for Photography

 

Paulette Dube is a storyteller by design, and was also one of the previous 40, having won a Raven About the Arts Award for writing. Her photography – like her writing captures a raw simplicity – showing us what we all see but often miss. A fellow photographer writes “If the eyes be a window to the soul, and a picture is worth a thousand words – then wordsmith become photographer speaks volumes sans a single syllable. The lens has become an extension of Paulette’s unique view, commonplace elevated to art as framed by poet artist and bard.” (D Baker)

 

 

David Baker, Nominated for Photography

 

David Baker captures life in moving pictures. Since first turning his focus to the people and places in the community of Jasper he has allowed people to tell their own stories in his documentary style of storytelling. From community dinners to business requests to the wilderness around us…his camera is his tool of choice for giving and sharing his artform. His passion for the medium has resulted in camps and workshops over the years as he attempts to form the next generation of digital storytellers.

 

 

 

Paramount to the doers and events and workshops…is the patron.                                      These are the people who you see at the events, the ones who attend or facilitate or dream to ensure the arts stay alive. The community chose three individuals for the 2017 Patron Award.

Matricia Brown, Nominated for Patron Award

 

 

Matricia Brown has given her expertise and shared her talents with every possible event and organization in Jasper. She supports many events by giving or by attending, a true patron who may not be here tonight as she is sharing her art elsewhere tonight!

 

 

 

 

Marianne Garrah, Nominated for Patron Award

 

 

Marianne Garrah has been a constant figure in Jasper’s arts & cultural scene for over 30 years. Her time is spent plotting and creating ways to make that scene bigger and better every year. She is here tonight, no doubt plotting something more.

 

 

 

 

Charlie Finley, Nominated for Patron Award

 

 

Charlie Finley can usually be found in the background of any cultural gathering. He’s a doer, he assists in so many ways at events…setting up, cleaning up, watching for ways to make things run as well as they can. Seeing him in your audience usually means the evening is going to go smoothly.

 

 

 

 

THOSE were the Nominees.  At the end of the evening…the ballots were filled in (it is election year!) and these people are the 2017 Mayors Night for Raven’ About the Arts recipients:

Jill Seaton, Writing

Oonagh Naillian, Theatre

Grant Carson, Music

Rola Al Dakhil, Visual Arts

David Baker, Photography

Marianne Garrah, Patron

These lovely glassworks created by Raymond Blanchette Dube are now in their new homes.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL…See you in 2018!

Yes. We can!

One thing we have learned about running a three week arts ‘festival’…there is no such thing as NO we can’t.  It’s yes time.  All things are possible…all things are subject to change – but there is no NO.

Let’s start with the annual Raven about the Arts Awards.

This year’s funding was a bit less than expected and at least four of our hard core volunteers (and when you have four hard core volunteers you really have eight volunteers!) were going on vacation, a couple had work related issues and some had even moved on to new horizons.  The remaining crew took over the gaps, filled them in or the event was simply changed to work with what we had.  The doors opened, the MC welcomed the full room of artists and art lovers and the night went off without a hitch.

The photos are up on our Flickr site… http://www.flickr.com/photos/albertaartspeak/sets/72157631795067324/

And there is a youtube video where the award winners tell you about their art in their own words.

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The awards night was followed by the third Artists in the Pines weekend with instructor Tessa Nunn.  Sunday afternoon music provided by the Artists Guild with guests The Fiddle River Band.

Visits with the Alberta Minister of Culture and Premier Redford…

Tours through the new cultural spaces…scarecrow building, puppet making, dragon drawing!!  (you really have to check out the photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/albertaartspeak/sets/72157631630950375/

Wrap that up in a Variety Show of Jasper talent, a community coming together for soup…a photo workshop in the most beautiful time of the year…

So while volunteers can fall victim to jobs…or vacations…Jasperites just seem to be able to bring it together through all kinds of circumstances!

Like the awesome theatre troupe that brought Jasper two nights of live theatre this month.  We heard some back stage jitters about minor nervous stage stumbles or bumbles but unless you had written the script – it was perfect!  Congrats Jasper Theatre Company!

More pictures on Flickr @  http://www.flickr.com/photos/albertaartspeak/sets/72157631795054762/

And in case you are wondering…throughout the photos you can catch our painted skulls and South American theme…well…its 2012.  Yes, it is a year of change.  Jasper’s arts community is getting a brand new building for 2013.  In early 2011 the Municipality of Jasper invited both the Habitat for the Arts and the Jasper Artists Guild to be part of the new Library/Cultural Building presently under construction.   Definitely a time of change!  Culture Days and Arts with Altitude 2013 will be bigger and better with the new dedicated artspaces!

SO

THANKS JASPER.
On to the Yellowhead Arts Festival Spring 2013!!  Another two weeks of art that YOU can be part of.  Ask us how!

jasper@yraf.com

Mayan year for change, scarecrows and looking for you!

Hard to believe that another year has passed and we are looking at the 4th annual Alberta Culture Days month of festivities in partnership with the ARTS WITH ALTITUDE Festival and Arts Jasper and Jasper Artists Guild and the Jasper Theatre Company and the Library…!!

The theme this year is CHANGE…its 2012 and the Mayan calendar is not the only ‘icon’ of change in Jasper!  The new cultural spaces the Municipality are building will mean a lot of change for the arts organizations and relationships for the future of Jasper arts and culture!

SO- lots to say and do…lets get to it!  (VOLUNTEERS…we need some photographers to make sure we capture all these events for history!)

SEPT 21    RAVEN ABOUT THE ARTS AWARDS, 7pm at the Jasper Artists Guild.  $5  (VOLUNTEER opportunities: door, hospitality, setup and takedown)

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SEPT 21    PRAIRIE TALES 14, 7pm in the Mandala Room at the Jasper Artists Guild.  $5, entrance to the Awards Night is entrance to the films.  The annual touring anthology of short films and videos made by Albertan media artists. Every year, Alberta’s filmmakers bring out a new batch of works from the shining lights of our province’s media arts scene and assemble them into a feature-length package for distribution across Alberta and beyond.  (VOLUNTEER opportunities: door, setup and takedown)

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SEPT 17-28    SCARECROW CONTEST, build a scarecrow in your neighbourhood, register it at jasperscarecrowfestival@gmailcom to win great prizes!
SEPT 25 and 27    PUPPET MAKING WORKSHOPS, $10 per night.  6:30-9:30pm both nights

SEPT 28    SCRIPT WRITING for puppetry, $10.  6:30-9:30pm

Take all three workshops for $20.

Register at jasperscarecrowfestival@gmail.com

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SEPT 28    The Best of the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) will host a Three Part Series this Fall!

Part One : Bike Climb Paddle Run Fly : September 28
Part Two : Pipelines and Playgrounds : October 26
Part Three : Stoked on Snow : November 23

Tickets:
$14 in Advance at the Jasper Legion (after September 10)
$16 at the Door

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SEPT 29   A WALKABOUT with heritage character MONA MATHESON…learn a bit about Jasper heritage and then drop by the Library for storytelling and a writers afternoon!!

Then stop into the Jasper Library for an afternoon of storytelling with writer John Strugnell at 3pm.

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SEPT 29 and 30, watch Jasper’s streets as Artists appear – to register to play outside…contact Peggy at events@iotad.ca or call 852.4747.  (VOLUNTEERS needed to make performance badges)

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SEPT 30    BOWLS WITH SOUL, the annual night for sharing a bowl of soup with your community, and you get to keep the HANDMADE IN JASPER bowl!  Only 70 bowls this year…$20.  Community event, no charge if you don’t want a bowl.  This year we will be voting on Jasper’s soup makers…and someone will get to take home the GOLDEN LADLE!!  (VOLUNTEER opportunities: take tickets at the door, hand out ballots for the GOLDEN LADLE, dish duty!)

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SEPT 30    VARIETY STAGE SHOW, an annual stage production for Culture Days…to get on stage email hillbear@shaw.ca.  Dance, sing, share your poetry or play your fiddle!  Great honorariums.  Free, all ages welcome.

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Jasper is home this year to HOME ROUTES house concerts…check them out on facebook!  Or contact Nancy Addison to see what great musicians are coming to Jasper this winter!  First concert is Sept 30 with guest artists THE SATURDAY SAINTS!
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OCTOBER 1     Jasper Legion is the place to be with great music by MATT ANDERSON!!

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OCT 6 and 7    ARTISTS IN THE PINES, share the weekend with an amazing instructor, Tessa Nunn.  Tessa Nunn graduated from with a Masters in Fine Art from the New York Academy of Art in 2002. Since her return to Canada, she has been teaching figurative painting, drawing and sculpture, as well as courses on painting techniques.  Tessa began to teach painting and drawing workshops because she felt a need for a new approach to teaching art, one that embraces the many levels of our being. The curriculum she has developed is based on her artistic processes which are influenced by spiritual principles, as well as traditional painting techniques.  Through meditation, gentle Yogic movement, and lessons on art techniques, participants explore different ways to look at the human form, and then ultimately at the world around them.  $225 please register at 780.852.0359 or arts@iotad.ca

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OCT 11 and 12    DINNER THEATRE for Arts Jasper, Jasper Theatre Company and the Arts with Altitude Festival Finale!  Beyond Therapy, adult content, tickets are $50 and for sale at the Library and Tekarra Photo.  BEYOND THERAPY…Trying to find that special someone can be quite a trial in our hectic, fast-paced society. In Christopher Durang’s play Beyond Therapy the already difficult situation of trying to build a new relationship is given an extra twist through the creation of a unique love triangle.  The story centers around Bruce , a neurotic bisexual thirtysomething; Prudence , the equally neurotic thirtysomething who answers his personal ad, and Bob, Bruce’s high-strung, jealous lover. Add to the mix Bruce’s and Prudence’s therapists, and the stage has been set for confusion, conflict, and lots of comedy.  (VOLUNTEER opportunities…please call!)

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OCT 13    Join us at the Jasper Park Stables on Pyramid Lake Road for some ‘Flashlight painting’ for the Dark Sky Festivities.  Details on the Tourism Jasper Dark Sky Festival website.

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OCT 13 and 14    DARK SKY PHOTOGRAPHY workshops at Pine Bungalows with YUICHI TAKASAKA!  $55, 2-4pm.  Register at arts@iotad.ca

OCT 13 noon to 4pm take in the Animation workshop ‘Drawing Dragons’ with Deanna Dence.  Ages 12 – 100, $50 materials supplied.

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AND because sometimes we all need a little help planning our days when there is so much going on…we have CULTURE CACHING PASSPORTS coming out soon.  Follow the arts and culture map of your community and get the passport stamped at participating merchants or locations!   Then hand in your passport at the Activity Centre for a chance to win a Culture Caching prize!

Ask us questions…we have more details…or stop by ROOM 12 in Building 32 Tuesdays through Saturdays in September from 1-3pm (thankyou Chris and Sharon Diamond) for a chat about how you can be part of ARTS WITH ALTITUDE…

Thanks go out to Delphinus 18 Productions for all the help with technical and digital services.  Thanks go out to Julie McMath, Jason Munn, Zaybee McGregor, Kim Wallace, Marie Helene, Randy Daniels, Peggy Munn, David Baker, Marianne Garrah, Jasper Artists Guild, Phat Cat Event Planners, Arts Jasper, Jasper Theatre Company and many more to come we are sure!!

Thankyou to Yellowhead Regional Creative Campus for administration assistance with these many events.

AND watch the JASPER COMMUNITY HABITAT FOR THE ARTS on facebook for details and more…

Anticipation

Anticipation  is the only word that we can find to describe the feeling we get when we walk into the Habitat for the Arts this (and every) month.  We like the word anticipation because it involves emotion and excitement.  In a dictionary anticipation can sometimes involve anxiety – either way, excited or anxious – it is all about expectations and hoping for good things.

And that is exactly what Habitat is.  Good things.

We are gearing up for another Sunday in July with Matricia Brown – the second Sunday in our Habitat Heritage Series of workshops.  Matricia spent an afternoon sharing her skills at traditional beading.   The Habitat’s classroom with its northwest facing windows proved to be the perfect place to chase tiny beads around a loom…an artform that puts the eyes to work as well as the fingers!  All five of the students (yeh! class sizes are progressively growing) finished bracelets in the allotted time and are already registered for July 17th’s bead workshop – mocassins – beading on hides.  The class is filling up but give Justin a call – we can add another class!

               

Matricia has also agreed to be part of our RIVERS RAILS AND ROADS Heritage Day program on August 1.  The information centre in Jasper will come alive for half a day with the sights and sounds of Metis Dance, art and music.  2011 is the 200th year anniversary of the cartographer and explorer David Thompson having moved through this area of the Rockies.  In keeping with the spirit of travel we have several summer events around the theme RIVERS RAILS AND ROADS.  And of course what is any kind of a Heritage celebration without cultural expression from as many ethnicity’s as possible!   See you there on August 1 – you will find me at the Maple Shack kiosk…maple sugar candy floss – yum!

The theme of travel is pretty hard to ignore when you live here…we travel out to get services we don’t have here.  And thousands of visitors travel here because of the draw of the mountains…including a class of students who spent an afternoon at Habitat this week.  What to do with 27 children?  How can we build an arts program that they can relate to and learn from?  How can we give them something of value for their afternoon at Habitat?!

A puzzle mural!  We presented them with the concept of RIVERS RAILS AND ROADS and provided them with a short history of David Thompson and the Fur Trade area that we live in…a map was drawn on a 10 foot scale of the three R’s between their home and Jasper and then cut into 1 foot squares.  At random each student chose a square and then was to draw what they knew about the area on their square.  Was there a river there?  Was there any heritage buildings there?  Mountains?  They were free to draw a historical depiction of the area on their square or a futuristic vision of what might be there in 2211!

The map was then reconstructed – and not unlike the one below that we did at the community BBQ – we have discovered that putting the puzzle together is as much fun as painting it!

So we are anticipating July to be as wonderful as June has been.  The AFA exhibit for July is all about our Global Village…what better way to share our love of arts and culture with visitors and community than with ‘This Village’,  works by five immigrants to Alberta.  Did you know that Canada was the first country to adopt a policy of multiculturalism in 1971 where all ethnic groups are encouraged to share their culture with other Canadians?  Be sure to take in the RIVERS RAILS AND ROADS Heritage Day festivities on August 1 …  there will be some great surprises!  (thanks to Deb at Phat Cat!)

Another project under the three R’s program is the revival / continuation of the famed JASPER STORY!  And serendipitously – what should arrive at Habitat this week?  A box full of gold rush Klondike clothing.  Mens and ladies hats, dresses, frills and stockings…  A must see for anyone interested in fabric arts, fashion or history!

                                             

Watch for our Mulitcultural displays in July, some films from the NFB and a chance to get involved in history!

Habitat is open Tues to Saturday, noon to 5 (sometimes we close early on Saturdays)

We will be at the Jasper Farmers Market starting July 5!

Located on the second floor of the Provincial Building on the corner across from Nutters and Evil Daves Restaurant.

If you stop by and the door is locked…give us a call…780.852.4747 and we shall meet you there if we can!

OR

You can catch a glimpse of the Habitat on CITY TV’s Breakfast Show soon…

SUMMER THEATRE CAMP – contact Grace!   theatre@iotad.ca

SUMMER FILMCAMP – contact filmcamp@iotad.ca

SO MUCH TO DO…get your culture on!

at the Habitat – where we are RAVEN’ ABOUT THE ARTS!

AND Please…friend us on Facebook!  Jasper Community Habitat for the Arts

Lots of info posted on there…

Children of Autumn

Children of AutumnFor 2 hours on Saturday night over 200 people watched in delight as the children of Jasper performed the Children of Autumn.  Jasper singer and the play’s writer Grace Kohn along with musician and composer Greg Deagle ‘graced’ stage left while the troupe of children in costume and masks walked the audience through an enactment of mother and daughter rediscovering the innocence of youth.

A mother finds herself drawn by her daughter to experience feelings and situations that as an adult we have developed ways of avoiding.  The first feeling they experience – on a cautious journey into a dream created by a whimsical forest, forest creatures and masks – is that of folly.  A lively forest sprite frolics before the child and her mom to the childs delight – but as most adults the mother cannot accept such ‘folly’ and becomes more interested in getting home…and the enchantment continues until the masks are removed…

The masks the girl and her mom meet in the enchanted forest lead each person watching in their own interpretation…I must say, the performance of the distressed mom facing her masks led to more than one emotion in most viewers.  Grace has created this delightful tribute, to revisiting the innocence of childhood through dance and song, in efforts to raise money to purchase and supply free hypebaric oxygen sessions to children with disabilities in Jasper.

Not going to give it away – the play is completely scripted and composed.  It is hoped that other communities will wish to host the production in their town.  Check out the Children of Autumn website to support the cause or to bring this exciting program to your community!