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…

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


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

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 @

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!


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

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)


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)


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


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

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


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.


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


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!)


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


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!

OCTOBER 1     Jasper Legion is the place to be with great music by MATT ANDERSON!!


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


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!)


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.


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

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


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…


September 30th

Join us for an after dinner black tie affair at the Sawridge – cocktails at 5:30.

October 1

Start the day right with fresh pancakes at 9:30 at the Robson Fair that is now moved from the beautiful little park to the MAIN HALL of Jaspers Activity Centre.

Noon to 4 – check out the artisans, music, food and the labyrinth at the ArtsDay festival…indoors at the Activity Centre.


Another day of great stuff…

The Museletter

There is so much coming on for September that we decided to put out a Museletter.  They are now available at the Habitat, Snowdome Cafe, Video Stop, Mondos Cafe, the Activity Centre, the Museum or here…

Here are a few of the highlights of our first edition!


ARTS WITH ALTITUDE—-Check the right hand column of this webpage for more details!!


Some changes to the MUSELETTER


Deadline to submit something of interest for next Museletter- Sept 7th

Beginner blues, Habitat grads and Agents of Change wanted.

The usual scene on the streets of Jasper in March is the spring skier carrying their long black bag full of gear.  Jasper is known for some of the best spring skiing there is.  I had to take a double look this week as the black bags that were being carried down the street this week were NOT ski gear but rather guitar cases.  It was the final week for the Habitat’s guitar for beginners series.   It was also the final week for the Dish Pottery School.  Habitat was taking on the persona of a campus…how fantastic.  Students heading into the building with instruments and students heading out of the building with finished projects.

While the first session of guitar lessons is over – the second session starts on Thursday the 7th at 7pm with Beginners Blues Guitar with Brian Lackey.   You can register with Justin at 780.852.4747 Tuesdays to Saturdays noon to 5.

Spring seems to be synonymous with strings!  Tickets at Habitat

Spring also leads to Easter and Earthday…lots going on in Jasper for those dates.  The Museum has a special EarthDay event planned around the artworks of Marla Pollock and Sharon Anderson.  Jasper Artists Guild has a weekend workshop for April 22-24 with Marie Banville, an artist with an extraordinary flair for working in wax and pigment.

Video classes begin this week with David Baker, Wednesdays at 4 for youth and at 6:30 for adults.  Register with Justin.  These classes are designed to increase familiarity with your own camera and equipment as well as offer you the chance to work on the Creative Campus edit systems at Habitat.  Email for more information.  Registrations are being taken now for this summer’s FilmCamp at the Palisades.  There are two spaces in the camp for students who dont require overnight accommodations at a reduced rate! for more info.

For more details about the workshops coming to Habitat check out our Habitat Humpday News on the right hand column here…we edit those listings every week.


Agents of Change – We Want You!

At Habitat we’re in the business of supporting creative people who make community a better place. With the support of IOTAD (and many many supportive community creatives!), we are delighted to announce the Agents of Change Competition!

We’re looking for a youth (aged 19-29) who is working to make an impact in their community, our city, or around the world.

Is this you?    Is this someone you know?

The chosen agent will receive:

  • A one month workspace package (worth $400) at the Habitat.
  • Access to 6 hours in the classroom for one month (value $75)
  • Access to the Gallery for exhibition for one week during the month (priceless)
  • Amazing networking opportunities and more!

Are you an Agent of Change?

We’re looking for youth aged 19-29 who are:

  • Making a difference in our community
  • Supporting other youth or youth-serving organizations
  • Advancing arts and culture causes
  • Working with children
  • Doing something unique and promising!

If you are making our community a better place, complete an application form!

The entry deadline is Friday, April 29, 2011.

Agents of Change Application Form, three easy steps



Tell us about yourself and what your are working on (100 words or less)

Links to your work – website or blog etc

What is the Change you want to see in the world and what do you need to do to make it happen? (100 words or Less)


Send it to us at before April 29

Celts, Smiles and hiring street ambassadors.

Jasper is a wonderful place.  And submitting funding requests to add more art to something that is already wonderful is almost beyond words.  Almost.

The Habitat for the Arts has hosted its first Creative Campus sponsored COME FOR THE SMILES event – a 1/2 day of engaging in art, pottery, video and theatre for adults.  You see, we don’t think anyone quite understands exactly what it is that we are doing up here.  So we invited all of Jasper’s ‘Communicators’ to a FREE morning of play.

Town officials were allowed to get their hands dirty – instead of focusing on infrastructure or bylaw issues – they had to focus on centering a wedge of clay on the wheel.  Tourism officials were allowed to forget about the coming season – instead of wondering how to make 2011’s summer successful – they got to don grass skirts and butterfly wings in the improvisational theatre room.  Teachers who normally are the ones trying to creatively engage with their students got to drop into the world of video editing and just engage creatively with themselves.

Funders like programs with names…a traceable entity when it comes to volunteer or financial statistics.  While we may have chosen COME FOR THE SMILES hurriedly to get the project rolling – it couldnt have been more suitable for the morning of smiles and laughs that rolled through the halls of Habitat on March 2nd.  And as usual – many adults were hesitant to come out and play…so we shall repeat the day with another group of ‘communicators’ in a few months.


Our second annual CELTIC HOUR approaches…music by two extraordinary fiddlers…Lisa MacDonald and Monika Schaefer.  March 17th of course from 7-8pm tap your toes to the lure of Ireland for only $5!


More updates…coming soon.  Gotta go open the doors to the Aaron Paquette exhibit!  See the previous post on March and A Musements…

Hope springs eternal at Building 54!

For many years now we have been working on projects that incorporate a little history, offer a present day view of things and that will hopefully leave participants with a sense of direction…possibility for new ideas…

Going to conferences and seminars where the same old scenarios are worked over by people from the same ‘old’ demographic almost always leads to the same results.  Where are the next generation of leaders?  Not just the ones with concerns and issues to bring forward…but ones with some answers or ideas on what next?!

As we work in the arts we get to talk with a lot of interesting people – with different ideas.  Some based on reality and feasibility…others not so.  BUT this year we have met some amazing ‘Gen X’ers’ – all who have left us with this overwhelming optimism that things are gonna be alright!  Fresh minds with direction…

Like Julie McMath, Joel Cooper and Ryan McQuaig.

Julie appeared early in 2009 at Building 54 – almost the ‘if you build it they will come’ kind of appearance.  We had two old pottery wheels salvaged from an ailing pottery club and as soon as we set them up Julie found them – added her own wheel to the group, got a business license for Dish Pottery and took over the space with energy and ideas…

Joel Cooper and Ryan McQuaig are two of the trio that make up the Art of Street Studio down the hall from Julie.  First contact with these artists is almost unfair.  (here is where my age shows)  If you chance into their studio with the music on and see them spray painting you could be mislead as to their sincerity and talent.

As with many artists they have other jobs…Ryan cooks at one of the town’s more notable establishments.  Joel, while between seasonal jobs, keeps busy at promoting Art of Street’s unique capacity for working the arts into community.  Like?  Like his moonlit trek about town during a recent snow storm building snowmen that greeted us all the next morning as we made our way to the post office or the cafes…

So if you had asked me 12 months ago what I thought of the future of Gen X or even Gen Y – I would have expressed my concern that they are less ‘verbal’ than I would hope.  But as we crest a new year I can see that perhaps they are going to show us a new future vs get involved in our ‘talking’ about it.  And coming from a visual storytelling background…that suits me just fine.