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!

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Jasper Culture Days 2014

Five years and going strong.  So many ways to bring community together through art.

Starting in early September a partnership with Arts Jasper (celebrating 42 years of bringing art to Jasper stages!) brought some amazing musicians to town.  Christine Hanson, Bruce MacGregor and Andrew Hillhouse filled the Legion for an evening of celtic music, tales and even had some folks up dancing.  Bruce, on the left, Christine in the middle are not strangers to Jasper.  And in the fall of 2015 Christine will return to present her composition commissioned by Arts Jasper to honour the life of Edith Cavell.

Bruce is always full of tales, with a Scottish accent!

A Taste of Scotland

With Culture Days only a few weeks in the future and the volunteer room filling with programs and Culture Days swag and white board calendars being edited on a regular basis…we saw the second lead up event come together out at Pine Bungalows.  Fitting place for a Film Festival fundraiser.  Pine Bungalows owner, Mike Wasuita, has been a supporter of Alberta Film and filmmaking for years.  As an IATSE member he has offered up the Bungalows as a base for all kinds of productions.

The Karvonen family are also no strangers to Jasper.  And what better place to show a documentary on Albert Karvonen made by his daughter Ava than in one of the wilderness locations that inspired his work.  Albert often visited Jasper National Park to film.

Alberta Karvonen

Screening the documentary on Albert produced by Ava Karvonen.

Screening the documentary on Albert produced by Ava Karvonen at Pine Bungalows.

Any evening at Pine Bungalows is a treat and this one did not disappoint.  In attendance for this Jasper Short Film Festival fundraiser was Peter Wunstorf to the left of the easel above.  Peter created a short called ‘Patiences’ that was selected for the Festival.

Alberta has no end to great talents and Jasper has connections for many.  It is unfortunate that Culture Days is only a weekend long…so we cheat.  It’s difficult to get artists to come to Jasper when the entire country is celebrating Culture Days!  For that reason we called on Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail to come do a writing workshop through the Library before Culture Days weekend!

Danielle grew up in a family with a passion for aviation – and she just released her newest book ‘Polar Winds’ on flying in the North.  She did a book signing at the Snowdome Coffee Bar and then a free workshop for a room full of inquisitive writers and wanna-be writers!

And then the countdown was on…less than 7 days to Culture Days…

Time for Marie Helene to bring life to some inanimate objects…the annual puppet making workshop is always a treat for all ages.

These creations were on display during the Community Fair on Culture Days weekend!

One of the key events to come from this weekend dedicated to art and culture…is the annual Raven’ About the Arts Awards.  An evening that has ranged from a black tie affair at The Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre to fabulous gatherings in the Jasper Artists Guild.  This year we had the opportunity to host the event at the Jasper Museum…surrounded by works from the Artists Guild in the Showcase Gallery.  The Guild did a Sketchers crawl on a fabulous fall afternoon and then the day evolved into the evenings awards.

Jasper is a wealth of heritage sites to sketch...and a sketchers crawl for Culture Days!

Jasper has a wealth of heritage sites to sketch…and a sketchers crawl for Culture Days!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awards were created by Urban Forest Pottery Studios - glass fused photography.

Awards were created by Urban Forest Pottery Studios – glass fused photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And thanks to Jasper's very own engravers...Lucia's Gifts...we have some very nice plaques for the awards too! Thankyou Vera Forabosco for doing these up for us!

And thanks to Jasper’s very own engravers…Lucia’s Gifts…we have some very nice plaques for the awards too! Thank you Vera Forabosco for doing these up for us!

An evening to honour those who inspire, create and share their art …

Watch how they express their work in their own words!

The Fitzhugh also did a very nice writeup of the evening… http://www.fitzhugh.ca/locals-celebrated-at-arts-awards/

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Close the doors on another Raven’ About the Arts Awards Friday night…and open the doors on Saturday morning for Jasper’s FIRST ‘madeforjasper’ Film Festival!!

Starting in April the call went out across as many channels as we could think of…other festivals, websites, friends…and over 35 submissions came into the Film Fest office.  From all over Canada, Quebec, Manitoba, BC…and even one from LA!  Documentaries, dramatic shorts, animation…from nature to comedy…over 14 hours of programs.  And the selection committee watched them all, sometimes twice.  We have a fantastic small town theatre, the Chaba Theatre, that was opened to us to use for one day…6 hours…a big screen!

Having the films, the theatre and even banners on the street were all good…but what about an audience!?  Being the first ever short film fest in Jasper, on a beautiful sunny fall day…lets just say lots of fingers were crossed.  And it worked!  Thank you Jasper and all the filmmakers who came from away…thanks to the volunteers who kept the tight screening schedule tight.

Toddske, from Fort Mac...got away before the day ended...interestingly he was involved in the short Ninjavention.

Toddske, from Fort Mac…got away before the day ended…interestingly he was involved in the short Ninjavention.  Coincidence?

Peoples Choice was chosen by ballot during the day, second choice was Ancestors Calling…and third place was shared by Exquisite Taste and Through Ice and Time.  All of the award winning films and runners up for Peoples Choice will be collated into a BEST OF THE JASPER SHORT FILM FESTIVAL program to travel the region as a fundraiser!

And of course…what is a film festival without the chance to meet the filmmakers and have some fun…dance…

One of the more famous actors to grace Jasper soil...Marilyn made an appearance!

One of the more famous actors to grace Jasper soil…Marilyn made an appearance!

Chad Krayenhoff of Jasper’s blues fusion dance group brought some life to the floor…what better way to get a room of strangers mingling?

And who better to play blues for blues dancers than Jasper’s own Brian Lackey…who was this years award winner for music at the Raven’ About the Arts Awards!

 

 

 

 

 

Mingling at the Jasper Inn!

 

Who knew magic was so much fun!

Who knew magic was so much fun!

Sometimes things can get out of hand…but no filmmaker was harmed in the making of Culture Days!

Daniel Foreman of Groove Soldier Productions...just keeping things in order!

Daniel Foreman of Groove Soldier Productions…obviously making new friends!

Saturday also meant street performers!  This year we found a young man – Ryan Lackey – who we like to think brought the MAGIC to Culture Days!

If you ever need a little magic for your event...give this guy a call!!

If you ever need a little magic for your event…give this guy a call!!

And on the other side of the street!!  Stephen Nelson entertained at the SnowDome Coffee Bar.  (Stephen also takes a lot of the photos we use for Culture Days archives…a couple of years in a row now!)

Sunshine, coffee and music…gotta love Jasper in the fall.

We like to bring the season into the weekend if we can…and scarecrows just seem to be the thing to do for a workshop, to decorate and to entertain!

 

 

 

 

 

A workshop midday by Ann Hoffele was supposed to be for kids…but it soon became apparent that kids in Jasper have no age!   (Ann also offers weekly workshops in all kinds of crafts…ask us about them arts@iotad dot ca)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isara arrived in Jasper last week...on time to join the weekend!  She sang at the Raven' About the Arts Awards.  Thanks Isara!

Isara arrived in Jasper last week…on time to join the weekend! She sang at the Raven’ About the Arts Awards. Thanks Isara!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hula Hoops and Drums rounded out the workshop offerings (excuse the pun)!  Matricia Brown shared her love of song and drumming.  Shawna Woelke shared her passion for movement with whoever was brave enough to pick one up!  (Shawna is also this years award winner for dance for her amazing choreography on the hoop.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sundog Tours let us put up the Astrodome so Jasper could get excited about the Dark Sky Festival that is just weeks away!  A lot of Jasper residents didnt even know we had a DOME!  Jasper has a lot of well kept secrets 🙂  but now that over 40 people got to get inside this amazing attraction…the word will get around!  Thanks Sundog!

The Dome was nominated this year for a TIAC (Tourism Association of Canada) award.  It is the only dome (we know of) that has taken the songs and drumming of a Cree storyteller and put that audio track to the visuals of the night sky.  Good Luck Matricia Brown and Sundog Tours and Delphinus 18 Productions – lets bring TIAC notoriety back to Jasper again!  (Delphinus 18’s parent AV production office was a finalist for a TIAC Globe and Mail award in 2008)

And so we come to the end of the weekend…to the most anticipated event of the weekend…the one that started when a young potter told us about an annual fundraiser at her college.  Julie McMath inspired the BOWLS WITH SOUL weekend in 2010.  Simply set out handmade bowls, people choose the one that they like, fill it with soup and keep the bowl for a modest fee to support the arts.  It has been 4 years now…and while Julie and her bowls are temporarily not available (rumoured to be around for 2015!) the artist was chosen for 2014, the bowls were picked up at the Connie Pike Studio in High River Alberta…and soup was had!

In 2012 we took the idea one stop higher and have the public vote on their favourite soup of the night.  The soups are marked with ingredients only…so its fair.  2012 and 2013 saw Mountain Park Lodges’ Riley Black take the Golden Ladle award…two years in a row.  The challenge for 2014 was not only to make great soup…but to unseat Jasper’s two time winner Riley Black.

As the soup was warming I asked Clayton Anderson what the chances were of someone new taking the Golden Ladle from Riley.  Clayton thought it was likely as Riley had made a humble tomato soup.  Well…it was a very good tomato soup…with chorizo meatballs…and again – third year in a row the community chose Riley Black!

Arts Jasper always there to help keep order!

Arts Jasper always there to help keep order!

Decisions Decisions...what the heck...take one of each!

Decisions Decisions…what the heck…take one of each!

Aw...someone brought a bowl from a past year...Julie McMath will always be part of Bowls with Soul!

Aw…someone brought a bowl from a past year…Julie McMath will always be part of Bowls with Soul!

The man who makes Bowls with Soul a wonderfully smooth running event!  Clayton Anderson!

The man who makes Bowls with Soul a wonderfully smooth running event! Clayton Anderson! And thanks Kaitie Worobec too…couldnt have done it without you!

Soup, scarecrows, music, dance, films, hula hoops, drumming, writing workshop, book signing, Scottish music, an Astrodome, awards, new and old friends, puppets, street performers, Marilyn Monroe!  I think that’s it!

We will post MORE photos on our Flickr site, and of course follow us at the JASPER COMMUNITY HABITAT FOR THE ARTS and THE JASPER SHORT FILM FESTIVAL on facebook to see what’s going on next!  Arts Jasper and the Jasper Artists Guild, the Library and the Museum have facebook pages too!

 

If I forgot someone...apologies...we can always add as the memories flow in!

If I forgot someone…apologies…we can always add as the memories flow in!

 

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

Another weekend in the Rockies

I knew that living in the Rockies gave me a strength that I couldn’t understand.  I just accept the wonder of this natural place and go about my work.  From morning sunrises over the mountains to the soapstone carving on my desk…rock is one constant in my life that – excuse the pun – grounds me.

So tonight’s exhibits at the Jasper Museum and the Jasper Artists Guild were a delightful way to end the week.  Both of these exhibits give the viewer a glimpse of the Rockies (or just rocks)…and offer a glimpse into the diversity of the place I call home.

Both of these exhibits are on for most of March.  The Artists Guild is located in the old Firehall near the Jasper Post Office and the Museum is located across the street from the pool.

Anna Carnell http://www.stonecraftmosaics.com

Edith VanderKloot http://www.spiritedtransformations.com

Wanda Whaley http://www.wandawhaley.com

Ray Syrja http://raysyrja.blogspot.com

Alan Butler website is under construction…you can find Alan and Ray on the Jasper Artists Guild site

Jasper Artists Guild http://www.jasperartistsguild.com