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

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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…

Traveling exhibitions vs. traveling to exhibitions!

SaskatchewanWhile traveling to see the art and artists in the province is always a treat we decided this year to get on the Alberta Foundation for the Arts traveling exhibition circuit and grab some wonderful art that usually moves past our ‘door’.

In 1981 this provincial exhibition program was developed to provide every Albertan with the opportunity to see the province’s growing collection which now consists of over 7,000 pieces from more than 1700 artists.

This year we brought silver gelatin photos from the Badlands to town, heritage prints made by reknowned Alberta printmakers like Peter von Tiesenhausen and Margaret Sheldon and rare wildflower watercolours from the first botanical book on Alberta flowers by Annora Brown.  Etchings and oils by painters and artists that we would never meet…

And this weekend I await the crate containing 22 photographs by George Webber.  I must confess here that I thought I was getting photos taken by the artist George Weber…the man who is mostly known for his serigraphs of the province!  But after receiving the overview on the Webber photos I am not disappointed at all.

George Webber has been described as a ‘lyrical poet with a camera’.  His photos have appeared in books, Canadian Geographic, Photolife and Swerve.  In 1999 he was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts for his contributions to the visual arts of Canada.  Yet he is still not a household name in Western Canada.  This is partly due to his shunning of the spotlight – and very likely partly due to his choice of subject matter.  For many in the west – rural dwellers – his photos appear very ordinary, often depicting everyday rural life.

His images are unique, special and ‘very western’.  He explores the ‘essence’ of his subject matter – whether it be people or landscape.  He is fascinated by the passage of time, the surface and underlying qualities of his subjects.  His critiques have come away saying ‘he captures the ethereal qualities of the prairies – the desolation, the loneliness, the immensity – isolation…while incorporating irony and dry wit.  He shows the symbiotic bond between people and their environment’.  “First people touch the land, then the land touches the people”, Webber says.

As I look out the window this week at the cold October rains, naked trees and encroaching winter I wonder how the images will be interpreted!  But isn’t that the sign of great art?  To evoke emotion.