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!

 

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Now What

Checking the site

It looks good.  It has been designed to look good.  The floors are perfect for cleaning up after busy workshops…

The patch bays between rooms for tech hookups and communications are done.  The sound proofing in the music room is done…

The industrial plugin is in for the kilns.  The plumbing for the big sinks for washing up is installed…

Now what?

For those of you who have been following this exciting developing cultural spaces building…what now…not much.  Apparently nothing done well is done quickly.  And that statement is not applicable to this building in any way.  There have been some flaws, a few errors in construction.

We get disheartened.  Just this week we had to tell an artist her exhibit planned in 2013 for August 2014 would not be possible.  Heartbreaking news for any artist…and family that have planned time in the Rockies to celebrate the completion and exhibition of a new body of work.

The process of dreaming up a cultural space and programs for engaging as many people as we can is unshakable though.  As we stand in the incomplete facility we can almost hear the chatter and music that will happen there soon.

studio

The studio space for independent study or resident instructors sits eerily quiet for now…but we can almost hear the guitar lessons – we can almost envision the author pulling the doors closed so they can work in solitude on their writing.

pottery with a view

So while the tarps blowing in the wind may be the only sound at the end of the day still…we dream.  Because without out dreams we would be looking for a certain building contractor to hang in the elevator shaft!  KIDDING

As the sign says that is hanging over our desk… ‘Another failure!  Success is imminent!’

See ya soon in this amazing space.

 

 

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…

Welcoming Year Two

Habitat for the Arts is a year old.

Since November 10th 2010 the big space located on the corner of Hazel and Patricia Streets in downtown Jasper has been home to the Yellowhead Regional Creative Campus, Library Film Nights, music jams, painting workshops, beading and knitting afternoons – heritage arts, author readings, information sessions from the Banff Centre and Volunteer Alberta, public gallery shows from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts collection, regular meeting space for over six community arts related orgs including a startup for Jasper’s Toastmasters, square dancing, childrens theatre games (lots and lots of children), adult theatre practices, video classes, pottery classes, multimedia art exploring, NFB webcasts, language arts for outreach education, Whats On Jasper wall, volunteer store and centre, afterschool programs, annual cultural celebrations like Celtic Hour, lunch bag programs, studio for visiting artists…

…we were hoping to create a SPACE for community to engage, teach and demonstrate arts and culture.  It looks like ‘it only took a dream’.

Photos of the past year can be seen on our the link to the right here called ‘A Photo History’ – it will take you to a Flickr photo site.  Or catch some sidewalk cinema as we showoff the year on the window screens at Habitat this month…hey – if it’s going to get dark at suppertime…we are going to use the dark!!

The Habitat has been supported by many and supports many arts programs in Jasper.  In 2011 over $20,000 was spread through the community for three culturally related arts ‘festivals’.  Artists were employed, musicians were hired, art was purchased, instructors taught, restaurants and hotels were booked – are we bragging…you bet we are!  In 2010 the social return on a ten day festival was calculated to be a 200% spin back of dollars into the community…we haven’t finished this years SROI.

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But we can tell you:

The ANNUAL JASPER CHRISTMAS FAIR – November 20…make a gingerbread house for Santas Anonymous and maybe you will win a day in the JPL Fairmont Bakery…secrets will be shared I have heard!  To be on the voting ballot please register your house by the 18th..and deliver it to the Activity Centre on Sunday morning between 9:30 and 10:30 please.

And Go to the FAIR!!

ITS ANIMATION MONTH! 

NOVEMBER 21 and 28 – animation NFB short films at 4pm and animation projects for Christmas gift making workshops, $5 and $10 drop in fees for the Craft Stations (might be good to phone and let us know you are coming so there is enough materials!  Hate to turn anyone away)

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=269452783090366

Habitat will have a wish tree outside this year.  We will decorate on the 28th with some of the items we have made in the workshops.

Lantern Making workshop with Ursula is November 16.  And a lantern walk…with her other students…

There are Friday noon hour music jams at the Habitat as well…just until the sun returns to shine on the outdoor ones with some heat!

NOVEMBER 16 – Food Society Film – check out Jasper-Food Local-Society on Facebook.

And while you are on Facebook don’t forget to become Friends of the Jasper Community Habitat for the Arts!

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DECEMBER 10– the Habitat will be open from noon-4 or later for its first birthday party.  Come by for cake and check out Jasper’s very own Jazz Band (I would say High School Jazz Band…but if I don’t tell you how old these musicians are – you would never know by their skill!).  Joel Cultur of Art of Street will do a live demonstration of his art during their music…Amber Hayward will read to us from her latest book…Shara will have some awesome handmade dolls for sale as well as Paintings by Paula and Jewelery by Sandra!  Both of the Art of Street artists Joel and Ryan will have some artworks on display…

Door prizes, and open stage for busking and tours through the building…

 

Habitat’s office is open Tuesday to Friday – noon to 5 in November.  780.852.4747

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.

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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!

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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.