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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O manusha khelevan tut

The people make you dance.  (Romani/Gypsy – Said if a place is nice.)

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Wow.  The last post was all about the stuff we were going to do for Culture Days.  And here we are – two months later…ready to tell you the stories of a festival well lived!!

Our theme for 2013’s Culture Days was that of ‘homelessness’ or more romantically…that of being a gypsy!  (we eagerly await – still – the opening of Jasper’s new cultural spaces building) BUT the arts are never really homeless…instead we will think of them as subject to movement, colour, sound and entertainment, like a gypsy caravan!

Marie Helene took the lead again this year with a workshop in puppet making.  Some puppets went on to perform on the street during our day of Street Art…and even welcomed folks to the Raven’ About the Arts Awards night.

Every year, actually every time there are events for community to gather, we try to create interesting events that will entice all ages.  Well, this year we thought that, rather than having the Harvest Dance at the community hall and then go pickup our amazing seniors, why not host the Culture Days Harvest Dance at the seniors lodge and have them invite the community to join in!  And what would a Harvest ‘anything’ be without scarecrows.

Our second year of building scarecrows grew substantially…and the voting was done at the Dance for the scariest, the most recycled and of course…the Jasperiest!

Music was presented by the lovely Ms Monika Schaefer and two fabulous musicians from Tight Squeeze.  The evening opened with The Jasper Dance Program dancers…followed by great food, music, family, dancing…it was quite a party!  (actually we had a hard time shutting this evening down!  They could have danced all night!)

Scarecrows had three categories…Jasper the Bear (now one of our senior community!) awarded Ursula for the Jasperiest scarecrow.

Awards were from Jasper’s artistic community, this image by Judy Gieselman was met with great enthusiasm!

And of course – the Culture Days swag was a big hit!

The week of Culture Days was shared with the schools…they not only designed a few of their own scarecrows – they added to their rock garden and hosted an art exhibition.

cdayskids

Culture Days offers us an opportunity to celebrate all things art…to invite all ages to play, to create as many ways to engage with the public as possible.  So what would a weekend of art be without buskers!!!  Art in the streets…

And while downtown enjoying the sights and sounds of Jasper artists…there was also the opportunity to stop into the Chaba Theatre to take in two French Films, one for the kids and one the big kids!  Les Jour de Courneilles and Les Gamins…thanks to our new partnership with the Alberta Media Arts Alliance and cInaMAGINE Lethbridge!

As we move closer to moving into the new Jasper Cultural Building we are making new partnerships…the new building will hold the Library, the Jasper Artists Guild, L’ACFA’s French Library and the of course…the Habitat for the Arts.

With Saturday afternoon winding down we headed over to the Legion to setup for the annual Raven’ About the Arts Awards!

As folks arrive they are greeted by an unexpected host!  Marie Helene and her puppet characters…

Alan Butler accepts the evenings program…one of two presentations he will be part of this evening.  Alan did receive an arts award for Fine Arts this year.  You can find Alan’s work at the Jasper Artists Guild!

The Raven’ About the Arts Awards is one of Jasper’s key Culture Days events!  Jeremy Derksen was our MC for the evening, Mayor Ireland recited some of his own poetry, the Library’s poet in residence Shirley Serviss graced the stage as well.

See end of story for the poem written just for the awards by Mayor Ireland!

This year’s awards were created by Enzien and Christian of Urban Pottery Designs.  They work in fused glass as well…and just happen to take lots of photographs of the ravens on Chip Lake…making for amazing awards.

Foods were presented by Elizabeth Prinz…a great evening of recognizing all the great art and artists in our community!

Patron of the Year award went to Wayne Kennedy for his amazing community connecting he does for all the orgs in town…making sure we all know what is going on.  He had an important message for us all…regardless of all this social media – we still need to get out and communicate to our neighbours one on one about what we are doing!  Well said!

Check out these artists, eloquently sharing their love of their art… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Yf7LA5hnEE&feature=c4-overview&list=UUYc2gpkTFYDws_glNif07pA

Entertainment for the evening – besides our noted poets – was piano by Alys Thomas and guitar by Edwin Richards.

Night Two of Culture Days concluded…on to SOUP FOR THE SOUL!!

This event began 4 years ago when Julie McMath told us about an event from her days at college in Nova Scotia…the ceramics students would create bowls for an event…they would be filled with soup and you kept the bowl.  How absolutely perfect for Culture Days.  She had several students from Dish Pottery School help her create the 100+ bowls that we would need for the night.

In 2013 we changed it up a bit…as Julie has moved out of town – and until our own pottery school is in place – we now call the event SOUP for the Soul…we find misc bowls…you come for the soup which is provided by restaurants in town.  Soups are voted on…and the community awards the soup maker with the most votes the annual GOLDEN LADLE award.  This lovely mini chef is about 2 inches tall, created by Tracy Templeton for us.

soup

If you think soup is a ‘so so’ meal…you will have to come out next year!  Purple cauliflower, boar chorizo, all kinds of veggies and curries and cream and colours.  And yes, our servers were dressed in gypsy attire. The theme this year was ‘homelessness’ – as we await our new building we are ‘gypsies’!  The music on the stage was even gypsy themed as Cam Neufeld and friends treated us to excerpts from the ‘Road to Django’ show.

This event would never be as smooth and successful as it is if it were not for Clayton Anderson and his team at Mountain Park Lodges!

Success!  Another great year of music, food, friends and art.

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And the poem!  By Jasper’s very own Mayor Ireland!

Raven about the Arts

Raven about the Arts pg2

Raven about the Arts pg3

Capturing the spirit…with music and community

Our little community puts on the most amazing Christmas Fair…has for the 20+ years that I have lived here.  The past few years the folks running the fair have changed.  And as with any shuffle of administration things change…new ideas get brought to life.  We were pretty happy to see this great seasonal community event grow again this year with more new ideas!  Like decorating and advertising…with even two versions of posters to catch the eyes of crafts patrons.

Its all about connections!

Rides to the fair were provided by Marmot Basin…a little green initiative in the season of white!  Santa and a couple of his helpers did an afternoon circuit through the town to get visitors and locals to the fair and home.  When I stepped out to see how the bus was doing, the carols were playing and the antlers were on!

Choirs and piano music rounded out a day of gingerbread houses and the gifts that can’t be bought.  Fair organizer Greg Van Tighem was awarded  for his long days of planning with one of the crafts from the childrens area.  After all are children not the real reason why we celebrate this holiday.  A season of hope, a reprieve from the daily grind where spirit and grace are not foremost in many minds?

Lets see…children, crafts, gingerbread, Santa bus, unexpected gifts, choirs, piano music, decorations, community organizations…oh yah! – the most amazing collection of artisans and bakers…pottery, jewelry, First Nations art, fabric arts, stone mosaics, woodwork, metalwork, cookies, chocolates, pet treats…

And we thought it was just a Christmas Fair!

A river of fire…at the Urban Forest Pottery Studio

Urban Forest PotteryIt never fails to amaze me how after driving the same highway for over 20 years we can still find new creative things to see on the way home.  Often the four hour drive ends up in sleepy silence but this week we got away from the city in daylight and found the time to stop at the Urban Forest Pottery Studio.  The smell of fresh rain on autumn leaves and wood smoke were welcome distractions on this much needed break after hours of being in the car.  Potters Enzien Kufeld and Christian Barr were home and we got the tour!

They are the perfect example of why our advocacy work for the past 20+ years still keeps us passionate about the artistic process.  We have seen their art in several galleries around the province but this brief tourist trek around their world surpassed any gallery visit or exhibition.  To stand in their – yes IN – their kiln and imagine four days of stoking the fire to produce 40 foot flames to push through the claywork…mind boggling.  Christian compares the firing of the kiln and the flames to water flowing over rocks in a riverbed.  The smaller kiln (also woodfired) has a smaller firebox so while it doesn’t require monitoring by several people to keep it stoked – but it does require stoking every few minutes.  For days.

‘Wood firing is an ancient technique used in many global cultures and was the first process to reach the high temperatures necessary (1200 to 1300 degrees Celsius is common) to vitrify stoneware and porcelain clays.  It is the most labour and time intensive, and most expensive way to fire.  With near limitless variables, it presents the most mentally, physically and emotionally challenging firing process.  To be a wood-firer one must be passionate about it, as there is no other way to create its result in finishing one’s work.”  C.Barr and E.Kufeld

While telling others about the things we find when we travel the province(s) is a lot of fun – we hope you get out and seek these adventures on your own.  Let the Arts speak for themselves!