A bit of history…and a lot of future

An Update!!

Well, as usual December flies by.   And we are amazed at the wonderful assortment of projects that the Habitat brought to life in our 6th week of being!  Another childrens concert is complete – complete with beaming instructor watching in amazement at the skills and talents that have been fostered by her teachings.

The lantern making workshop was interesting, we found ourselves relaxing in the sunbeams (the classroom has windows ceiling to floor on the north and west walls) while listening to music from the stage – Jingle Bells, classical pieces and a finale by an 8 piece string ensemble!

So as the year comes to an end – we wish you all a safe and happy holiday and best wishes for a new year!

If you need some last minute stocking stuffers…check out the January classes.  Lots of potential for something unique and memorable!


Thursday December 9th – we drew a name today from our donation box to take home the CORB LUND tickets for Sunday night.  Rita was the lucky recipient of the tickets…have a super weekend everyone!  Dont forget to stop by the Habitat on Friday night and Saturday afternoon to check out the Barb Brooks art show.


Monday December 6th

Today’s brown bag lunch was amazing…Monika Schaefer took the stage for the hour and treated us all to the sounds of violin and viola.  The plan with the lunch program is to get people engaged in the arts – to bring their kids or friends for a weekly 40 minute hit of something entertaining and educating.  Our crowds are still minimal but Monika was barraged with questions on bow science, materials used in making violins, history of classical movements and audience etiquette.

Next week join us for a reading, after spending hundreds of hours in the car this year we have re-discovered the joy in having someone read to us.  Which is perfect for next week as ACFA (Jasper’s French Community) is having a two day book fair on the 15th and 16th…10 am to 8pm.  Then Dec 20th the Brown Bag Lunch Program will host a short film by Jasper’s Kirby Morrow – lots of Jasper faces to see!

Otherwise we are keeping busy with January programming in Pottery, Video and Theatre.  Saturday mornings may never be the same as DEKE is offering a Drawing with Deke drop in class – only $5 – ages 10-100.   Knitting for children and a fabric art class begins in January also.

You can purchase Fur Ball tickets at the Habitat this month…$30 in advance for a fantastic evening of heritage, food and music.  If you have any items for Santas Anonymous please drop them by as well.  We are open Tues to Sat noon to 5!


Well, its the end of November.  The Habitat is almost a month old.  It has been a fantastic month.  The doors opened to host theatre classes, band practices, film nights and our brown bag lunch program beginnings.  Last night we put up some holiday decorations and cleaned up to the smell of fresh butter popcorn that still lingered from our MINIFEST film night.  (For those of you who couldn’t make it out to hear Maria in the Shower we did download the webcast and it can be seen at www.livestream.com/thehabitat.)

Our guests have left us greetings and well wishes – even ‘an about time’ is now etched in our first guest book.  Our wishlist was only posted for a week and its almost completely filled.  We could still use some office supplies but we now have enough garbage cans!  Charlie brought us two vintage old steel cans that I swear Oscar is about to jump out of…if he is missing one of his cans I think we might have it.

The doors have been kept open as promised noon to 5 Tues to Sat’s, except for the really cold snap when we were just not open.  (I think we might make a policy of -30 and we dont open unless you want in!)

These are the listings coming up for the next few weeks.  Please come up and put your information on the WHATS ON JASPER wall – designed for community and arts related events.  Just leave your poster with Justin and we will post.  Ideas for the brown bag program are most welcome.

We were concerned about the naked walls (until we get our gallery hanging rails) and then the sun showed up at the Habitat one afternoon and decorated the walls for us!

Well, fun doesn’t end with an ‘n’ this weekend…its fun’d’ report time.  Oh – almost forgot – having lived in Jasper for years our board members came up with the idea of lowering studio costs in the winter, to reflect the lower income so many of us have in the winter.  So for Dec 1st to March 31st you can access a studio space for 1/2 of the normal cost recovery fee.  Talk to programs@iotad.ca.

January 2011 – Dish Pottery School will be opening, Delphinus Video School as well – on time for making your film for Festival, and A.C.T. (A Community Theatre) will also begin programming for the new year!  Sign up now at Habitat, registrations are open and spaces are limited.


On Friday October 29th three wise people at the Jasper Town office and Parks Canada worked together and got the lease approved – Monday November 1 we got keys to the Habitat.  Starting Tuesday November 9 you can stop in between noon and 5 and see your community artspaces!  The Habitat for the Arts is officially open.  The GRAND OPENING is January 16 in conjunction with Jasper’s winter festival.  Big Band sounds will echo through the building while we work on our first annual TIME AUCTION…we have dreamt up a winter of activities.  IMPROV for youth starts Dec 5, theatre classes for adults is already underway on wednesday nights…and our MINIFEST is November 25th.  As soon as we get our Facebook page up I will let you know.

See you at the Habitat!  Now on google maps.

Full listing of Habitat contacts is available on the right side of this page under HABITAT.  And a full overview of all the things community can do in this space is HERE…check out the calendar of community events too.


Now back to the original post;

A little history…

…early this year it was noticed that the Provincial Courthouse in Jasper National Park Alberta was vacant.  Having watched arts programming taking place in schools, the library, the recreation centre, vacant buildings, basements and churches since the late 80’s…wherever possible – we wondered if the old Courthouse could be a space dedicated to the arts.

A non profit foundation had been created in 2009 for other arts purposes – IOTAD (It Only Takes a Dream, a registered Alberta non profit arts foundation) saw the opportunity to secure space in Jasper for artists and patrons.

In April 2010 the Minister of Culture and Community Spirit gave his support to the Minister of Infrastructure and the space was allocated to become the home for the Jasper Community Habitat for the Arts and regional Creative Campus.  It is now July, we are going through the leasing process, and by late fall the space will be open!

So what does that mean exactly for the future?

The Jasper Community Habitat for the Arts is designed to provide unique and meaningful arts programming. Programs ranging from studio space for community and visiting artists, classroom space for after school programs to post secondary accredited outreach education, a venue for small music / theatre presentations, a home for the Alberta Foundation for the Arts traveling exhibitions, a volunteer centre, a hub for information on cultural events in the community, a resource centre for artists and instructors, a multicultural centre for showcasing community ethnicity…  The plan is to develop a place where community can engage with each other, educate and interact with the public. It is intended that the space will be enjoyed by all demographics whether it be for presentation of art or to engage in the arts.

We are pretty excited about the possibilities for this space…and cant wait to see what the community does with it!  Especially if Jasper gets Cultural Capital status in 2011!!

For more information – to book a studio or a classroom…please email us at events@iotad.ca.



The Peoples Gallery (Jasper’s Public Art Gallery) in the Habitat has 6 amazing exhibitions from the Esplanade in Medicine Hat, the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Grande Prairie Art Gallery and one to honour travelers for David Thompson year…posting of the years events by the end of summer.  (Exhibits from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts)


FOLLOW US ON TWITTER AT    ‘jasperhabitat’

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