The people make you dance. (Romani/Gypsy – Said if a place is nice.)
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.
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…
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.
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.
And the poem! By Jasper’s very own Mayor Ireland!