Category Archives: Arts & Culture

Kaleido and local students create art Arts festival and schools make a perfect partnership

Something edgy is coming to 118 Avenue as rumours circulate of an “exquisite corpse.” Is a zombie invasion imminent?

Despite its hair-raising name, exquisite corpse is art at this year’s Kaleido Family Arts Festival. Local schools are spearheading this event, said Christy Morin, executive director of Arts On The Ave.

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Finding comfort and closure by the river Traditional Cree ceremonies honour the departed

Night was approaching as I stood by the river, thinking of closure. The beauty of the water, a calm swath winding through low green banks, filled me with appreciation.

I was here because my partner, Larry Loyie, a proud Cree man, writer, and educator died three months before at 82 years old. He asked that his ashes be laid here by the river during the family’s annual gathering, in a traditional Cree way.

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Gaden Samten Ling Society continues to grow Book spurs health clinic in remote Himalayan valley

A smile lights Kushok Lobsang Dhamchöe’s face as he queries a young guest at the Alberta Centre for Peace and Meditation, on the corner of 101 Street and 114 Avenue.

Fondly known as Kushok, the spiritual director of Gaden Samten Ling Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Society has been offering teachings and meditation practice to Edmontonians for 16 years. But his journey here was not always so bright.

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Camp organizers seek a spark of funding Local theatre camp unsure of what the future holds

A theatre camp dedicated to providing affordable and accessible arts education to youth is uncertain of the future. Spark! ran the first two weeks of July with students ranging from ages 7-14.

Unable to secure grant funding, organizers were forced to rely on donations and charge a fee for each student. This meant the camp is difficult to justify for students coming from low-income families. Chris dela Cruz, founder of Spark!, explained, “These kids are not normally afforded opportunities to be exposed to performance art as it can be an expensive activity.”

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There is no golden rule for creativity Shima Aisha Robinson talks about art and poetry

The best poets throw out the rule book and speak plainly to you with electric words they pull from their veins of consciousness and then pour like lightning into the reader’s bones. Shima Aisha Robinson’s electric first book of poetry, Horn, will soon be available in a second printing. 

Few acts are more courageous and electric than truth. Autobiographical poetry, as Robinson defines her work, is thought and truth aloud on the page. “My book is about personal experience, friends and family, all the major themes, love and pain and [it also] explores politics. I tried to choose the most potent poems that communicated the issues.”

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Organization builds bridges between cultures Offering dialogue and an open door to communities

At a recent intercultural event, a woman approached Ibrahim Cin and told him his people and his culture were not wanted here. They should return to their homeland. Cin, a practicing Muslim, is originally from Turkey.

He politely acknowledged her opinion and was going to leave it at that.

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See what happens when fun shapes art Artist Bernice Caligiuri is inspired by everyday objects

Ask Bernice Caligiuri about her art philosophy and you get a simple answer. “I just do it because I like it,” said the 70-year-old artist. “When I start a piece, it may be a wall hanging, a painting, or a sculpture. It’s so much fun that a whole day can go by in a flash while I’m creating it.”

Her exhibit, called What Bernice Sees and held at Bleeding Heart Art Space, confirms that fun shapes her art.

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The Aviary waits in the wings Struggling through setbacks to open the doors of this venue

I’d like to tell you about the Aviary’s grand opening. Edmonton’s latest arts venue seats 100, hosts concerts and art shows and brews a mean pot of coffee in the morning.

I’d like to tell you this but I cannot because it’s not true yet. “It’s looking like spring of next year is when we’ll be open,” said co-owner Philip Muz, “but I’ve kinda given up on a timeline.”

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Immersing in the mosaic of cultural stories Local festival channels the power of myth with art, dance, music, and theatre

On June 17-18, experience the vast cultures Edmonton is home to with The Thousand Faces Festival.

The festival, which offers art, dance, song, and theatre, is currently celebrating its fifth year. Every year, Mark Henderson, artistic director, carefully plans the itinerary. “Year to year I think to myself, what would be fun for audiences to immerse themselves into,” said Henderson. “It’s a multicultural, multidisciplinary festival. We want performances from all cultures in all disciplines.”

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Closing a decade-long chapter on a festival Bridge Songs gave artists a chance to share work

On June 18, Bridge Songs will celebrate its 10 year anniversary and its last year.

Bridge Songs focuses on music, poetry, and visual art and has given artists an opportunity to gain exposure.

“It feels like the right time and it’s felt like the right time potentially for the last couple of years,” said Dave Von Bieker, event organizer. Many early artists are either no longer making music or have become established. Von Bieker is also getting busier with his art gallery, Bleeding Heart Art Space.

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