Friday, 30 April 2010

A Wonderful Body of Work

A Review of: Margaret Sonnenberg's Solo show at the Red Poll Centre

Above Image: "Summer Forest III" Margaret Sonnenberg, 2010

Excited to learn that there is not one but two art shows available in town during the month of April, I ventured over to the Centre to take in the solo exhibition of local artist Margaret Sonnenberg.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working along side Margaret, and I was happy to see so many of her works in one place. The show is divided into three distinct bodies of work; spanning flora, landscape, and figurative. Although all of her works are intriguing and have rewarding sections, I could see a definite maturity in her handling of paint and understanding of composition from her 2009 work to the more current 2010 pieces.

Margaret’s older works have tentativeness in the brush marks, a lack of depth, and a simplistic use of colour (often with dull or flat colour choices). I found her flora pieces suffered as a whole from their overt relation to their photo beginnings. This collection tended to look a bit laboured and slightly overworked in some cases, but proved to be a strong exploration of local flora from Wood Buffalo.

Her figurative work showed a departure from the photo realism and short brush stokes employed in the flora collection. In her figure pieces Margaret plays with light and shadow; creating real personality through her line quality and placing visual emphasis on the plains of each face. Her characters came to life with their bold marks and colour combinations. The strength in these images was evident where they verged on abstraction.

I found that it was her landscapes; and in particular her pieces titled “Summer Forest 111” and “Summer Forest”, which showed the capability and strength of Margaret’s practice. In these works she showcases her ability to capture depth, tone, and texture. I felt as though I was in the forest looking up at the canopy. I would have loved to see this work twice as big or larger which could capture that physical reaction/relationship to place even more.

To the Artist,
Well done Margaret, I hope you will continue to build on your new body of work and I look forward to seeing your next show.



Arts and Cultural Logo

This logo was created to represent municipal arts and culture initiatives. A logo competition took place in early 2010. This winning logo was created by Fort McMurray's Ederlyn McGuigan and was then graphically treated by the municipality's Creative Services Branch.

The growing crescents in the logo represent nationalities residing in Wood Buffalo. The colours represent their differences and the colourful evolution of their arts and culture. Every crescent is connected to one another to show that even when there is constant change in a community, growth, development and unity are always a possibility.

The spaces represent open opportunity and limitless ideas. There is a space reserved for each and every resident to join in, participate and be part of the whole arts and culture circle.
Logo Competition

The Municipality received over thirty submissions for the logo competition by the closing date of February 19, 2010.

To view some of the entries, see the Cultural Logo Competition Submission Gallery.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

My First Visit To Fort Chipewyan

Above: Monument Hill & view from the lakeside base of Monument Hill
(you can click on the images to see larger versions)

Above: Deanne sitting on Monument Hill & View of the old (now unused) Catholic School House.
(you can click on the images to see larger versions)

Yesterday, April the 20th, two of my Municipal coworkers and I headed up to Fort Chipewyan. It was my first time visiting the community as well as the farthest North I have ever traveled. It was beautiful; both geographically and because of the people living there.

The town is nestled in along the western shore of the eighth largest lake in Canada, Lake Athabasca. When standing on “Monument Hill” looking out across the water I felt as though I was looking at the ocean. I was totally mesmerized by the geography of the Canadian Shield. As we climbed Monument Hill we found naturally occuring pink, purple and green strata poking up through the grasses – nature’s artistry is abundant in Fort Chipewyan.

While in town we were fortunate enough to meet with some of the local residents to discuss some of thier annual cultural initiatives, such as Treaty Days, Cut Rock Walk (a 24-hour non stop walk to raise money and awareness of cancer), and the Elders Celebration. The Cultural staff are looking forward to learning more about each of these initiatives. We hope to support and provide coverand and highlights of each project to the rest of the region.

Please look for more information on each initiative soon to follow.

If you have any questions or know of any other Cultural Initiative taking place in our region, please contact me at 780.788.4335


Connor Buchanan

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Father Mercredi Spring Market

This Saturday - April 17, 2010

Looking for knitted items, baked goods, crafts or the perfect gift for someone? Visit the Spring Market. To book tables, please contact Patricia Budd at All proceeds from table sales will go to Merc. Farm; a program raising money to buy farm animals for families in third world countries.

The Blue Light

We have our last show of the season - The Blue Light, opening in two weeks and we have a couple of backstage opportunities available to help out on running crew. Potential areas are in audio and fly operation. There is a bit of a time commitment required, but it will be a lot of fun and is shaping up to be an incredible show. If you’re interested just get back to me and I will send you a detailed list of times required depending on your interests.


Alan Roberts
Production Manager
Keyano College Theatre

8115 Franklin Avenue
Fort McMurray, AB
T9H 2H7
780.791.4932 (Office)
780.791.8997 (Fax)

Help Create a Holistic, Wood Buffalo Cultural Map

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Culture Map; an Arts and Culture Community Resource. Are you in?

Above is an example of what Cultural Mapping may look like. The abouve image is the, Ventura Cultural Arts District map. If you'd like to see the map in more detail, click on the image or the following link -

Cultural Mapping is defined as a process of collecting, recording and analyzing information in order to describe the cultural resources, networks, links and patterns of a given community or group.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is in the process of developing an Arts and Cultural Community Resource Map, showcasing various elements that contribute to culture; human, natural, social and economical. This resource will help define our local culture, identify previously unknown resources, locate gaps, needs and overlaps and identify networks and hubs.
If you or your group is interested in sharing the location of your studio, workspace, sales, class, facility or location, please share your information with us so we can add it to the Arts and Culture Community Resource.

Please send information to:

Public Art – Expression of Interest

City of Burlington


$100,000 Public Art Project

The City of Burlington is seeking to commission a public artwork to be located on Uptown Mixed Used Centre - Upper Middle Road. Community Planners Inc. will on behalf of the City of Burlington be administering a juried process to consider a wide spectrum of works for this site.

Deadline: Thursday, April 29th, 2010 at 4 p.m.

Full details about this competition can be viewed at