Friday, 24 December 2010

Canadian Art Magazine and Site

Above: The cover of the Winter2010/11 Canadian Art

For this December/January's magazine highlight I have chosen Canadian Art.

This may seem like an obvious choice but it is truly an amazing source of information, insight and dialogue on art in a Canadian context. Canadian Art is a quarterly publication, published by The Canadian Art Foundation. The Foundation is a charitable organization that fosters and supports the visual arts in Canada. The foundation celebrates artists and their creativity with a nationwide educational program of events, lectures, competitions, publications and other initiatives.

For a comprehensive overview of Canadian Art Foundation programs, visit their programs overview page:

Canadian Art is my go-to magazine or site if I’m looking for information on recent or upcoming shows in Canada. The site has even more information then the magazine, such as unique feature articles not found in the print publication, an elaborated gallery directory with images and reviews of current shows at each location.  Plus a major bonus - the whole site has an easy to navigate layout.

Check it out for yourselves:

Within the magazine there is an extensive list of exhibitions and reviews. This publication doesn't shy away from controversial topics or imagery –it covers it all, the good, bad, ugly and amazing.

This is a phenomenal magazine for those wishing to feel connected and knowledgeable about what is happening in the Arts in Canada, but also its light enough to entertain those with general interest in art.

That’s all for now, next time I think I’ll tackle Applied Arts Magazine, which like Canadian Art has a great online component as well. If your interested in getting the jump on my next post here is a link the Applied Art:

Have a great holiday season and a Happy New Year! If youre headed out of the region via Highway63 please drive safe, and if your sticking close to home safe then too :)


Just a heads up - all non-essential services offices will be closed from December 25- January 3, 2011 inclusive.

Nominate Your Neighbour Program 2010

Take a tour of Woodbuffalo this holiday season and view the nominated houses in the WinterLights Celebrations – Nominate your Neighbour program.

Click on the following link to view the list and map of homes recognized for their wonderful lighting displays

Clay 2010

Since the 1970s, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts has been assembling the most significant provincial art collection in Canada, with more than 7500 pieces from about 1500 Alberta artists, worth more than $10 million.

Much of this work is exhibited throughout Alberta in government offices, public buildings such as hospitals and libraries, through various kinds of exhibitions, and at special events such as the Vancouver Olympics.

The collection can be seen on-line at

While examples of fine craft have been regularly added to the collection, the extent and variety of work acquired has not always reflected the range and energy of Alberta’s professional craft scene. The AFA has set out to expand the craft collection and has worked with the Alberta Craft Council on several aspects of this.

Clay 2010 is the most recent and extensive venture intended to add fine craft to the AFA collection. The AFA has contracted the Craft Council to manage an acquisition process and touring exhibition that represents a 2010 cross-section of ceramic arts activity in Alberta. Throughout 2009 and early 2010, an open call for entry attracted submissions from 55 professional and emerging potters, tile makers, clay sculptors and other ceramic artists.

An expert jury was selected for the project. Relying on photos and submission packages, they reviewed 243 pieces. About 86 were select for further consideration and brought to Edmonton for in-person and more in-depth examination. Ultimately the jury selected 70 pieces from 37 artists, 19 of whom are new to the AFA Collection. These, with a total value of $73,995, were recommended to the AFA for acquisition.

The Clay 2010 exhibition appears in the Alberta Craft Council Feature Gallery, April 10 to July 3. It is being scheduled at Red Deer Museum and Medalta (Medicine Hat Clay Industries National Historic Site). Prairie Gallery and other potential locations are being considered. The Clay 2010 project also includes a full-colour catalogue and an extensive on-line exhibition, both produced by the Craft Council. Look for these in the near future.

Clay 2010 is the largest and most significant Alberta ceramics project in (at least) a decade. It substantially updates the AFA collection with a variety of work demonstrating all aspects of current ceramic practice in the province. The project offers substantial creative and financial encouragement to individual clay artists, especially in the midst of a recession. And, the exhibitions, catalogue, on-line content, media work and other exposure should attract much-needed public appreciation of Alberta’s dynamic ceramics culture.

On behalf of members and all craft artists in Alberta, the Craft Council wants to thank the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for the foresight and commitment necessary for the success of this project. In particular, AFA staff members Ross Bradley, Gail Lint and Neil Lazaruk deserve special thanks for their expertise and advice.

The content of this post was taken from the Clay 2010 website, for more information please click on the following link:

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A Great Opportunity for Local Artists!

The Red Poll Centre is looking for an artist to showcase their artwork February to March 2011.The Redpoll Centre’s purpose is to build capacity and give back to the community. We support local artists by displaying artwork in our conference room which is available to the public. Many pieces are available for sale.

If you are interested in showcasing some of your art work, please call Stacey at 780-791-0077.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Raise the Roof

Good Morning everyone,
I am a member of the Raise the Roof Committee here in Fort McMurray. This is a campaign that creates long- term solutions for youth homeless in Canada. ‘Toque Tuesday’ will take place on February 8, 2011 and in-order to prepare for the event I have toques for sale at $10 each. They make great stocking stuffers and the money will go to our own youth in Fort McMurray that are homeless. I have attached some information, but if you need more information or you would like a toque please let me know.

Merry Christmas!

Crystal Carwardine
Horticultural Technician

Friday, 17 December 2010

CELEBRATION – Inaugural exhibition at the MacDonald Island Park Community Gallery

Dear artists and artlovers, the following is a message from the Wood Buffalo Artist Forum: 

MacDonald Island Park will feature a week of celebrations from the 24th - 30th of January. The Wood Buffalo Artists Forum is happy to announce that the MacDonald Island Park Community Gallery is a fact! We will celebrate local art and a space for all local artists to show their 2-dimensional artwork! The inaugural exhibition “Celebration” will be held from 26th of January 2011 and will last for 3 weeks.

The opening of the Community Gallery will be on the wednesday evening of that week and "Celebration" will be the inaugural exhibition of two-dimensional art of local artists of all levels! All featuring artists will receive an official invitation, but finally we have some dates for your diary!!
Artists can still submit two-dimensional artwork. The final deadline for submitting your work is the 5th of January 2011.

Send an email to:  to recieve the information form, or if you have one submit:
  • a jpg file of your two-dimensional artwork
  • final measurements H x W in inches (if framed, include frame in the measurements)
  • a filled out information form with details and bio – max 50 words with your art history (Contact us to receive this form before the 5th of January!)

Date for your diary:
Artwork Drop Off: January 17 and January 18 from 17:30 - 10 pm at the Gallery (2nd floor Long corridor opposite the gym)


To date 29 artists submitted their work and another 15 are planning to do so or are going to send in a newer/better or bigger piece. This is truly amazing!

Although we asked artists to hand in one piece per person, some of you have small pieces that belong together. So we have decided that if your work are smaller than 18 x 22" (including frame), artists may submit 2 pieces. Such is particularly suitable for matching photography or diptych (two-piece) works. Final decisions will be made by the WBAF Gallery curating group.


Please forward this information to all artists that you know.

The Wood Buffalo Artists Forum.

"The MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery is committed to being all inclusive, to respecting the experience, creativity and talent of all visual artists, to challenging artists to grow and develop, to developing the public’s appreciation for visual art and to recognizing and encouraging both emerging, experienced and professional artists.”
Wood Buffalo Artist Forum

We will use this information for uniform tags to go with your art piece and for a leaflet that will be available during the opening. Submissions after the 5th of January cannot be accepted.

Introducing Alberta Supports

On December 15, 2010 the Alberta government officially announced the Alberta Supports website and contact centre.

For the first time, Albertans can access information on more than 30 social based assistance programs and more than 100 services by visiting a single website or calling just one phone number. Information includes services related to: career and training, income support, disabilities, seniors, homelessness, abuse and bullying, children and youth, and making life decisions such as personal directives. Albertans can also estimate their potential eligibility and obtain referral information.

At the same time, government has established several pilot projects to test approaches to improving in-person service delivery.

It is important to note that Albertans can still access services in person the same way they always have.

Government, non-profit and private sector staff will also benefit from the Alberta Supports website and contact centre. By consolidating program information, staff will be able to focus more on what they do best – providing effective solutions for the Albertans they serve.

The Alberta Supports website is online at, and the contact centre toll-free number is 1-877-644-9992. In Edmonton, call 780-644-9992.

For more information, read the news release at If you have a website, we encourage you to link to and to share information about this initiative with Albertans connected with your organization.

Thank you

Robert Bhatia, Deputy Minister
Seniors and Community Supports

Shirley Howe, Deputy Minister
Employment and Immigration

Steve MacDonald, Deputy Minister
Children and Youth Services

Marcia Nelson, Deputy Minister
Housing and Urban Affairs

Monday, 13 December 2010

Winter Break Teen Reading Contest

Good morning all,
I recieved the following message from the Fort McMurray Public Library:

I would like to share this exciting new contest. The library is pleased to have had ample participation from teens in the adult summer reading program so we’ve decided to focus on teens for the Winter Break Teen Reading Contest. Free registration starts on December 13 at the Adult Help Desk on the second floor of the library and registration will continue for the duration of the program from December 15 to January 3.

The library will be holding weekly prize draws for movie money and additional prizes will be awarded at the end of the contest for:

Most read books $50 VISA gift card
Grand prize winner of $100 VISA gift card

Ballots must be completed for each book read to be eligible for the draws. Ballots can be completed online or in person at the library (starting Dec. 15)

Click here to go to the information page on the library website:

And don’t forget to purchase Banff Mountain Film Festival tickets for friends and family. The festival is January 13 and 14 at Keyano Theatre and tickets can be purchased online at or in person at the box office.

Cost is $20 for adults and $15 for student/senior. The shows are different each night and there are lots of door prizes to be won! Click to find out more about the Banff Centre, the book and film festival and the world tour.
Have a great holiday, best wishes to all for a healthy, happy and prosperous new year

Carolyn Murray

Marketing Manager
Fort McMurray Public Library

Friday, 10 December 2010

Wood Buffalo's History in Pictures

Hi Everyone:

I thought it would be great to share some images of Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan that I found on the Provincial Archives of Alberta website. It's amazing to see what drastic changes have occurred over the last hundred years.

Fort Chipewyan
Late 19th Century
Unknown Building
Provincial Archives of Alberta

Fort Chipewyan
Late 19th Century
Hudson's Bay Post
Provincial Archives of Alberta

Fort McMurray
Late 19th Century
View of Main Street - "The Gateway to the North"
Provincial Archives of Alberta

Fort McMurray
July 1922
Main Street
Provincial Archives of Alberta

Fort McMurray
ca. 1925
Main Street in Fort McMurray winter
Provincial Archives of Alberta

Fort McMurray
Aerial View of Fort McMurray
Provincial Archives of Alberta

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

2011 Call for Artist Trading Cards

Just a reminder for those of you who may have forgotten and an introduction for those of you who have never heard of ACT's before. The Municipality currently has an ongoing call for Artist Trading Cards. The Municipality has an open call for these small works of local art.

Below are two examples of previous submission by local artists

Above Left: "Untitled", Margaret Sonnenberg, 2009
Above Right: "Magpie", Helen Hendriks, Acrylic on cardstock 2009

Artist trading cards are miniature works of art created on a 2 ½” X 3 ½” surface. They are original artworks or small editions self-produced by an artist, however anyone can produce them. There are no restrictions on the materials or theme, which means the possibilities for creativity are endless. Everyone is invited to participate and all techniques and mediums are welcome.

Artist trading cards must be original artworks created for this call for entry. Each individual may submit up to nine artist cards. Please place the title, medium, the artists name and contact info on the back of each ATC.
View our local Artist Trading Card collection by clicking on this link to the Municipal Gallery:

How to make artist trading cards:
A template can be found on the Municipal website, click here to go to the main Artist Trading Card page.

1. Produce a 2 ½” X 3 ½” backing for your art work. Cardstock is often a good medium to start with; however any medium on any surface is acceptable. 

2. Sign, date, title, and place the edition number (if they are a series) on the back.

Also, if you’re interested in working on your ATCs, RMWB Programs host Open Studio on Tuesday evenings in 2011 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM at the Haxton Centre (Borealis Park – 10500 Morrison Street). Open Studio is a program where artist’s bring their supplies to the Haxton Centre and work with which ever medium they like in a supportive atmosphere with other local artists.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Canada Council Grants

Hello Wood Buffalo,

I added an new button on the left hand of the blog, titled, Provincial Cultural Resources. I would suggest that those of you invested in the arts take a look through the site and become better acquainted with the Grant opportunities available to Canadian/artist working in Canada, as well as the pprovince specific opportunities.

Within the context of Alberta specific grants I found the following information.

Alberta Creative Development Initiative The Alberta Creative Development Initiative (ACDI) is a partnership between the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Canada Council for the Arts in collaboration with the Calgary Arts Development Authority and the Edmonton Arts Council.

The objective of the initiative is to support the development of professional artists and arts organizations in Alberta and to foster a dynamic, vibrant arts community in the province.

The ACDI has two components:
  1. Grants to Organizations
  2. Grants to Individuals
For More information on the various grants availble click on the below link

A VAAA Blog post that I had to share!

I wanted to share a post that I found on the Visual Arts Alberta Association (VAAA)  blog. I recommend this blog to everyone! It is absolutely full of up-to-date information relevant for, art enthusiasts who may be looking for a show or program to attend, as well as tons of calls for entry, job postings, news  and much more that may be interesting to both emerging and established artist.

The post below is written by Amy Fung, and printed in Vue Weekly, which is Edmonton's independent arts and entertainment weekly magazine.  This article focuses on another great Canadian organization; the Canadian Artists’ Representation/le Front des artistes canadiens, commonly known as CARFAC. 

CARFAC is a very important organization for Canadian artists and arts organizations or organizations who want to suport Canadian art, as well as for any atists working within Canada. CARFAC is known to set standards for many practices within the realm of Professional Art.

The following content is taken from the VAAA blog, however at the end of this section of the article there is a link to the full article on Vue Weekly site.

Recently, I attended my first National Conference for Visual Artists as organized by CARFAC, the Canadian Artists’ Representation/le Front des artistes canadiens. Up until then, I (and apparently many others) had only ever referred to CARFAC for their exhibition fee schedule, which provided a guideline for artist fees according to the type of exhibition. Even a day into the conference, when somebody asked me what the CARFAC acronym stood for, I blankly blinked at them without a clue. As a 42-year-old organization whose first president was Edmonton’s own Sylvian Voyer, how did CARFAC completely slip my field of consciousness? As a national organization that champions the rights of professional artists through proactive lobbying for better legislation and bringing to the table up-to-date issues such as implementing resale rights for Canadian artists, CARFAC—at least in Alberta—has simply not been a factor for emerging arts professionals, and this is a problem for us all.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Mayor Melissa Blake writes a Letter to the Editor of Macleans

In the November 29, 2010 issue of Macleans, our Mayor, Melissa Blake took the opportunity to respond to some seemingly unfair data used in the October 14, 2010  edition of Macleans titled, The worst of the west: Drugs plus gangs equal the top crime cities in Canada. 

If you missed the article written by Ken MacQueen with Colby Cosh and Patricia Treble the first time around, you can read now online at:

Below is the a section from the article, this section is focused on Alberta:

Alberta followed B.C. as the province with the largest one-year drop in its CSI score. Bucking the long-term trend in decline is the northern boom town of Fort McMurray. Alberta’s oil sands capital has grown at the same dizzying pace as its defining industry—nearly 10 per cent a year over the decade. Crime has grown in tandem. It ranked 30th of the top 100 on the CSI in 1999. It worsened to 23rd in 2004, and five years later it ranks fifth, 68 per cent above the national score.

The oil and related service industries draw a transient workforce: disproportionately foreign or displaced young men, with some Aboriginals from outlying communities and plenty of Newfoundlanders. Most have big incomes and plenty of free time. The city’s rocket-like rise in the crime indices is the classic dark-side-of-the-boom-town story.

The city’s big crime issue this year is a discouragingly familiar one in Alberta. More than 30 young men of Somali descent, most of them “known to police” and hailing from Toronto, have been murdered in Alberta since 2005. In Fort McMurray, two Somali men were found dead in an apartment in February and a third turned up in April. The Alberta government responded by pumping millions into programs targeted at Somali youths, and an 18-member integrated-policing team with its own intelligence unit descended on the area, with the province and the municipality splitting the costs. Almost immediately, the ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams) started vacuuming staggering quantities of coke and pot off the street. The temperature of violence in the city seems to have cooled even as the team finds its feet.

ALERT commander Insp. Bob Simmonds, a member of the RCMP, was stationed in Fort McMurray as a young K Division recruit in the late 1970s. “When I was there the first time, the residential areas didn’t even have names yet—just numbers,” he recalls. “The really big concern we had was fellas coming down into the city from camp, having a few too many and getting a little frisky.”

He is struck now by the “boldness” of many recent crimes and he expects even established “bad guys” are unhappy that the blatant lawlessness has drawn ALERT to town. “They’re probably not too thrilled about the late-arriving outsiders who have attracted attention by committing acts of violence up to and including brazen murder.”

Here is the Letter to the Editor from Mayor Blake in the November 29, 2010 Macleans.

Deadline to Submit Art Is This Friday

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Culture area is looking to highlight works of art created by local artists in an upcoming promotional campaign. Artists may submit up to five images of their work for consideration.

For more information, and for the manditory entry form, please  visit the Culture page of the Municipal website:

The entry form gives the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo permission to reproduce the submitted images for the purpose of promoting visual artists within the region.

The deadline to submit your artwork is this Friday, December 3, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Art Gallery of Alberta

Earlier this week I was in Edmonton and took in the latest exhibition at the AGA. Now, if you haven’t had the chance to visit the new gallery I would strongly suggest that you think about doing so in the near future - it is a really beautiful addition to the downtown core. The competition for the desigin of the new building closed in 2005 with the commission being awarded to Randall Stout Architects, Inc. After five years of planning, building and anticipation the gallery opened in January of this year.

The three images on the left are of the building, which I found on the Randall Stout Architects, Inc. home page (

Currently the gallery houses six shows; Reframing a Nation, Edward Burtynsky: Oil, Laura St. Pierre: Urban Vernacular, Henri Matisse; A celebration of Light and Line, Sheila Spence; All About Star, The Symbolist Muse: A Selection of Prints from the National Gallery of Canada. Below are images and blurbs about each show, this info was taken from the AGA website (  If you click on the image or title of any one of the below shows, you will be taken to the shows specific page within  the AGA website. There you will see more images and information.

In Canada, the myths that surround landscape are powerful. Reframing a Nation explores the role that landscape plays in the construction of Canadian identity. It looks at what these myths are and how they have shaped popular perceptions of our country.

This exhibitions features works from a major donation to the Gallery by the Ernest E. Poole Foundation in 1975, which today forms much of the core of the AGA’s collection of historical Canadian works

This unique exhibition follows Canadian artist Edward Burtynsky’s decade long photographic exploration of the subject of oil. From 1997 to the present, Burtynsky has travelled the world to chronicle the production, distribution and consumption of this critical fuel.

Urban Vernacular features new works by Grande Prairie-based artist Laura St. Pierre. Using our society’s most plentiful resource - trash - as a building material, St. Pierre transforms found urban spaces into temporary installation sites. St. Pierre captures these DIY dwellings and environments in large scale photographs, which reflect our taste for the fashionable and disposable, residing somewhere between the resplendence and absurdity of consumer culture.

This comprehensive exhibition on the career of the great French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954) showcases over 170 works of art that span 50 years of Matisse's career. HENRI MATISSE: A Celebration of Light and Line loosely follows the chronology of Matisse's career, from the artist's earliest print in 1900 to the last, created in 1951. Examples of every printmaking technique used by Matisse - etchings, monotypes, lithographs, linocuts, aquatints, dry points, woodcuts and color prints - are included.

During the 1880s, artists across Europe began exploring an inner vision and personal vocabulary of form that was opposed to the preoccupation of the Realists and Impressionists with recording the exterior world. Words such as “mystery,” “suggestion,” and “dream” are often used to evoke the strange beauty of Symbolist art.

All About Star features 13 works from Winnipeg artist Sheila Spence’s series of large-scale photographic portraits of cowboys and cowgirls. Shot on locations including the Canadian Rockies International Rodeo in Strathmore and the Wood Mountain Stampede in southern Saskatchewan, Spence’s images investigate the complexities of community and identity as they reflect the mythology behind rodeo culture. These portraits present traditional ideas about this community while provoking questions about the subjects and their individual roles within it.