Monday, 28 February 2011

Hot versus Cold - A Review

"Hot versus Cold, paintings and poetry" by Louise van Alenburg25 February - 19 March 2011 at the MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery
"It's in my head forever" (Emotion series) Oil on board, 2008

"Hot versus Cold" - A visual expression juxtaposing heated feelings, warm hearts and soft movement beside cold snow, rigid glaciers and reflective snowflakes – illuminating change and transition.

Louise van Alenburg is an artist who shares her feelings and experiences of her world travels with her audience. In this exhibit, she takes her viewers on a journey from her last months in Russia to her experiences living in Fort McMurray.

In her first series, "Russian Life and Banya", she portrays imagery that captures moments and expressions and conveys a sense of movement that she experienced while in Russia, a country in the process of change and transition. Her use of vibrant colours and textures connect to a deeper sense of human transition and shifting ways of life.

In the following series, "Ice and snow", "Snowflake reflection" and "Emotion and Quantum field", the artist represents her feelings and emotions surrounding her transition to her new community in a new country with a new culture. She uses multiple techniques and materials to highlight the array of colours that nature presents in Fort McMurray’s landscapes.

The show's opening flowed effortlessly, offering guests ample opportunities to enjoy the artwork, meet the artist, and socialize with each other. The organizers playfully represented the exhibition title in the decorative placement of red hot peppers suspended in an icy medium. The excitement in the gallery was palpable as Russell Thomas described the current local Arts environment in the region as “a renaissance of art culture”. The conversations and growing networks of artists in our region indicate the importance of art for creating a sense of place in this community.

Hot versus Cold, curated by Ana Maria Mendez Barks, is a journey of emotions, colour, texture and movement. The title of the show “Hot versus Cold” was an interesting play on words that encapsulates the emotions that I feel as I move through the gallery. It highlights the excitement of the show and the presence of a symbolized confrontation between the warm emotions expressed in the first series and the rigid ice pieces and fractured mirrors that emerge in the latter series. The artist’s presentations, both lyrical and visual, left me dreaming of cool winter palaces and cultural adventures while contemplating the beauty and dreamlike qualities that are available in my backyard.

“Crushed, broken, split
power pushed up high

Aquamarine, Viridian, Titanium
towards the dark blue sky

Crystals glitter, sparkling
in magnificent sunny light

Crevices deep in violet
rimmed by cobalt bright…”

(Excerpt from “The Frozen Sea” by Louise van Alenburg available from
15% from each sale of the pieces in this show
will be donated to the Unity House in Fort McMurray


Syncrude Arts Alive presents Ballet Jorgen Canada presents Coppelia

Ballet Jorgen Canada's Coppelia is a playful fairytale that takes us into the mysterious mind of Dr. Coppelius, a lonely and disillusioned toy maker who wishes he could bring his dolls to life to find his perfect wife. He creates Coppelia, a life-sized dancing doll so beautiful that Nathanael, one of the local villagers, falls madly in love with her. Nathanael's spurned sweetheart Klara enacts revenge by dressing as the doll and pretending to come to life. This comedic love story is told through the vibrant contemporary choreography of the award-winning Bengt Jörgen.

Friday, March 4 at 7:30pm
Saturday, March 5 at 7:30pm

Adult: $42
Student & Senior: $35

Keyano Box Office is open Monday to Wednesday 12:30 pm to 4 pm, Thursday and Friday 12:30pm to 8pm, Saturday 11am to 4pm and an hour before a ticketed event. To purchase tickets call the box office at 780-791-4990 or buy online at

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Exhibition Opening: Frames & More

The second exhibition of the Carol Breen Gallery (located within Frames & More) is open to the public between Saturday, February 26 - and Saturday March 12, 2011.

This show features the work of five local artist/artisans who's mediums range from paint and ceramics to metals and semi-precious stones.

Amy Keller-Rempp: painter/air brush art
Dave McDonald: custom opal jewelry
Barb Howe: pottery/raku platters
Kelvin Huppie: painter
Julie Jones: fine silver jewelry.

Julie will be introduced as the newest artist to join the Carol Breen Art Gallery at Frames and More.

I am looking forward to seeing the work featured in this second exhibition. I am so excited that residence and visitors in town this weekend have the opportunity to see two new exhibitions of local artists.




February 24, 25, 26 at 8pm
Recommended for Ages 14+
Keyano Box Office is open Monday to Wednesday 12:30 pm to 4 pm, Thursday and Friday 12:30pm to 8pm, Saturday 11am to 4pm and an hour before a ticketed event.
To purchase tickets call the box office at 780-791-4990 or buy online at

A Review of Laramie Project: Ten Years Later
Last night I attended the Preview performance of the Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. The cast was made up of students in their first and second years of the Visual & Performing Arts Drama Program with Keyano College. Throughout the course of the evening I was continually impressed with the abilities of the cast as they carried the heavy subject matter of the story in the intimate setting of the Rehearsal Theatre. With minimal support in the way of props and consuming the actor's individual and collective skills were able to be highlighted. The simplicity of the presentation was a conscious choice of director/Drama Instructor Misha Albert, he states in the play’s brochure that “[he] wanted it to be about the story; everything out in the open, no chance for rumour or hidden meaning”. This was an effective approach; it provided me with the opportunity to focus on the narrative and emotions presented in each dialogue.

The content presented in Laramie Project: Ten Years Later is taken from interviews conducted by Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project.  In 1998 young and openly gay, Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, severely beaten and left to die, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. Members of the Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie to conduct interviews on two different occasions for to gather information for two different plays. Five weeks after Matthew’s attach and subsequent death, the Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie, and over the course of the next year, conducted more than 200 interviews with people of the town. From these interviews they wrote the play The Laramie Project, which chronicled the life of the town of Laramie in the year after the murder. The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later is a secondary play presenting a sequel to the original chronicle.

The content of this play is presented through a series of monologues and one to one discussions based on transcripts or recordings of original interviews. Although each cast played multiple characters throughout the play – each actor was able to embody their individual characters in a way that presented the audience with an individual and not just the reiteration of words from a transcript. I was extremely moved by this play and I would recommend it to all.

Well done to the cast and crew involved, I have no doubt this show will garner much deserved attention and praise.



For more info about the Laramie Project please visit the dedicated website:

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Winterplay Carnival 2011 - Hot Acts Cool Plays

"Hot Acts, Cool Plays" is a Regional One-Act Play Festival for the Peace Region, hosted in association with Events Wood Buffalo and Alberta Drama Festival Association (ADFA).

Competitors will be adjudicated for their performances and will be vying for the Theatrical Excellence Awards, which include Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Production. The winners of the Best Production will be chosen to move forward and compete in the Provincial One-Act Play Festival in May 2011.

Plays include:

No Dogs Allowed
By Shel Silverstein

Variations of the Death of Trotsky
By David Ives

The Street of Good Friends
By Owen G. Arno

One Man Five Minute Macbeth
By William Shakespeare and Jeff Hoffman

Information for the events are as follows:

Friday February 25 & Saturday February 26

Keyano Recital Theatre

Doors open at 7:00 pm
Showtime 7:30 pm

Tickets $22 - Available at Keyano Theatre
Box Office: (780) 791-4990

Learning Through the Arts is Looking for Local Artists!-Update

Learning Through the Arts is Looking for Local Artists!

Information Conversations to find out more will be held Tuesday March 8th and Wednesday March 9th from 9am until noon.

Study Room, Fort McMurray Public Library (2nd floor)

You can find more detailed information about the program at the following link:

Please call or email ahead to book a time (780-838-7478/

Drop-ins are welcome! Bring along people who are interested!

We are hoping that the arts community really comes together to help share its talent with the young people in our community. If you know of anyone, please pass on my name and contact information!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

AFA Application Deadlines

Individual Project Grant – March 1 Community Support Organizations Operational Grant – March 1
Post-Secondary Institutions – March 1
Art Acquisition by Application – April 1

Check the website for more infomation:

WinterPLAY volunteers needed.


Events Wood Buffalo is still very much in need of volunteers for the Syncrude WinterPLAY Carnival. Please email or call our office with your inquiries. or 780-791-1600

Thank you very much for your time as these events could not be possible without your support!!!

Kind Regards,

Events Wood Buffalo
T: 780-791-1600
F: 780-791-2898
We are on facebook and Twitter!

Syncrude WinterPLAY Carnival
February 25-March 6, 2011
Click here to be a Volunteer!

Hot vs Cold - Exhibition Opening

A message from the Wood Buffalo Artists Forum:

Our first exhibition "Celebration" has come to an end. Thanks to all local artists who submitted work. You made it a huge success, and there is more to come. Roughly each month we will have a new exhibition.

"Hot versus Cold, paintings and poetry" by Louise van Alenburg.
Unfortunately it will be Louise's last exhibition here in Fort McMurray, because she has to leave town in a few months time. New country, new adventures. A good reason to go and see the show. The exhibition is open to the public from the 25 February until 19 of March.

May art always colour your day!

The Wood Buffalo Artists Forum
This WBAF newsletter is a regular update to all our contacts, members and supporters. If you wish to be taken off the email list, let us know by emailing to :

8th Annual Generation Dance Studio Competitive Dance Showcase

Generation Dance Studio presents the 8th Annual Showcase highlighting the competitive dance team. Award winning choreographers and dancers bring you a non-stop high calibre show. Don't miss the opportunity to see what talented dancers Fort McMurray will be bringing to competitions throughout Alberta this season.
Saturday, February 26 at 7pm
All Seats: $22

Keyano Box Office is open Monday to Wednesday 12:30 pm to 4 pm, Thursday and Friday 12:30pm to 8pm, Saturday 11am to 4pm and an hour before a ticketed event. To purchase tickets call the box office at 780-791-4990 or buy online at

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Chinese New Year Exhibition Review

On Saturday, February 12, I had the Opportunity to attend the Chinese New Year exhibition at MacDonald Island, presented by the Fort McMurray Chinese Canadian Cultural Society. I took my little cousin with me who was very excited to hang out by the dragon heads (see photo). Admission to the exhibition cost only $5.00 and if you were 12 years and under or 60 plus, the event was free. I was surprised at such a low admission fee considering the long list of activities the event had to offer.
I was on a mission to not only enjoy the celebration and of course purchase authentic Chinese memorabilia, but learn the meaning and traditions behind the Chinese New Year and why this year is the year of the rabbit.
This year, the Chinese New Year kicked off on Feb 3. It is also known as the Lunar New Year; well, because the new year is based on the moon's cycle. The start of the new year doesn't necessarily fall on the same day each year as it is dependant on when the moon transitions through 12 full cycles. This year, as mentioned, is the year of the rabbit. I asked several exhibitors to explain what this meant. I was told that every ethnic Chinese person shares one horoscope every year; this year being the rabbit.
There are 12 animals, such as there are 12 cycles of the moon, which each Chinese New Year can represent. The ranking and choice of animals are based on an ancient Chinese legend, when a great combat occurred and the winners of the fights were forever placed in the Chinese calendar. The 12 animals are; rat, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat/ram, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
Although not an official holiday in Canada, many Chinese people celebrate this traditional holiday and the Fort McMurray Chinese Canadian Cultural Society is no different. The local celebration that occurred was open to all residents of Wood Buffalo and was a two part event; the first being the day time exhibition consisting of entertainment, games, Tai Chi, tea sampling, sales and more. The second was a more elaborate evening event that included an authentic Chinese buffet and entertainment. I only attended the day exhibition and was very impressed with the overall set up, delivery and effort the Chinese Canadian Cultural Society and volunteers put into the event.
As I entered the field house, Chinese music consumed me, making me forget the sounds of a hockey game occurring down the hall or the shouts of children in the Centre's play room. The decorations were bright and expanded the full length of the field house.
There was a slight resemblance of a marketplace; all exhibitors were positioned in the middle of the field house, back to back, allowing for a well organized walking system to view and engage all participants. I was intrigued with one booth in particular, where two small children were offering to paint a persons name in Chinese. The cost was by donation and samples on the table looked professionally painted. I guess, to me, there's just something a little beautiful about the Chinese written language.
I moved through the booths, one by one, asking questions about what they were selling and demonstrating and found that everyone of the exhibitors were very friendly and proud to share with me, and everyone else, what their booth represented. I am certain these people were asked the same questions several times throughout the day and although it was later in the afternoon by the time I attended, they were still very polite, smiling and appreciative to engage the public.
During my second walk around the booths, I purchased a beautiful pair of earrings, Chinese tea, then watched a portion of the entertainment. Young Chinese dancers dazzled the stage, all synchronized in movement and costume. The music was soft, the movements were gentle and I felt uplifted watching these young entertainers almost float across the stage.
Finally, it was time to go. I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to attend, purchase some items and learn about the Chinese culture. The Chinese New Year represents ridding away ill fortunes, wishing peace and happiness for everyone. Happy Chinese New Year to all of you.

Northword - Call for Submissions

Calling all northern writers. NorthWord magazine is your hub for all things northern. The theme for issue number five is "Light." Short stories or excerpts from current projects, fiction or non-fiction (3000 words maximum), verse of no more than 50 lines, along with anything surprising, original, evocative, or inventive can be submitted to the editors at Queries can be directed to

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

What does Migration mean to You? Northword's fourth issue goes on sale today

What does Migration mean to you? NorthWord’s fourth issue offers some answers

For Miss Jeelani’s sixth grade class at the Fort McMurray Islamic School, Migration means following their parents to another country or city and eventually settling in Fort McMurray.

“People move from one place to another to find a better life,” writes Samir Hamdan, originally from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Six other such essays will tell you sweet stories of moving.

Local artist and poet, Louise van Alenburg, captures the essence of Migration in a poem, which begins with “It’s my eyes/that see your land.” She is also the cover artist for this issue.

Migration is a reality for most residents of Wood Buffalo and issue four of NorthWord, A Literary Journal of Canada’s North, captures these sentiments beautifully. The publication goes on sale today.

NorthWord is published by the Northern Canada Collective Society for Writers (NCCSW). The NCCSW is a local group, which has a purpose to publish and support the work of writers in northern Canada. Based in Fort McMurray, Alberta the NCCSW publishes NorthWord twice yearly, rotating editors and themes from issue to issue.

Jennifer Hemstock, President and founder, NCCSW edited this issue, which she says reflects the theme of Migration beautifully. In the stories and poetry and art, the artists tell us of loss and of hope. And they do so richly. There are moments of tenderness, moments of humour and moments of harsh reality. It was a great pleasure to edit this issue.

The launch event for this issue has been slated for Friday, March 18, 2011 at Frames and More on Centennial Drive. Stay tuned for more details.

The group is now accepting submission for issue number five, to be edited by Linda Black, Childhood Studies Instructor at Keyano College. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2011.

Short stories or excerpts from current projects, fiction or non-fiction (3000 words maximum), verse of no more than 50 lines, along with anything surprising, original, evocative, or inventive can be submitted to the editors at

NorthWord is available for sale at the Keyano College Bookstore, Coles, Frames and More, Airport Gift Shop, Oil Sands Discovery Centre and Heritage Park.

For more information, please contact:
Kiran Malik-Khan
Media Director
Northern Canada Collective Society for Writers

Call for Art Works

Marshall McLuhan Centenary at Latitude 53 Contemporary Visual Culture
June 23 – July 23, 2011

Marshall McLuhan is considered one of the foremost intellectuals of the 20th-century. His ideas and theories resonate across a myriad of practices, subjects and disciplines. He presciently foretold the considerable role that media would come to play in our everyday lives, coining the term “global village” to represent how different forms of media would interconnect the world.

2011 marks the centenary of McLuhan's birth. The Spaces&Places:VisioningMcLuhan@100 exhibition will bring together art, design and media practice that explore all that is McLuhan. Media, practice and style are all open but at their core should deal with concepts and ideas that relate to or explore manifestations of McLuhan’s ideas. Possible submissions could explore issues relating to the collapse of geographic space, the loss of one focal point in immersive media-rich environments, ideas relating to speed/inertia, excitement/ennui. Pieces might take a variety of forms, including 2D works, 3D installations and online explorations. They could play out over time in videos and online environments. Proposals could draw on a range of media, including the Internet, radio, television, magazines, etc. to represent McLuhan’s ideas and issues. The works could also be designed for an on-line exhibition, which would be accessible to viewers on-line, or in one of the galleries.

Up to five of the accepted proposals will be selected to participate in a development and showcasing workshop, in Spring Term 2011 at the University of Alberta, before the exhibition opens. All exhibitors will be invited to attend the workshop, which will involve graduate students and faculty members from the University of Alberta. The workshop will be to promote discovery learning while increasing collaboration, understanding, and awareness around the exhibit and also point the way to subsequent projects that participants/students may identify. Course credit may be available for the workshop to University of Alberta graduate students.

 NOTES on Submissions:
  • individuals are responsible for the technical feasibility of the work;
  • individuals are responsible for the cost of shipping and crating of their work;
  • deadline for submissions of work is Friday, 1 April 2011 at 5 pm (MST);
  • individuals will be notified of their selection by no later than 15 April 2011.
Submissions should include the following information:
Technical requirements;
Project description (250 – 500 words);
How the work explores/addresses the concepts and ideas of Marshall McLuhan (This may be combined with the project description. Or, if a separate entry, should 250 - 350 words);

A maximum of ten images of the work, or no greater than 5 minutes video of the work;
A CV of the individual or collective; and

If the submission is mailed and you want the materials returned, sufficient postage with a S.A.S.E.

Submissions can be submitted to:
Via courier or post:
Latitude 53
10248 – 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1H5 Canada
Attention: McLuhan Exhibitions

Via email:
If you would like to submit a proposal electronically, please send an email to You will receive a link that will allow you to add your proposal file to a Dropbox.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Three Forts Sled Dog Race

It is with pleasure that I present the schedule for the race.

If you have any questions please contact:

Jennifer Lamontagne - Lead Event Coordinator

Events Wood Buffalo
T: 780.791.1600
C: 780.381.7098

WinterPLAY 2011 February 25 – March 6th
Celebrating our Climate, Culture & People

To Volunteer Click Here

Introduction to Report and Proposal Writing

An announcement from Keyano:

I have 3 spots in this course running on Friday, February 25 ,2010 that I can offer to the Nonprofit Sector at a special rate of $49.00 + GST instead of regular $199.00+ GST. Just call 780-792-2688 and talk to Melissa or Maren to register.

Introduction to Report and Proposal Writing
Are you dreading writing reports? Does it take you an eternity to finish a proposal? Have you ever had rejected proposals? This one day workshop will provide you with knowledge and writing tips, that you can immediately apply at work. You will also gain tools for effective analysis and outlines, and discover how to use appropriate language through hands-on exercises.

Topics covered are: 
7 steps for report writing
4 types of proposals
Charting your audience
Technical level
Decision-making level
Report Elements
Editing checklist
Tackling the tone
Course Code: CEWRITE500-01

Feb 25 Friday

8:30 - 4:30 pm Room: BL252
$199.00 + GST 7 Hrs

Sarah Sevinj Imran, B.Comm

Coordinator, Continuing Education Department
Lifelong Learning Division, Keyano College
8115 Franklin Avenue Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2H7
tel: 780.792.5615 fax: 780. 715.3916

Special Notice!

I received an email from one of my coworkers who has family members that are being sent home due to the dangerous driving conditions on highway 63. Below is a section of the email from someone who has been on the highway today and was forced to stop south of Lac Labiche due to the conditions.


Travel is not recommended under any circumstances, visibility is at best a few hundred meters and drops to 0 meeting vehicles. In the first 30 km from the junction of 55 heading north there are two head-on collisions both involving more than one tractor trailer and multiple passenger vehicles with wreckage strewn for several hundred meters in one of them and a half-ton that is in 5 pieces.

So please, PLEASE drive very carefully if you must venture to 63! - this weather is not conducive to travel so if at all possible I would suggest putting off any driving.



Monday, 14 February 2011

Learning Through the Arts

Learning Through the Arts is hiring artists to work with Fort McMurray youth in the classrooms and in the community. We are a groundbreaking program from the Royal Conservatory of Music dedicated to transforming classrooms in our school-based programs and changing lives in our community centered programs.

Learning Through the Arts brings specially trained artists into schools who, in partnership with great teachers, create lessons that make core curriculum engaging and relevant. For example, students learn numeracy through dance, literacy through media arts and science through music. In community based programming artists model, encourage and motivate youth and adults to communicate with and through the arts.

What kind of artist are you looking for?
Learning Through the Arts All arts disciplines are invited to apply: music, dance, theatre, puppeteers, writers, storytellers, visual artists and new media (film/video) artists. Our program will be working closely with Aboriginal students and we are particularly interested in talking with Aboriginal artists.

Do I need an arts degree?
No. If you are a practicing artist with a body of work and recognition from a group of peer-artists, we invite you to apply.

What sort of training?
When you join us, you'll receive intensive training that will help you to understand how to combine your art form with core curriculum; it's a challenge, we'll admit, but most artists say the effort makes them better artists and we see the results in the classroom. Amazing. During our training, you'll learn in the way we want you to provide instruction- through movement, visual representation, dramatic scene work and playing with sound. Level One training gives you all the basics you need before partnering with a teacher, writing a lesson plan, and working with students of all ages. With experience in the classroom and a desire to grow as an artist-educator, artists may also be eligible for Level II and Level III training. LTTA is the only provider we've found that values the artist-educator by providing consistent high-standard education for artists.

What's the work like?
Artists who work successfully for LTTA like the flexibility of contract work. Our artists enjoy working with students and can adapt to the different learning styles of the students and the teachers, because our job doesn't just stop at the small desks- we're there to pass our skills onto the adult in the room, too. In fact, that's how we transform schools; the teachers watch what works and they learn how to incorporate it on their own. Our community work will see us working with students in a variety of settings, with the goal of providing engagement, encouragement and mentoring of our arts disciplines. Payment of artists is based on contract and varies depending on the length of the contract and the nature of the work.

How do I get involved?
Send us an e-mail: with a brief introduction:
  • who are you,
  • what's your art form,
  • when are you available to work (days in the classroom, after school, on the weekends in the community, or all three) and
  • why do you want to work LTTA?
We are holding an Orientation/Information.Interview session in Fort McMurray March 7-9th with more information to follow as to times and location.

Can I ask another question? Sure. Contact me I'll provide some answers. You can also go to the LTTA It's full of lesson plans that will show you some of what our artists have done in classrooms all over Canada and some locations internationally.

Thanks for your time and if you know anyone else who might be interested, pass this invitation along!

Nathalie Reid

Learning Through the Arts
Program Leader, Fort McMurray
(780) 838-7478

Friday, 11 February 2011

Full Moon Cafe 2011

Photos courtesy of Greg Halinda Photography,
Fort McMurray, Alberta
phone: 780-881-1110
web gallery:

The Full Moon Cafe is an amazing local initiative that has been happening for years here in town. The location has changed a few times over the seasons but the intent is always the same - a cafe style music and art cafe where local or visiting artist (musical, performance or visual) can share their work with their peers.

The Full Moon Café continues it's 7th Season on:
Saturday, February 19th, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

The FMC is held at the Lions Park Clubhouse in the Lions Park, across from the downtown fire-house. All acoustic musicians, poets, photographers, dancers, visual and performing artists are welcome to share their talents.

Admission is a suggested donation of $5.
All ages welcome!

Coffee house atmosphere.

Call Solange at 780.791-5355 for more details or to make arrangements to display art or to present a dance.

Also note, the Full Moon Cafe will be at WinterPLAY 2011.  Please check this link to see more details about an event in your neck of the woods during Wood Buffalo's Winter Carnival,  Feb. 25th to March 6th.

Confirmed Full Moon Café  Dates
- February 19th
- WinterPLAY 2011, Tuesday March 1st
- March 19th
- April 16th

Imagine Canada

This amazing site was brought to my attention by fellow Culture Coordinator, Brandi. Imagine Canada is a must visit site for any non-profit or charitable organization. Below I've copied a few sections from their website for your consideration. For more info please check out their website to which I have added a link just below here. Also, I've added a link to the Imagine Canada site on the right-hand side of the blog under the Canadian Cultural Sector Resources section.

Who We Are
Imagine Canada is a national charitable organization whose cause is Canada’s charities and nonprofits. We support and strengthen charities and nonprofits so they can, in turn, support the Canadians and communities they serve.
We strengthen the sector’s collective voice;
We act as a forum and meeting place; and,
We create an enabling environment in which organizations contribute to building stronger communities.

Advancing knowledge and relationships to foster effective and sustainable charitable and nonprofit organizations.

We believe in a Canada where strong and vital charitable and nonprofit organizations, the private sector and governments individually and collectively contribute to social progress and vibrant communities.

Imagine Canada is the result of a union of two of Canada’s leading charitable umbrella organizations: the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy (CCP), and the Coalition of National Voluntary Organizations (NVO).

In 2003, the directors of CCP and NVO realized the sector was changing, and began discussing how Canada’s charities and nonprofits could benefit from one unified organization that built on their respective strengths of advocacy, research and corporate citizenship.

After one of the most extensive consultative processes undertaken to date in the nonprofit sector, Imagine Canada was launched in January 2005.

Chinese New Year of Rabbit

Image taken from:

Fort McMurray Chinese-Canadian Cultural Society invites you to celebrate for the Chinese New Year of Rabbit on Feb 12 (Sat) at MacDonald Island Park.

The event will feature exhibition and stage performances, including music & dance, arts & crafts, calligraphy & paintings, Feng-Shui & fortune-telling, Tai-Chi & Kung-Fu, Chinese tea tasting, Chinese accessories, jewelry & home decor for sale!

Programs will run from 11:30am to 3:00pm, it's a family event which welcomes everyone to come. Admission fee is only $5 per adult, free for children under 12 and seniors over 60. Come and join us and help spread the news to all your friends and co-workers. Let's have the warmest Chinese New Year in Fort McMurray!

For more information, please contact

Thursday, 10 February 2011


Last night I had the privilege to attend the "media call" for Catalyst Theatre’s production of Hunchback at Keyano Theatre. I had never been a part of a media call before so I was totally in the dark as to what would go on. I showed up a few minutes early and was greeted by Alanna Bottrell, the Arts Publicist/Marketing Coordinator and Nick Beach, the Production Manager for Keyano Theatre. Alanna handed me a small bag that contained a note pad, a few pens, sticky notes, a twix bar (yum) and a show brochure. She informed our group (there were four other attendees) that the actors would perform one scene for us and that afterwards we would have the opportunity to interview and photograph various members of the cast and crew. At this point I felt like may have made one of those cartoon ‘gulp’ sounds – I was not prepared, I didn’t bring a camera, I didn’t know anything about the cast or crew and thus have questions prepared.

We filed into the theatre and were given free range to find our seats – they only suggested that we stay in the lower bowl of the theater. I shuffled my way along and took a seat just of the left side of centre stage. The lights went down and the stage lit up. The stage housed four or five cage like structures – which I linked to steeples or cathedral towers from my previous knowledge of the Hunchback story. These silver steeples were lit with bright pink and purple lights, as the music began and the cast started to appear- weaving in and out of the steeples legs, I couldn’t help but think “Tim Burton”.

Singing as they appear each cast member asks the audience for something in a playful but edgy way “can I tell you my story – it a real tear jerker”, “Can you give me a leg up – I could really use one”. They slink onto stage in their outfits made up of pleather, fishnets, wires, dark make-up, platform combat boots all toped off with silver wire and punk style hair dos.

You wouldn’t want to turn your back on this ensemble, they may make you feel like your their “best friend” but they're sly, hard around the edges and practiced at slight of hand. From what I saw last night this production promises to be dark, humorous, beautifully choreographed, preformed and staged.
The one snip-it that they preformed for us was a song tilted "Welcome to the Court of Miracles" which will be stuck in my head for at least a week!

Well done to all who was involved in last nights media call – I very much appreciated the invite and am very excited to see the full show!



I willl upload pictures soon! Here they are: three photos courtesy of Layla Hyde, Fotosource

More info:
From the theatrical company that brought you Nevermore and Frankenstein , the award-winning Catalyst Theatre brings HUNCHBACK to Keyano Theatre. Adapted from Victor Hugo's novel, conceived by Jonathan Christenson and Bretta Gerecke, love at its most potent, merciless and obsessive - is at the centre of this darkly romantic tale and musical. Amid the buttresses and shadows of Notre Dame Cathedral, a tormented priest, a beautiful dancer and the deformed bell ringer Quasimodo are swept up in a vortex of lust, fear and the desire to control destiny that will ultimately destroy them all.
February 10*, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 2011 at 8pm

Matinee -February 13 & 19 at 2pm

February 10* - Preview
February 11 - Opening Night Reception

Rating: Mature

Keyano Box Office is open Monday to Wednesday 12:30 pm to 4 pm, Thursday and Friday 12:30pm to 8pm, Saturday 11am to 4pm and an hour before a ticketed event. To purchase tickets call the box office at 780-791-4990 or buy online at

Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton

Please read the following initiative from the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton (PACE). Although this is and Edmonton based group they have launched a new initiative that is open to and important for those who consider themselves part of the Alberta arts community.

The below content was taken from the PACE website:

Above Image: An example of the postcards available on the PACE website.

PACE’s number one priority is to advocate for professional artists and arts organizations as a whole within greater Edmonton. We are active during every election – municipal, provincial and federal – impressing upon candidates the importance of the arts to their constituencies, and informing the arts community on where candidates stand on the arts. In between elections, PACE maintains open communications with elected officials and takes actions to mitigate potential threats to the greater Edmonton’s arts community.

PACE’s Advocacy Steering Committee is preparing a multilayered approach to informing our provincially elected officials about the importance of the arts and culture sector in Alberta.

Our first step, in league with a number of arts organizations around the province, is a postcard campaign. PACE is collecting postcards to deliver en masse to the Alberta Legislature. Keep in touch to learn when this will take place. Click here to download PACE’s postcard (Please note that downloaded versions of these postcards will have to be put in envelopes in order to go through the mail, unless you printed them on card stock paper.)

Alternatively you can elect to create your own postcard to send on behalf of your own arts organization. Be sure to send us an electronic version of your postcard so we can add it to our growing collection.

Please feel free to contact us at or 780-485-3085 with any questions or suggestions you may have. The present situation affects all of us.

Thank you,

Arts Advocacy Steering Committee

For more information on PACE and their initiatives visit their website:

Keyano College University Studies Presents

Hey Everyone,

I just thought I would let you all know about a free community lecture series, presented by the University Studies Department at Keyano College. These events are open to everyone in the community.This is a really exciting series and each lecture is presented by a PhD. There is no charge to attend, and you don’t have to worry about registration. Everyone is also welcome to stay after the presentation and join us for light refreshments, too!

Unfortunately two of these lectures have come and gone. However, the next upcoming event, called, Beauty & Belonging: The Role of Media in Women’s Views of Themselves & Their Relationships - is taking places this Friday, February 11, 2011.

I cannot attend this Friday's lecture but I would love to hear from those of you who do.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Information Session for Temporary Foreign Workers

Hi everyone,

YMCA in partnership with TFW advisory office in Edmonton will have Information Session for temporary foreign workers on Feb 16, 2011 at the Redpoll Centre (located downtown Fort McMurray) from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. 

Ramazan Nassery

Coordinator, Temporary Foreign Worker Program
YMCA Immigrant Settlement Services
201-10011 Franklin Ave
Fort McMurray AB T9H2K7
Phone: 780-7432970
Fax: 780-7432973

Where is Fort McMurray?: A Review

Today we have a two part post for you, the first is written by Leigh - who was able to attend the opening. The second portion is completed by Connor, who was unfortunatly unable to attend the exhibit.

Image by: Paula Loutitt

Last Friday night I had the pleasure of attending the opening of the Where is Fort McMurray? photography exhibit at the Fort McMurray Public Library. The exhibit refers to a series of 21 images taken between May 2009 and October 2010 by young people representing the three high schools of Fort McMurray. Where is Fort McMurray? aims to gain perspective of place and community from the vantage of youth in a local context. The project asks two questions:

a) what are the variety of ways that youth understand and perceive Fort McMurray as a place; and

b)what are the challenges and benefits of using photography as a way for youth to explore and express their experience of place

Image by: Josiane Thibault

After speaking with several of the exhibit organizers I was able to take some time to view the photos produced by the young people participating in the project. I was incredibly impressed with how dynamic the photographs were and particularly intrigued to see how our youth view this community. There were images of industry but there were also images of beautiful landscapes and gritty downtown scenes that were fascinating and interesting. I was a little disappointed with the positioning of the photographs as it was difficult to get close to some of the images because they were placed above couches which made it difficult to get a good look unless you were hovering over someone sitting down.

Overall, I was encouraged to see initiatives like this happening in our community and hope residents take some time to support the creativity and talent of our local youth by visiting the exhibit.




For those of you like me, who were unable to attend the opening of the newest exhibition in the Public Library please stop in and check out the show in the following weeks.

Below is a little refresher on what this exhibition is all about, if you still want more info after reading it please visit the November 2010 blog post which includes the didactic information for the exhibition.

Image by: Jaslynn Houle

Andriko Lozowy is a Sociology graduate student at the University of Alberta. Back in 2009 he proposed a project to local high school students. His project sprung from the work of U of A professor Dr. Sara Dorow – Where is Fort McMurray? fits within the larger research framework in which a diverse group of youth participated. The group of young people who stayed with the project through to fruition represent the three high schools of Fort McMurray.

Image by: Priscilla Gonzales

Both as a group and one on one with Andriko the students came together to consider questions of landscape, geography, community, social connections and photography. The participants became artists with the intention to create a visual dialogue that functions in relation to the prevailing discourse about Fort McMurray. In his presentation at the Conference held last November, Andriko mentioned that the students used images that came up when they typed Fort McMurray into Google images as a foil. In the didactic information for this exhibition it states that “Where is Fort McMurray? stands as an edited collection (chosen by the youth photographers themselves) that they feel best represents their own process and pictorial statements about what they feel is important to convey”.

To view the entire collection please visit the project's flickr site.

If you have any ideas or suggestions on the potential use of these images or where the project team could exhibit them next (online or in person) please post a comment below. I would put it out as a challenge to all residents of Fort McMurray to imagine what their own image would look like if they were to add to this collection.