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L.A. Beat

Jana MacKenzie taking the helm of the Allied Arts Council

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Jana MacKenzie is excited to take the helm of the Allied Arts Council  as the new executive director and  filling the huge shoes of Suzanne Lint, who retired this year after 23 years.

Jana MacKenzie is the new executive director of the Allied Arts Council. Photo by Richard Amery

“Suzanne Lint has been here for 23 years. She has been a dedicated supporter of the arts,” MacKenzie said.


 MacKenzie has been involved in the Southern Alberta Arts scene for many years as an artist and working with the Bowman Arts Gallery, Allied Arts Council and  South Country Fair.


“ I’m excited about it. I started with the Allied Arts Council in 2006 as part of the staff at the Bowman and when they moved to casa,” MacKenzie said.


“ There is so much happening in Lethbridge, we want to make it accessible to everybody,” MacKenzie continued, adding it is the Allied Arts Council’s duty to support Lethbridge’s creative people.


MacKenzie has been a big part of the Lethbridge arts community for many years as an organizer through her work with the Allied Arts Council and in the community. She is also a textiles artist who has had two solo exhibitions as well has participated in several group exhibitions, she recently joined Ammena Dance Company. She know most of the people in the local arts community.


She noted it was a long hiring process before  she was hired.


“ I have to take a more macro approach to things for this job,” she said adding the Allied Arts Council is there to support local artists. 

 A week into the new job, she is meeting one on one with the Allied Arts council staff and their support staff and ironing out technical glitches with the Allied Arts council website and letting people know that casa is written in all lower case.


 MacKenzie is excited about this year.

 MacKenzie and The Allied Arts Council are getting ready for casa’s  tenth anniversary celebration on May 13 which will feature free guided “behind the scenes” tours, artist demonstrations, button-making, drawing stations, community painting, face painting, chalk drawing, and printmaking for all and cake at noon.


The event culminates with a concert from award winning Latin musician Oscar Lopez, who played the grand opening of casa 10 years ago,  at 7 p.m. Tickets for the show are free but tickets must be booked through Eventbrite

 There will be new shade sails outside casa  to provide much needed shade for that concert and the upside Downtown concert series which will return this summer.


The Allied Arts Council has  their usual busy year planned including  big events like Arts Days and the mayor’s Luncheon.


“ The Allied Arts Council is all about supporting the local arts community and making sure they have the tools they need,” MacKenzie said.

 — By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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