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ArtsDays 2020 adapting to Covid -19 by focusing on visual art

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Arts Days  has changed for 2020 due to Covid-19.
 The biggest change is most of the the live events are outside.

The popular celebration of the arts kicks off this week with a virtual Word on the Street, but  the usual bevy of activities has been somewhat limited due to Covid 19 health restrictions.Arianna Richardson will be part of Arts Days 2020. Photo by Richard Amery

The annual  Allied Arts Council cabaret featuring emerging artists is now going to be streamed online instead of live shows at Casa.

 However there will still be a variety of activities happening downtown,  Sept. 24-27.

“We really get to showcase this community over a week in the downtown. There’s a lot of visual art this year,” said Allied Arts Council communications manager Kelaine Devine.

There will be a pop up gallery: Unexpected Intersections, Sept. 26-Oct. 4 at 705-2 Ave South.
“ It’s salon style with a set entrance and exit,” she said.



Word on the Street goes online for this year

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Arts Days usually kick off with Word on the Street— a  beautiful  get together held  literally on the street outside the downtown branch of the Lethbridge Public Library featuring tents full of authors, book sales, food trucks and live music.Jolene Draper playing Word on the Street in 2018. Photo by Richard Amery
 This year, due to Covid, everything is online.

“This year we’re worrying about wi-fi rather than  the weather,” said Word On the Street Festival festival director, Elisabeth Hegerat, Festival Director.
This year participating authors will be giving their presentations and readings online through Zoom.
 “Though they will be on video for people to watch afterwards,” Hegerat said, noting the events will be spread across two weeks  running Sept. 14-26 though the core of the events will be happening Sept. 18 and 19.

She observed the technical aspect of the Festival won’t be a problem.
“We’ve already been providing online programming for a few months,” she said.


Mayors celebration of the Arts goes online for 2020

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Covid- 19  has forced the Allied  Arts Council to tweak their annual Mayor’s Celebration for Business and the Arts.

Gabe Thaine is among the performers at the Mayor's Celebration of the Arts, Sept. 10. Photo by Richard Amery
Instead of the traditional ticketed luncheon and awards celebration, there will be a free live performance, Thursday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m., which will be broadcasted on Shaw Channel 9 as well as on Youtube.
“We’ve been forced to pivot,” said Allied Arts Council communications manager, Kelaine Devine.
“So we’re going to be having live performances by Troy Emery-Triggs, dancers Claire Lint and  Catherine McLaughlin and local musician Gabe Thaine. This year we also have John Wort Hannam. They’ll be performing live from different spaces in Casa and they’ll be interspersed with the awards videos, She enthused.

“Troy is a dancer, performer  and visual artist  (He has created several of his own shows including ‘They Shoot Buffalo’ Don’t They?’. He’s from Fort Macleod who usually performs all over the world, but he hasn’t been able to because of Covid. So I’m really excited to see him.  He works a lot with Treaty 7 and he performed at the Lt. Governor’s celebrations a  few years ago,” she said.

Community relations manager and event organizer Dawn Leite is excited, because all of the performances will feature original music, as the Shaw broadcast requires  original copyrighted works.
“We asked why would people tune in to this broadcast. Usually the program is  an 20 minutes long, with people eating and then they have to leave because it is in the middle of their work day. So we decided to turn this event into a local artists showcase,” said Leite, who will be busy co-ordinating three different camera crews all over Casa, Sept. 10.

 The dancers have also arranged for original music.


Local artists wanted for City of Lethbridge mural program

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Downtown Lethbridge already has a lot of lovely murals decorating buildings downtown, but the City of Lethbridge is looking for more.

The Slice features one of several beautiful murals downtown. Photo by Richard Amery
The City of Lethbridge is looking for building owners and local artists to collaborate on beautifying the city with a new public art call.
“ It’s an opportunity for artists and building owners to collaborate on beautifying the city,” said City of Lethbridge Community Arts and Culture , Recreation and Culture manager Jillian Bracken.

 The city is willing to fund up to 10 works at $15,000 each.
 The City of Lethbridge and Heart of the City Committee announced the program earlier this week. It is something that they have been working on for quite a few years, but got delayed  by Covid 19.

“ It will be funded 100 per cent up to $15,000. It really is a great opportunity,” she continued.

 Applicants must be either the owner of a building in Lethbridge or a Lethbridge/Lethbridge area artist. Bracken said the city is willing to help pair artists and owners for the project.

 “ A mural is an artwork painted or applied directly on a wall. Murals help add vibrancy to our community by activating public spaces, promoting community expression, and deterring graffiti vandalism. EOIs can be submitted by either building owners seeking a mural on an exterior building wall, or by an artist who has received permission from a building owner to install a mural on an exterior building wall,” notes the art call online
 It is designed as a pilot  project which will hopefully result in the development of a formal mural program.

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