Painters, singers and actors will take to Red Deer’s streets, cafes and concert halls this weekend in celebration of Alberta Arts Days.
The good news is that most of the events are free.
Activities begin on Friday when hundreds of Red Deer elementary school students are bused to the Memorial Centre to watch a special presentation of the Calgary’s Sandbox Children’s Theatre show The Amazing Adventures of Clara and Jacques.
The schools-only presentation that will bring to life the pioneer experience is being made possible by a grant from the Red Deer Arts Council and City of Red Deer Culture Services.
Members of the public can attend the Red Deer College Alumni on Stage presentation, with multiple performers and a CD release from Curtis Phagoo and the Heartbroke Heroes on Friday.
The concert goes from 7:30 p.m. at the RDC Arts Centre. Admission is free with a food bank donation, and RDC visual arts students will display works in the lobby.
For a laugh and the cost of a $25 ticket, Against The Wall Theatre will present the Bull Skit! night of sketch comedy and improvisation at 8 p.m. at the Scott Block on both Friday and Saturday nights.
Earlier on Friday, Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School students will hold an Empty Bowls Fundraiser from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria to benefit people in need. Bowls of soup will be sold for $15 — and customers get to keep the hand-decorated bowls.
Also on Friday are free visual arts demonstrations and a concert around town.
Cafe Pichilingue will feature painter Susan Woolgar from 11:30 to 1 p.m., while La Casa Pergola will host Marianne Vanderkley painting from 6 p.m., and Kia-Ora will have singer Lisa Hendricks performing from 6 p.m.
On Saturday afternoon, the Scott Block will feature a Humourous Speech Contest, presented by Toastmasters from Red Deer, Sylvan Lake and Joffre. Funny, impromptu speakers will compete from 12:30 p.m. Admission is $2.
Saturday evening’s free event at 7:30 p.m. is the Red Deer College Community Concert at the RDC Arts Centre with MC Tim Tamashiro and a lineup of entertainers that includes the Paeton Cameron Band, Oldbury and Donna Durand, Also performing are the RDC Concert Choir and Sadie Braun.
More free artist demonstrations, performances and workshops will be held around town on Saturday: Original Joe’s will have a chalk artist from 1 p.m.; Cafe Bistro on Gaetz presents artist Shaeane Jimenez from 2 p.m.; the Red Deer Public Library will host a writing workshop with Lorne Daniels at 2 p.m.; The Hub features a free ventriloquist show from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by a music and art showcase; and the Dawe branch of the Red Deer Public Library will hold a free workshop for making artist trading cards with collage and rubber stamping from 1 to 3 p.m.
As well, the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery will run a free art workshop for kids starting at noon as part of its MAGnificent Saturdays. And the Memorial Centre will host a free student dance showcase from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
An art display by Paul Boultbee can be seen in the lobby.
On Sunday, a free public barbecue will be held in Centennial Park, sponsored by Burger Boy. It runs from noon to 2 p.m. and will feature entertainment.
History buffs can gather in Centennial Park at 2 p.m. to go on a free downtown history tour with Pat Matheson and Michael Dawe.
Also on Sunday afternoon, Red Deer College will host a Family Concert at the RDC Arts Centre with the Symphonic Winds, as well as a musical “petting zoo” in the lobby that will allow anyone to try any instrument.
The event runs from 1:30 to 4 p.m. and is free with a food bank donation.
The Canola Project will run from 6 to 9 p.m. in downtown Red Deer, starting in Veterans’ Park.
This experimental event focusing on this area’s farming history will involve theatre, music and dance and large images projected onto the sides of buildings.
It features RDC faculty, alumni and special guests and is free with a food bank donation.