A spotlight was shone on some talented students in Red Deer on Friday, the first of three days devoted to arts in the province.
At Hunting Hills High School, students performed on stage, others displayed artwork and international students had cultural displays. Students were walking the hallways offering people the chance to have a cubist portrait done, a style reminiscent of Picasso.
Grade 11 student Taylor Sabourin, 16, was drawing a picture of her music teacher Greg Wheeler. She was pleased Hunting Hills High School was focused on the arts on Friday. “I think it’s great. It’s great that we get to showcase it. Everybody knows about sports but nobody thinks about art,” Sabourin said.
Alberta Culture and Community Spirit Minister Lindsay Blackett dropped by Hunting Hills at lunchtime on Friday as part of a tour around Alberta. He said Albertans have demonstrated that whether they live in a small hamlet, a small or large city, that they support the arts.
“That will showcase to others outside the province as well that we’re not just about oil and gas and agriculture. There is much more to us and a lot deeper than people think and arts and culture showcase that,” Blackett said.
He said as different jurisdictions compete around the world for doctors, geologists, teachers and other professionals, the province needs to showcase everything it has to offer so that young people decide to stay in the province and others move here.
Arts activities took place at schools throughout Central Alberta.
Students and teachers at Annie L. Gaetz Elementary had a Move and Groove event with drumming and dancing outside their school on Friday morning. At École Camille J. Lerouge School, French immersion students decorated frames that will be used to display writing projects and English middle school students did a mix of dance and sports activities. Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School students had facepainting, created a mural on the cafeteria wall and had a performance by the school’s jazz choir.
Activities continue today and Sunday around Central Alberta. The Alberta Arts Days Chase is underway in Red Deer, featuring arts events throughout the community at Red Deer College, the Red Deer Public Library, the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery and other locations. For more information, go to www.reddeermuseum.com or drop by the temporary Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery space at Parkland Mall, located at 67th Street and Gaetz Avenue. The Alexander Way Arts Festival is one of the Alberta Arts Days Chase locations and will run from noon to 4 p.m. today on 52nd Avenue, between 47th and 48th Streets.
In Olds, events will take place from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the TransCanada Theatre at the Community Learning Campus, with more information available at www.communitylearningcampus.ca. The evening concert is sold out.