From storefront art displays to digital demonstrations, Alberta Culture Days has been completely re-envisioned in Red Deer because of the pandemic.
“It’s been an interesting year for plans,” admitted Suzanne Hermary, co-ordinator of the Red Deer Arts Council.
Some tweaks had to be done to allow for social distancing and reduced personal contact, but Hermary believes a wide array of local arts offering will still be available to a large audience this month.
This year, Alberta Culture Days is being celebrated for the entire month of September. Red Deerians are invited to take part in 20 local events happening online, in person and outdoors.
The Red Deer Arts Council and the Retired Teachers’ Association are presenting the Glassfront Gallery, a series of visual arts exhibits in the windows of many businesses along Little Gaetz and 49th Street.
Hermary said the works of 20 artists are being displayed in 15 to 20 storefronts all month long for the enjoyment of passersby.
As well, live artist demonstrations are planned for the windows of three downtown shops on Saturday, Sept. 26.
A painter, mixed-media collage artist and a fabric artist will show off their creative processes in the windows of the Scott Block Theatre, Wolf and Crown Tattoo on 49th Street and the former location of Great Strides Shoe store on Little Gaetz.
Red Deerians of all ages can help create an artistic thank you to frontline health-care workers as part of a community art project led by artist Erin Boake.
Anyone can drop in to add a personal touch to a giant heart during two Saturdays — Sept. 19 at the former Great Strides location on Little Gaetz, and Sept. 26 in the Imperial Block building (under the Nexus sign) on 49th Street.
Once completed, the heart-shaped artwork will be installed at Red Deer hospital.
Many other events are happening in Red Deer this month as part of Alberta Culture Days:
* The Norwegian Laft Hus in Heritage Park is opening its doors to the public on Sept. 12, 13, 19 and 20.
* Two exhibits open at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery on Sept. 19 — a new Indigenous culture exhibit called Pow Wos, Ohciwin, the Origins and a reprise of the Anne Frank exhibit.
* The Central Alberta Refugee Effort and Urban Aboriginal Voices co-host anti-racist workshops on Sept. 25 and 26 at Festival Hall. (Check out their websites for more information).
* The Red Deer Public Library is holding various online concerts, artist talks, book readings and literacy events all month long on YouTube and its Facebook page. (Check the library’s website for more information).
* The Red Deer Arts Council is videotaping a motivational presentation from Edmonton’s Booming Tree Taiko drumming troupe that will be available on YouTube from Sept. 26.
Tara O’Donnel, culture superintendent for the City of Red Deer, encourages the community to “learn more about our city’s thriving arts and culture sector.”
A complete list of events and locations is available on the city’s website: www.reddeer.ca/AlbertaCultureDays.