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HiFi Club to hold online art auction to prevent closure in wake of COVID-19



The owners of another Calgary live-music venue at risk of shutting down are appealing to patrons for help to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and will launch an online art auction to raise funds.

The HiFi Club on 10th Avenue Southwest has operated as a music venue and art gallery for the past 15 years. It has earned a reputation for hosting early performances from future superstars, including American DJ Skrillex, rapper Kid Cudi and New Orleans bounce-music pioneer Big Freedia.

As with most nightclubs, it was forced to shut its doors when the pandemic hit and it’s unclear when it can reopen. Sarmad Rizvi, managing partner of the HiFi Club, said the venue has continued to cover bills despite having no income and will need some sort of intervention in the next couple of months to survive.

“We have no idea when Phase 3 is going to happen and we can open up again,” Rizvi says. “So we’re trying to do everything we can to keep the lights on for when we are eventually given the go-ahead.”

Rizvi says the club would like to raise $20,000 through the auction, which will kick off Sept. 8. He said the operators of the club were intending to spend this year celebrating HiFi’s 15th anniversary. Because the club has operated as a “rotating pseudo-art gallery space” in the past, it has acquired art pieces from local and global artists. Works from Vancouver artist Ben Tour, the late Dust La Rock from California, San Diego-based illustrator Matt Luckhurst, Los Angeles art collective HVW8, Dutch illustrator Parra and Calgary puppetry artist Jane Trash, among others, will be up for grabs.

Patrons and art fans will get a chance to bid on these “iconic pieces of art from Hifi’s past” over a month-long online auction beginning Sept. 8. The auction will be held at

While music has returned to some clubs, restrictions involving social distancing and capacity and the sort of entertainment allowed has made it tough for club owners to make ends meet. A fundraiser featuring live music and silent auction was held for the Ironwood Stage and Grill in late August and another is scheduled from Sept. 18 to 20.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020


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Many events planned for Lethbridge Art Days – Lethbridge Herald



By Jensen, Randy on September 23, 2020.

Arts and events co-ordinator Courteny Hasper displays a work by local artist Diana Zasadny as part of the upcoming “UnMasked” exhibit at downtown gallery Mortar & Brick. Herald photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald


This year’s Lethbridge Art Days Celebrations will take place Thursday through Sunday and will feature new events, traditional events and events that have been modified for physical distancing and safety due to COVID-19.

Lethbridge Art Days is an annual celebration of the arts held in conjunction with provincial and national Culture Days on the same dates. The Allied Arts Council works with AAC members, community artists and member organizations to support and celebrate a variety of events throughout Lethbridge.

Part of the celebrations will be the AAC popUP Gallery, a salon-style show in the old Lethbridge Family Services building behind Casa. This is a new initiative during Arts Days and artists were asked to reflect on the Culture Days theme of “unexpected intersections.”

Events will kick off Thursday with the AAC Artist Cabaret which will be streamed on AAC’s social media.

For those seeking an in-person experience, downtown will feature On the Street: Performers Friday through Sunday. While downtown, people can check out the 10 windows painted by local muralists during Downtown Lens: Window Painting Gallery.

On Saturday, people can take part in the Gallery Stroll featuring downtown galleries including Mortar & Brick which will feature artwork by Chrissy Nickerson.

Local artists will be taking over the old Family Service building (705 2 Ave. S.) with AAC popUP Gallery: Unexpected Intersections from Saturday to Oct. 4, complete with art, a bar, entertainment and the Artist at Work installations.

Two installation projects will be featured in the Artist Kiosks on Rotary Square during the Artists at Work: Kiosk Visual Arts Project from Thursday to Sunday. You can also enjoy them during the Family Affair on the Square on Sunday. The family friendly event will include chalk art by Eric Dyck.

People are invited to join in the fun with their chalk packets, Latin dancing and a Sharon, Lois and Bram cover band – Sharron, Lewis and Pam!

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Young Jasper artists' creations featured at Habitat for the Arts – Jasper's source for news, sports, arts, culture, and more – the fitzhugh



With their art instructor, Vanessa Martin, are Karleigh Vassallo, Elliot Vassallo and William Lescard, all with examples of their creations that were on display at the Student Art Exposition at Habitat for the Arts, Sept. 14 to 16.  | J.McQuarrie photo

Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter |

From paintings to sculptures to drawings, the collection of work by young artists in Jasper created a colourful display at the Student Art Exposition at Habitat for the Arts, Sept. 14 to 16. 

“There are no limitations in art,” said Vanessa Martin, who will be starting her fifth year of teaching art classes at Habitat. She’s also an educational assistant at Jasper Elementary School.

“It’s a path to expression, all kinds of expression,” Martin said. “There is an ease to doing art with children because they are always ready to do it.”

The creations at the show were done in Martin’s classes last year, when there were between 20 and 30 students. 

The sessions run from November to March and the exhibition is usually held in April, but was delayed because of the pandemic. 

Last year they ran three days a week, for about an hour and 20 minutes each. Martin will fine tune this year’s schedule as the time draws nearer to when they start. 

“I will do something a bit different,” she said. 

“Usually I include all mediums in a class. This year I want to make a big difference. There’ll be eight weeks of pottery first, then I’ll move to something else. We’ll see it where it takes us.”

Martin said this year is a celebration.

“It’s an achievement,” she said. “The beauty is the students have returned each year. There’s a total of four students who were here the first year and are here today. They were in grade two and now they’re in grade seven. 

“We’ve shared a lot of art experiences. I’ve seen them develop as artists. I can see the evolution of their artwork.” 

Martin has experienced an evolution of her own. She studied art for six years at the Paris Cergy National Graduate School of Art, in a variety of mediums. Martin moved to Canada 17 years ago, and to Jasper 15 years ago. These days she focuses on writing and drawings. 

“I like to draw with BIC pens and pencils,” she said. 

One of her students, William Lescard, eight, enjoys doing pottery and sculpture. He started classes two years ago. 

“Sculptures are my favourite,” he said. “That’s the only thing I can make at my house.” 

He made a crane. 

“It came up in my head,” he said. “I made it out of two ice cream boxes and I taped them together. I had three other cardboard toilet paper rolls.

“It’s really fun – art. It’s important to people because when they get bored, they can sell it. They should start making art…it’s really fun. It makes me feel really happy.” 

William said he will continue to do art for a few years.

Elliot Vassallo, eight, started doing art two years ago “because I went to art exhibitions and I thought it would be fun”. 

His favourite kind of art is drawing. 

“I use markers,” he said. “I like to draw burritos because they look good – bacon, eggs, cheese and peppers – and hard candy. I like drawing burritos with candies. I don’t eat burritos with candies but I like to draw burritos with candies.” 

Elliot likes doing pottery too. A finger puppet he made was on display at the exhibition. 

“I made a lemonade stand for the finger puppet to stand beside,” he said. “I like to paint people and everything with a smiley face on it.”

Karleigh Vassallo, almost 12, has been doing art for five years. 

“I was my brother’s (Elliot’s) age,” she said. “I started because we were looking for an after-school activity and it looked like something new to try.”

One of the first things Karleigh did was a self portrait. 

“It looked pretty normal except for the crooked head,” she grinned. 

“I really like to do pottery, sculptures and bowls – that’s my favourite thing to do. When I do my art I like to think of stories that the art would represent.”

A couple of years ago, Karleigh created a story and drew an owl to go with it. 

“It ended up looking like a wild chicken,” she said. “That’s how I started incorporating chickens into everything.” 

Today, ‘Bob’ the chicken is part of most of Karleigh’s creations. 

She said: “I like abstract artists because when you look at their art, you can put it together the way you want to.” 

Art, Karleigh said, “is important because it’s something you can do – you can be creative and you can do whatever you want. There’s no boundaries.”

Martin pointed out that art teaches skills of observation. “

That’s really specific to art,” she said. “And it brings people together.”

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Frankville's Bill Gibbons opens AOG Art Gallery for Culture Days – Ottawa Valley News



Frankville’s Bill Gibbons opens AOG Art Gallery for Culture Days |

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