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SAAG launching its Art Frenzy gala online tonight – Toronto Star

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Dale Woodard Lethbridge Herald

The Southern Alberta Art Gallery Art Frenzy is going online.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 28th version of SAAG’s gala will be launched as a virtual event with bidding taking place nationwide.

With 44 local and international artists featured this year, the online version launches tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at www.artfrenzyauction.com.

“Typically, the Frenzy would be a large in-person party,” said Kristy Trinier, executive director of the SAAG. “But we’re not doing that this year for safety reasons.”

On Friday, there were opportunities to view the artwork gallery, but bidding on the artists’ works began Nov. 13.

The Art Frenzy will kick into overdrive tonight when the final two hours go online.

“Many of the artworks already have live bids and there is some competition happening already,” said Trinier. “It’s starting to amp up as it gets closer to the event. The virtual auction is probably similar to a Zoom that most people have experienced already. We really encourage people to celebrate arts and culture in the way they would like to, whether that’s dressing up the way they used to for art galas or their fanciest sweatpants. Whatever is the comfiest. Enjoy some champagne and watch online.

“There will be DJ music and a program where bidding is live with programmed digital elements. People can tune in, bid live and join the competition and vie for the works.”

In addition to the 44 artists, 16 gift packages will also be up for bidding tonight.

Once people sign up online they will be sent the virtual gala link with all the instructions.

With their ticket purchase, bidders will receive an Art Frenzy Auction Box filled with items such as a limited edition print to make the night feel like an at-home frenzy.

The pandemic hitting in mid-March was cause for concern, said Trinier.

However, the local support never wavered.

“It has had an impact on the gallery and as a non-profit we’re just blown away by the support from the community,” said Trinier. “The artists, the businesses and all of our sponsors and partners have really come forward with a huge amount of generosity this year and we’re very grateful.

“The gallery is over 40 years old and the art auction is a part of its history. Contemporary art, to us, means art made by artists of our time. The art auction is fantastic because it’s a way people can have art made by living artists in their homes and businesses.

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“This is a really incredible display of some of the talent in our region and artists who have had exhibitions at the SAAG. It’s our signature fundraiser. All the proceeds from the auctions supports the exhibitions, the public engagement programs, the artist talks and the youth classes. It’s an important part of our community support for the gallery.”

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Charlottetown's arts advisory board to compile report on public art for city council – The Guardian

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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Charlottetown city council will be receiving a report about adding public art to the downtown by the end of January.

The city’s arts advisory board met on Tuesday to begin the process of summarizing its Imagine Charlottetown initiative.

“We’re going to write a summary of our campaign and each (arts advisory) board member is going to write a page on their expertise,” said Barb MacLeod, chairwoman of the board. “We’re going to present that to city council.”

The board hosted an open house in March just before public health restrictions were introduced around the COVID-19. The goal was to give residents a sneak peek at ideas that were submitted as part of the initiative as a first step in the process.

However, everything quickly came to a halt, all but putting the process on hold. Things got moving again in late October. Board members begin soliciting expressions of interest from building owners who might be keen to have a mural placed on the side of their structure.

As with anything, money is an issue and there are bylaws to navigate around. The board wants to make sure council is as educated as possible before moving any further.

“Hopefully, if we’ve done a good job (on the report) we will start to have them consider public art as a priority for the city; something that needs attention,” said MacLeod.

The report will include various funding channels money for public art can be accessed through.

MacLeod points to the success of public art in Halifax as what is possible. The Halifax Regional Municipality facilitates the creation and acquisition of quality public art and ensures that professional artists are involved in its creation. The Halifax region has more than 250 pieces of public art projects and installations.

“We have had such incredibly fun conversations and our visions for the city are so wonderful. We’re really hoping to be able to encapsulate what we talk about in our meetings into this summary.”

MacLeod said the ultimate goal is to have public art projects and installations reflect the people of Charlottetown.

“It’s not just about putting a mural on the side of a building,” she said. “It’s about lifting up a community in so many different ways.”

Dave Stewart is the municipal reporter for The Guardian.

Twitter.com/DveStewart

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Charlottetown's arts advisory board to compile report on public art for city council – SaltWire Network

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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Charlottetown city council will be receiving a report about adding public art to the downtown by the end of January.

The city’s arts advisory board met on Tuesday to begin the process of summarizing its Imagine Charlottetown initiative.

“We’re going to write a summary of our campaign and each (arts advisory) board member is going to write a page on their expertise,” said Barb MacLeod, chairwoman of the board. “We’re going to present that to city council.”

The board hosted an open house in March just before public health restrictions were introduced around the COVID-19. The goal was to give residents a sneak peek at ideas that were submitted as part of the initiative as a first step in the process.

However, everything quickly came to a halt, all but putting the process on hold. Things got moving again in late October. Board members begin soliciting expressions of interest from building owners who might be keen to have a mural placed on the side of their structure.

As with anything, money is an issue and there are bylaws to navigate around. The board wants to make sure council is as educated as possible before moving any further.

“Hopefully, if we’ve done a good job (on the report) we will start to have them consider public art as a priority for the city; something that needs attention,” said MacLeod.

The report will include various funding channels money for public art can be accessed through.

MacLeod points to the success of public art in Halifax as what is possible. The Halifax Regional Municipality facilitates the creation and acquisition of quality public art and ensures that professional artists are involved in its creation. The Halifax region has more than 250 pieces of public art projects and installations.

“We have had such incredibly fun conversations and our visions for the city are so wonderful. We’re really hoping to be able to encapsulate what we talk about in our meetings into this summary.”

MacLeod said the ultimate goal is to have public art projects and installations reflect the people of Charlottetown.

“It’s not just about putting a mural on the side of a building,” she said. “It’s about lifting up a community in so many different ways.”

Dave Stewart is the municipal reporter for The Guardian.

Twitter.com/DveStewart

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From bag tags to public art – The North Bay Nugget

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A look at some of city hall’s $423,000 in proposed service changes

North Bay City Hall
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SunMedia

In the coming weeks, members of North Bay council will debate the city’s proposed $97.8-million 2021 operating budget.

The budget is a $4 million, or 4.28 per cent, increase from 2020, and is levied from ratepayers in order to cover day-to-day spending on services related to the fire department, arenas, parks, the marina, roads and the landfill.

Of the proposed $4-million increase to the tax levy, which is subject to change as members of council meet for discussions over the coming weeks, nearly $423,000 is related to proposed service level changes, some of which were put forward by members of council.

The Nugget has summarized some of those proposals:

Interest relief – $180,648 cost

The change would reduce the interest charged for past due accounts from 1.25 to one per cent a month.

Firefighters – $109,159 cost

North Bay Fire and Emergency Services is proposing the immediate hire of two additional firefighters.

The fire service says there are two members on long-term Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) leave who are not expected to return.

Both members are being paid by WSIB directly, with the fire service contractually responsible for paying a “top-up” of approximately $52,000 a year.

Should those firefighters reach the six-year WSIB lock-in eligibility by June and September 2021, the fire service would be free of its contractual obligation, resulting in two vacancies.

The change would see the fire service temporarily go from 56 firefighters to 58.

The fire service also says it has experienced “extreme staffing pressures” this year due to reductions resulting from WSIB claims, contractual vacation entitlements and sick time usage.

Yard waste – $48,814

Coun. Scott Robertson has proposed a three-week long, unlimited fall leaf and yard waste collection program for all households.

Although residents can place their leaf and yard waste on the curb, it is included in the city’s weekly limit of three free bags. The waste also is taken to landfill rather than to the organics depot.

The net cost takes into account the expense of running the program and the revenue generated through the sale of compost.

Garbage collection – $18,142 (savings)

Also proposed by Robertson, this change would reduce the number of free garbage receptacles from three to two a week, and increase the cost of bag tags from $1 to $2.

For the commercial sector, the limit would drop from 12 a week to 10.

The city currently sells garbage tags at $1 for each receptacle that exceeds the limit.

Robertson says the three-bag limit is hard to find in municipalities across Ontario, adding that reducing the limit will encourage recycling, which the city sells, and extend the life of the landfill.

The savings are expected to be $36,284 in future years.

Public art – $15,000

The request follows a presentation to council by representatives from the public art advisory committee for an annual amount that would help advance projects such as the downtown traffic signal boxes, as well as others outside of the downtown.

Clean Green Beautiful – $10,000

Clean Green Beautiful, which hosts neighbourhood litter cleanups and other initiatives, is looking to hire an intern and provide additional programs. Members of the group made a budget request to council in September.

Backyard composting – $4,000

Put forward by Robertson, the program would see the city buy 200 backyard composting units and sell them at a $10 discount.

Robertson notes that the province requires some municipalities to have organic waste collection programs, while those that don’t meet the threshold for collection will be legislated to have a form of backyard composting.

The net cost includes the expense of buying the units, advertising and sales revenue.

New software – $50,000

The new software would allow documents and forms to be signed electronically, replacing handwritten signatures and allowing for a faster turnaround.

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