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Sydney art centre hosts Mi'kmaq artists competition – The Journal Pioneer

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SYDNEY, N.S. —

The Convent will soon honour seven Unama’ki artists.

“One of the main goals is to strengthen and honour the relationship to Mi’kmaq people here in Unama’ki,” said Melissa Kearney, programming co-ordinator for The Convent, an art and cultural centre in downtown Sydney.

The Convent, located on what was Holy Angels property and is now part of the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation, features a variety of disciplines hoping to encourage artists’ creativity and spark a bond with the general public.

The COVID-19 pandemic set back the studio’s grand opening plans, but Kearney says they remain committed to fostering a relationship with the Mi’kmaq.

“We were all determined to see it happen and knew it was going to happen without a doubt,” said Kearney.

The Convent team is also working with a Mi’kmaq design team to help Indigenize the space. But the most recent project, the Kisitwek Gallery, hopes to select seven Mi’kmaq artists with the help of an elders advisory committee.

Robert Bernard is the program co-ordinator with Kisitwek Gallery and each Unama’ki community — Membertou, Wagmatcook, We’koqma’q, Potlotek and Eskasoni First Nations — is represented by an elder.

“We hope to share the Mi’kmaq story and culture,” said Bernard.

The competition is accepting submissions until Friday, Sept. 11 at midnight. The submissions can be based on a variety of art forms from vocal artists, visual artists and crafters, among others.

 

Bernard says the work will be judged on the level of professionalism, talent and what the artist means to their respective home communities. He says as part of the application they encourage testimonials about the artist from community members.

Kisitwek Gallery will celebrate the artists just as much as their work.

Bernard said the gallery will feature a short biography of the artist and a visual aspect of that artist. Families of a deceased artist can apply and if selected will work with the team to best honour that artist.

Bernard said another aspect of the project will be the workshops which will be hosted by the artists.

“They’ll have their own programming, outlining their own style and life’s work,” said Bernard, adding the plan is to highlight these artists while educating others about their work.

Bernard stressed participating artists must be Mi’kmaq and authenticity will be part of the scoring process. The applying artists will be scored on a scaled system considering the artwork, the testimonials, the authenticity and overall, what the artists means to community.

Bernard expects the judging to take a couple of weeks.

The project is also working with New Dawn Enterprises, Indigenous guide engagement services and Patuo’kn Illustration and Design.

Those wishing to apply can contact The Convent or apply online while remembering the initiative is all about honouring the Mi’kmaq.

“We are the first artists and crafters of this land,” said Bernard.

After the first cohort of strictly Unama’ki artists, there are plans to expand to include all Mi’kma’ki.

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Black Lives Matter street art installations coming to Dartmouth, Halifax – CBC.ca

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The Halifax Regional Municipality will be painting the words “Black Lives Matter” in Halifax and Dartmouth this weekend.

The municipality said it was doing it to show support for the movement.

“This public solidarity augments several measures being taken by the municipality corporately to help address anti-Black racism and continue to build [a] better relationship with the municipality’s communities of African descent,” the municipality said in a news release on Friday.

Work on the first installation at Alderney Drive in Dartmouth will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Work on the second installation at Brunswick Street in Halifax will begin at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

The municipality said sidewalks will be open and access to businesses will be maintained and that at least one lane of vehicle traffic in each direction will be maintained while work is underway.

The bicycle lane on Brunswick Street will be closed while work is happening and cyclists and vehicles will share one single file lane around the work area.

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Oxygen Art Centre launches new adult classes – Nelson Star

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Submitted by Oxygen Art Centre

After much planning Oxygen is excited to launch their fall lineup of adult education opportunities, combining a fine array of online and small in-person classes.

Oxygen conducted a student survey earlier in June to find out how people were feeling (with COVID in mind) in regards to participating in arts education this fall. The response was very positive and clear — students want to be creative! Oxygen then got to work with their talented team of instructors and volunteers to re-vision how the educational offerings could be delivered in an innovative and safe way.

“Oxygen will be offering seven online courses and three small in-person courses this fall,” says education co-ordinator Natasha Smith.

“Many of our instructors have specifically created classes that can be taught online, utilizing the many tools that we now have available to make this learning experience rewarding, interactive and convenient for our students. Another benefit of online programming is that we are removing the barrier of travel for students that live outside of Nelson.”

The three in-person classes include Resurrecting the Lost Art of Letter Writing with Rayya Liebich, Eco-Printing on Textiles with Seathra Bell, and Painting on Another Level with Natasha Smith. The class sizes will be limited to a maximum of five students and all COVID-19 safety protocols at the centre will be in place.

Oxygen is also offering two online professional development courses for creatives this fall. Starting with Art Shack with artist Ian Johnston.

“It’s a visual arts professional development free-for-all!” says Johnston. “Over four evenings of group conversation we will harness the hive mind and the experience of the participants to explore a self-identified group of professional development issues such as proposals, statements, audience, networks and researching opportunities.”

This is an opportunity to share, develop your skills, and meet other artists in a supportive, collaborative space. The second professional development course is How to Submit to Commercial Galleries with artist Kristy Gordon, who will unveil the practical steps you can take to develop a connection with a commercial gallery. The one-session course includes a lecture, discussions and individual feedback.

Deborah Thompson has designed an online drawing course: Drawing with the World in Mind. This course will run twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the month of October.

“The COVID-19 Global Pandemic has highlighted a long list of global problems; climate change, homelessness, opioid crisis, racism, classism and more. Leaning into a creative practice during these times is helpful in developing meaningful insights and in cultivating imaginative ways to give constructive shape to the future,” says Thompson.

Many students will be excited that Bessie Wapp is offering Singing the Blues Goes Virtual this Fall. In this seven-week course you will explore the rich swamp of the human voice in a relaxed and supportive environment through online group and one-on-one sessions. In November, Rayya Liebich will be offering an online Poetry Immersion course. From the comfort of your home immerse yourself in the language of poetry. Weekly online classes will focus on studying the craft of poetry (image, form, feeling) and allow time for a series of guided writing prompts to help hone your writing skills.

Also running in November and over five classes Natasha Smith will be offering Moving into Abstraction as an online course. Through a series of hands-on projects, students will explore various techniques and alternative ways to develop ideas and images that will encourage a more abstract way of working.

Interdisciplinary artist, prOphecy sun will be offering an innovative course this Fall: Sonic Imaginaries: An Introduction to Creating Electronic Compositions. This online beginner level studio course explores a wide range of methods and conceptual approaches to creating electronic sound. prOphecy explains: “Each week will explore how sound emerges and will survey conceptual and methodological techniques used in music, video, sound art, and other artistic production.”

Register today for online and in-person art classes taking place throughout October and November with Oxygen’s incredible artist instructors. Don’t wait — spaces are limited. Learn more about the upcoming classes below and on our website at https://oxygenartcentre.org/classes/adult/.

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Hot air balloons, drive-in concerts and highway art: What's on this weekend in Calgary – CBC.ca

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Organizations are continuing to come out with fresh and creative ways to entertain Calgarians, and this weekend is no different.

There’s good eats, concerts and multiple art shows that highlight local talent.

Ellis Choe from The Homestretch on CBC Radio has compiled some of those offerings, so check out the events below! 

Food

There’s a pop-up marketplace celebrating prairie food this weekend that also ensures gathering people safely.

The Prairie Grid Market will have over 50 local food and drink vendors at the Carter Cadillac car dealership on Heritage Drive in southeast Calgary.

Dan Clapsen, the organizer of the event, says a majority of the stalls are operated by local restaurant and bar owners.

 “There’s a really interesting build-your-own-cocktail kit booth setup by Cannibale, which is a popular cocktail bar in Bridgeland. Bridgette Bar has made a line of dried pastas,” he said.

On Saturday and Sunday, there will be music and art for patrons to enjoy.

It’s recommend you pre-book your visit online, given the limited capacity and physical distancing required.

Balloon Festival

The festival will feature 17 Canadian hot air balloons. ((CBC))

The 8th Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival is underway in High River, but due to COVID-19, only Canadian balloons are participating.

The festival was scheduled to take place from Wednesday through Sunday, although high winds have forced cancellations. As of 2 p.m. on Friday, it was unclear whether they’d be able to take off at 5 p.m. Friday. If not, there are three more chances depending on the weather: Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m. Check the festival’s Facebook feed to see if it’s a go.

The committee says that while no passengers or spectators will be allowed at the launch site, you can volunteer to be part of the field crew and get a front row seat. 

Karen Williamson, the committee vice-chair, says that while there’s no guarantee, the pilot may let you be a passenger on board as well.

And for those who don’t volunteer, head to the northwest corner of High River to see them launch. 

Arts

If you like road trips and art, you can catch the Most Beautiful Art Tour in Alberta, which is a part of Alberta Culture Days.

Along Highway 22 and Highway 2A, otherwise known as “Cowboy Trail,” there is a community of artists opening their studios and galleries to the public.

Catch artwork in Millarville, Turner Valley, Black Diamond and Okotoks to learn more about the diverse group of artists working outside of Calgary.

The open studio events will be on from Friday to Sunday, but each gallery has different operating hours.

And if you like your art paired with a movie, the Indefinite Arts Centre is holding an open house/movie night. 

You can check out the artwork of artists with disabilities, as well as the screening of Infinity — a documentary about the world-renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, famous for her polka dot installations.

The free event is on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., but make sure to reserve a spot.

Music

From the comfort of your car, you get to enjoy six concerts over the weekend. (Antoine Saito)

And finally, some concerts in the Calgary area! Grab your social circle and attend the drive-in concert at Telus Spark.

“Rise Up Weekend” is brought to you by local organizations, including Calgary ReggaeFest, Folk Fest and Stampede.

Patti Pon, one of the organizers as well as president of Calgary Arts Development, says the event is all about the coming together of six organizations presenting six concerts.

“We wanted to find a way to create some amazing art experiences, albeit smaller settings with fewer people,” she said.

Tickets are $25 per car for up to four guests.

The first show is Friday at 6:15 p.m., when Calgary Folk Fest presents Sargeant X Comrade and the Blake Read Band.

For something more contemporary, the National Music Centre is continuing its hybrid live music and virtual concert series, RBC Live, from the King Eddy.

You can attend the free event in-person or stream from the comfort of your home.

The first show is Friday at 8:30 p.m. and features Lucette, an alt-pop artist from Edmonton.

And then for another virtual concert experience, you can stream Early Music Voices, a local group that presents music from the medieval, Renaissance and baroque periods.

The group is kicking off its season with a virtual concert featuring Calgary musician Benjamin Narvey, who plays the lute.

Enjoy the music this Sunday at 7:30 p.m., and listen to a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m.


With files from The Homestretch

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