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The Bridge wellness hub unveils new Indigenous art installations and spiritual space – Sherwood Park News



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The Bridge Wellness Hub for Youth in Fort Saskatchewan unveiled new art installations and a dedicated space for spiritual reflection and cultural healing.

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Indigenous artists Ellie Lagrandeur and Stacey Shearing, who created the art that adorns the new spiritual space, inaugurated and blessed the area with a smudging ceremony, using sage and sweetgrass. Legrandeur emphasized the strength and importance of the community during the ceremony.

“Sweetgrass is known as the first plant and as Mother Earth’s hair,” explained Lagrandeur. “I think it’s so important to have this community. It’s like the strand of sweetgrass, it’s pretty strong stuff but when it stands alone it can be broken. Sure you can be strong, but if you’re pulled in different directions you can be broken. Yet when it’s together in a braid, like the community, it is so much stronger. So I think it’s important that everybody is together here. You are not alone. I think if we all practice love, kindness and honesty, we will all stand stronger together, which is what this space is all about.”

Legrandeur explained that the burning sage removes any negative energy, and the sweetgrass welcomes positive energy into the space.

As all things at The Bridge, the idea for the new Indigenous spiritual space was thought up by the youth themselves.

“So it was really grassroots the way it came together,” explained Sharie Valentine, Manager of The Bridge. “We had a youth meeting and the youth indicated that they wanted to have an Indigenous spiritual space. From there we reached out to Ellie and Stacey who are local and everything came together and everyone was really excited about it. It’s important to have a space like this to show inclusiveness and to work towards truth and reconciliation.”

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Fort Saskatchewan Mayor Gale Katchur, who attended the unveiling and ceremony, echoed the significance of the new spiritual space.

“I think having the Indigenous space at the Bridge Wellness Hub will just add to our community and encourage people to come in and embrace it. Today is very special having Ellie Lagrandeur come to do a smudging and to speak to what it represents for our community. The Bridge Wellness hub is just amazing and I encourage all youth to come out and experience it. I’m just so impressed with the space and I’m so thankful we have it in our community.”

Ellie Lagrandeur and Stacey Shearing, who provided the Indigenous art for The Bridge, are resident artists at Dream Catchers Gift & Art Gallery in downtown Fort Saskatchewan. At their shop you can find original art work, art prints, local stone and wood carvings, jewellery, dream catchers, as well as anything Indigenous. Ellie and Stacey are regularly in-shop creating and painting.

Ellie Lagrandeur blesses Fort Saskatchewan Mayor Gale Katchur at The Bridge Wellness hub.
Ellie Lagrandeur blesses Fort Saskatchewan Mayor Gale Katchur at The Bridge Wellness hub.

The Bridge is a wellness hub for youth between the ages of 11 – 24 years old. It provides various health and wellness services for youth including counselling and support groups/programs. The Bridge helps to ease the transition between youth and mental health support by providing access to the health services young people need, as well as an open space to hang out with friends and make new connections. It is an inclusive space for all youth to access whether they are utilizing support services or not.

Some of their services include: Drop-In Counselling Services, Addictions Counselling, altView Peer Support (LGBTQ2+), Rainbow Alliance Group, Indigenous Support, Inclusive Spaces, Computer Lab, Relaxation Room, Kitchen with Community Pantry, Coffee Nook, Creative Art Space and Wi-Fi. Their drop-in, free space area is separate from the support services of the centre, allowing youth to feel comfortable in whichever space they choose.

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On the Avenue Art Gallery puts spotlight on northern artists during provincial art fair – Prince Albert Daily Herald



Prince Albert gallery is one of 17 from across the province hosting online and in-person exhibits

Prince Albert’s On the Avenue Art Gallery is one of two new additions to the annual Art Now provincial fine art fair, and curator Jesse Campbell says it’s a great opportunity to showcase northern artists.

On the Avenue is one of 17 galleries showing exhibits during the annual art fair, which runs online until Sept. 26. Residents can also visit the gallery in person from Sept. 24-25 to see 38 pieces from 10 different artists, and go online to view panel discussions and artist talks hosted from around the province.

“It’s really exciting because it’s a great opportunity to work with a huge variety of artists and curators and writers and arts professionals,” Campbell said. “(It’s) not only (artists) from Saskatchewan, but arts professionals who have roots in Saskatchewan, but live further afield. There is a lot of opportunity to, I think, create some interesting experiences with art and look at a variety of topics in art being made on the prairies.”

Galleries across the province will showcase a wide variety of artists, but On the Avenue chose to focus on work from members of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.

Campbell said art education takes a different form in the north, where families and communities pass techniques down to younger generations instead of universities or art schools. That’s created a unique artistic tradition that’s rarely showcased on the provincial stage.

“I think it really shows the way that a lot of people have lived traditionally in northern Saskatchewan,” Campbell explained. “There’s a lot of work that’s quite descriptive and narrative. It’s not terribly abstract, but you still do get distinct feelings and moods that come across in the work.”

The variety is what stood out most for Campbell. The exhibit showcases everything from paintings and sculptures to traditional Indigenous art forms like birch bark biting. A lot of the materials are traditional too, which exhibitors taking advantage of wood and antlers to create their pieces.

“It’s a really good look into what artists are doing north of us here in PA,” Campbell said. “I hope (viewers) get a little bit of an understanding of what artists in the north are focusing on, the kinds of materials they’re using, and how there’s a lot of tradition being passed down through the artwork.”

Art Now held their opening online reception on Sept. 16, where viewers got a glimpse of the more than 600 works of art on display across the province. In just three days, more than 3,000 visitors have logged on to view the exhibits.

Campbell also helped organize a series of artist talks and panels, which will continue throughout the week. That includes an artist talk with Molly R. Ratt on Sept. 21, which is presented by On the Avenue Art Gallery. Replays of previous talks are available on the SaskGalleries YouTube page.

In-person events are limited to only two days. Campbell said that’s an unfortunate side-effect of COVID-19, but she’s confident the online exhibits will impress art lovers from across the province.

To register for upcoming panels and artist talks, or to view those held previously, visit

This is Art Now’s sixth year of operation. It celebrates the variety and quality of original fine art made in Saskatchewan. All shows are free to attend or view.

Upcoming online events for the Art Now Saskatchewan Art Fair

Sunday, Sept. 19

1 p.m. – Panel Session No. 4: Culture C(l)ash: can Indigenous artists make a living without selling out

Tuesday, Sept. 21

1:30 p.m. – Artist Talk: Sandra Knoss

4:30 p.m. – Artist Talk: Molly R. Ratt*

7 p.m. – Panel Session No. 5: Art as Life – the Creative Process

Wednesday, Sept. 22

Noon – Artist Talk: Edie Marshall

3 p.m. – Artist Talk: Shelley Hosaluk

Thursday, Sept. 23

1:30 p.m. – Artist Talk: Maia Stark

3 p.m. – Artist Talk: Michaela Hoppe

Sunday, Sept. 26

Noon – Artist Talk: Dave Gejdos

1:30 p.m. – Artist Talk: Arlette Seib

*Presented by On the Avenue Art Gallery

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Art Fx #37: "Put Your Feet Up" by Chantelle Poisson – Huntsville Doppler



Art Fx is a year-long series on Huntsville Doppler featuring Huntsville-area visual artists.

“Put Your Feet Up” by Chantelle Poisson is a 48″ x 24″ oil painting.

“I was inspired to paint this piece after seeing my daughter so content wrapped up in the blanket,” says Chantelle. “It brought me such a sense of contentment, warmth and simple happiness. I knew I wanted to convey that feeling of contentment on a canvas.”

About the artist

“As a graduate of Sheridan College Art program, I bring the skills I learned as well as my love for the outdoors to my art. I enjoy being in nature whether it be kayaking, hiking, gardening or spending time with my chickens and ducks. Nature and my family are my inspiration for most of my work,” says Chantelle.

Her studio is in Baysville and her preferred medium is oil. “The vibrancy and depth oil paints bring to pieces truly makes the paintings come alive,” she notes.

Find Chantelle on Instagram @chantellepoissonart or see more of her work @therealmuskokaunlimited.

See more local art in Doppler’s Art Fx series here.

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Doors swing open at MacLaren Art Centre as gallery welcomes back visitors – BradfordToday



The MacLaren Art Centre reopened to the public on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, with new hours. We are excited to welcome the public back into the gallery with an engaging fall season of exhibitions and programs.

Michael Farnan’s Canoe Fight: From Reverence to Redress is on view until Oct. 24. Featuring the canoe — an Indigenous technology that was deployed by white settlers to expand the colonial state into the Canadian interior — this exhibition demonstrates how beloved Canadian cultural symbols actively inscribe Canadian settler culture as the natural inheritor of both land and power in the area and beyond. Farnan is a Victoria Harbour-based artist whose work has been exhibited throughout Canada.

An exhibition by chum mcleod titled small world is on view until Oct. 24, and features intricate dioramas of hardscrabble bunny characters in a closed and strange universe. Battling floods, visiting a travelling circus, solving arcane domestic mysteries or ice fishing alongside their skidoos, the bunnies are completely engaged in the dramas in which they find themselves.

Polyempath Polyethylene by Kelly Jazvac, a Montreal-based artist, presents an installation of new work in which she continues to engage with the prevalence of synthetic materials in contemporary life. Featuring sculptures five years in the making, works are paired against the uncanny meeting of bodies and landscapes, using sewing techniques to alter waste from commercial advertising. This exhibition is on view until Oct. 31.

In addition to an exciting calendar of art programs for all ages and experience levels, including Family Sundays, children and adult programs, the Youth Community Quilt which was created through a series of workshops hosted by the Downtown Barrie Youth Collective and led by regional artist Sean George this summer is on display in the MacLaren lobby.

Gallery Public Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Café Public Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Framing Shop: By appointment Tuesday to Thursday. Please book online.

Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5. 

The Gallery Café is open with limited hours from Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Come and enjoy a great cup in the courtyard while the weather is still warm.

Visit the gallery website for more details on all the exciting exhibitions, programs, events, and COVID protocols.


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