Edmonton Cultural Capital of Canada

Company name: Edmonton Cultural Capital of Canada
Country: Canada
Province: Alberta
City: Edmonton
Address: 10310 Jasper Ave NW
ZIP code: T5J 2W4
Phone: 7804242787
Site: www.edmontonculturalcapital.com
On this company found complaints: 0

Description of the company

Edmonton Cultural Capital of Canada
10310 Jasper Ave NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 2W4, Canada

Posted on 3/20/2008 by Amy Fung The Community Arts Celebration was an apt end for Edmonton s year as Cultural Capital of Canada. Apt in its sense and standard of community art as the benchmark for what constitutes as culture in this city. Edmonton very much favours the community spirit of artistic excellence, often conflating the two into one, and the weekend revealed many new questions into our city s identity. In Paula Jardine s presentation as part of Saturday s morning symposium, the ex-Edmontonian showed slides from her heyday during the glory years of creating civic art. Rice Howard Way filled with 20 ft puppets created by Peter Field surrounded by towers of backlit dancers in office windows during an era of extravagant parades, alley art bombs, and fire sculptures against the city skyline. This was nearly 25 years ago, and yet, the Edmonton in those slides is almost unrecognizable to anyone who has ever tried to do anything publically artistic for a civic audience. The freedom, support, and creativity initial to those late 70s-early 80s projects were rooted in a community spirit, a spirit that has been quickly weighed down with a funnel bureaucracy and stayed down. In comparing the era in those slides with present day, it becomes obvious that all existing artistic projects have come into existence by trying to fit into a system that once set up, has not been updated. All day Saturday, I felt the fatigue and exhaustion of drifting from one project to the next, wondering where this was all leading and why these are individual projects happening within set time frames and what or if these cultural projects will even leave a legacy. To get some fresh air, I ended up taking a bus tour that went from point A to B to C as a prepackaged tourist would instead of an active citizen, culminating in the five person audience for "Words of Exposure," a sample of readings from Edmonton s first ever queer arts festival. At that point, I wondered if this umbrella of community arts wasn t segregating communities in the long run. The artists performing within Exposure s showcase were by far the most professional artists I had seen all day, yet their audience was one of the smallest turn outs. Perhaps the ideal would have been a huge turnout coming out for each community, and in so doing each community would have seen each other s communities, and it would really have been a celebration of each other, only then it wasn t until Sunday evening where snippets of each group were offered did this point almost realize itself. Sunday in general was far more energetic than sleepy Saturday. The morning symposium on how outreach with non-mainstream communities can propel social change was a blunt dose of reality starting with Wallis Kendal of Edmonton s ihuman, the uplifting and eye opening changes of art s empowerment with UK based Michael Etherton, and the spiritual journey and congregation of Xstine Cook and Stephanie Hawking s White Buffalo project with inmates from a Southern Alberta correctional facility.