Monday, 30 August 2010

The Annual Wood Buffalo Country Fair

The weather on Saturday had little to be desired, but many still came out to see what the Wood Buffalo Country Fair had to offer. The fair has been around for over 15 years and has brought all the community of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo together. Traditionally a fair is a gathering of people to display or trade produce or other goods, to parade or display animals and often to enjoy a carnival. Although we do not showcase animals or have a carnival, the fair still gives you that feeling of satisfaction.

From first prize to honorable mention in both the adult and children’s display’s, the work was all commendable. I am certain that everyone that braved the elements were very proud of the abundance of talent and creativity that region has to offer. The fair also showcased many local venders. Some of which included, baked goods, clothing, jewelry, cloth diapers, wood products, toys, produce, quilts, crafts, skincare products and much more.

I was very pleased with the vendors that braved the weather and came to showcase their wares. I was quite disappointed in the lack of commitment by those that did not show due to the weather. The Country fair was not cancelled and if a commitment was given to attend and take a spot on the Heritage Park grounds, they should have been there. As someone who braved the elements, along with many others I am thoroughly disappointed in those that did not show. All and all it was a great day if you were dressed for the weather!

Wood Buffalo Country Fair Logo Competition
- There will be a $100.00 honorarium for the winning design
- This competition is open to all ages and all mediums.

Please keep in mind that the Wood Buffalo Country Fair will be using the selected logo in media and should look dynamic in both black and white and color applications.
For more information please contact Brooke at 780-799-3374

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Belle Nuit: A Free Recital featuring three talented local artists

Belle Nuit
After to success of last summers free recital sopranos Sarah Neiman and Krysta Mellon return for another beautiful evening of songs and arias with pianist Rhonda Carleton.

When: August 21st at 7pm
Where: Casman Centre (Thickwood Arena amphitheater) 

The trio that will be performing Belle Nuit consists of Rhonda Carleton, Sarah Neiman and Krysta Mellon. Rhonda Carleton is an active pianist in the Fort McMurray community. She supports the music festival, Dickensfield School choir, Westwood High school Community choir, Keyano college music program and the Honey B’s. She always enjoys the opportunity to accompany two of her favourite divas!

Sarah Neiman is currently pursuing her Masters of Music degree in Voice Performance at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. She began singing with Karen Rees, a local Fort McMurray voice teacher, and then with Laura Glover at Keyano College. Currently she studies with her principal teacher, Rachel Mallon and has completed the first year of her Masters. While at school Sarah has performed in a variety of solo and studio recitals, as well as performing as Bradamante in UWOpera's production of Handel's Alcina. Sarah is very excited to be singing with Krysta in their second summer recital and hopes you will enjoy the duets, which are her favourite part.

Born and raised in Fort Mcmurray Krysta is thrilled to be home performing another summer recital and to share the stage with Sarah. After beginning her music studies at Keyano College she transferred to the University of Lethbridge where she recently completed her Bachelor of Music Degree. Among her most noted and memorable performance experiences are solo recitals and mixed opera reviews with the U of L Opera workshop. She most recently appeared in the U of L productions of Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. In September Krysta continues her music studies in Ontario at Wilfrid Laurier University where she will begin her Opera diploma.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Is the Wood Buffalo region only about oil and money?

Numerous headlines in newspapers around the world would have you believe this is true. A growing community of local artists, however, disagrees and is determined to prove the world wrong. “I have worked with artists in many countries – from small Russian villages to large Asian cities. I am so impressed with the dedicated and talented artists in Wood Buffalo and thrilled to see them starting to organize and bring their vision and talent to the public through the Wood Buffalo Artists Forum”, states Louise Van Alenburg, international artist and instructor.

The Wood Buffalo Artists Forum is a new, non-profit community organization committed to supporting regional visual artists and developing public appreciation of culture through visual arts. “The diversity of talent in the Region is incredible”, says Christine Burton, emerging artist and one of the Artists Forum founders. “In addition to local and aboriginal artists, the Artists Forum has brought together visual artists from the Netherlands, the Phillipines, Venezuela, and Pakistan. We have artists of all levels of experience and talent; It is incredibly exciting” enthuses Burton.

The Wood Buffalo Artists Forum has an ambitious agenda. The group is currently working on setting up a community gallery in Fort McMurray, training volunteer curators to organize year-round exhibits of local and out-of-town artwork, locating studio space, and encouraging the public to enjoy art.

If you want to become involved or would like to have more information about the Wood Buffalo Artists Forum, please email
For more information contact: Louise van Alenburg 780 748-1249 or Christine Burton 780 743-5822

Open Call: Celebrate visual arts in Wood Buffalo
MacDonald Island Park Open Art Exhibition, The Wood Buffalo Artists Forum is calling all regional visual artists to help celebrate the opening of the MacDonald Island Park Art Gallery.
We invite visual artists to prepare original artwork (paintings, collage, photographs, drawings etc.) with the theme: “CELEBRATION!” for an October 2010 exhibit.

Artists may send digital photographs (jpg or pdf) of their works to: by September 30th. Due to limited space, only one piece per artist will be chosen for this first exhibition.

For information on how to prepare your art for this exhibition please email: We encourage all levels of artists to participate!

The above announcements were written by: The Wood Buffalo Artist Forum
The Wood Buffalo Artists Forum is a new non-profit community organisation committed to supporting regional visual artists and developing public appreciation of culture through visual arts.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

InterPLAY call for VOLUNTEERS!

Happy Summer Everyone;
I got an email today in desperate need for volunteers for the interPLAY festival this weekend (August 6-8).

If anyone is available for any of the following shifts please sign up with Jennie Spinney, Volunteer Coordinator for Events Wood Buffalo:
Phone: (780) 791-1600.

*Please note all shifts can be broken up into smaller shifts if you can only assist with a few hours here or there.

Friday 5:30pm-1:30am
Saturday 7:30pm-1:30am
Sunday 11am-7pm

Mini Golf
Sunday 11am-9pm

Green Team
Friday 11am-12am
Sunday 11am-6pm

Tent Crew
Thursday 8am (all day- paid position)
Thursday 1pm (paid position)

Thank you again for your continued support for our community!

Review of: Visual Expression

I had the opportunity to view the art exhibit at the Fort McMurray Public Library at Mac Island. The show ran until Sunday July 25th, 2010. It was an absolute pleasure to go to newly renovated Mac Island to see all the improvements. This facility has already proven to such an asset in the arts and culture communities in the Wood Buffalo region. The art exhibit is located on the second floor of the library. There are four artists that took part in this exhibit.

There were four artists that took part in the exhibition, Lisa Carlson, Margaret Sonnenberg, Treasure Cooper and Ronil Patel. The exhibition showcased a variety of mediums, and styles. There was little thematic or stylistic cohesion to the exhibition as a whole, however in this setting it wasn’t a necessary factor for the success of this showing.

Above: Work by Lisa Carlson
I was drawn to the Carlson collages when I first arrived. I was intrigued by how such intricate pieces came from the original form of magazine pages. Lisa’s love of pattern and color that was apparent when viewing the three pieces that were being showcased. Carlson gives her works a feeling of being painted, unifying each body, shape or colour as if it were a brush stoke.

Above: Work by Margaret Sonnenberg
Margaret Sonnenberg added four pieces in this exhibition. I found the facial expression in her portrait Do You See Me to emphasize feelings of hardship and anguish. She uses very daring lines and colors that give each piece a harsh beauty. She also featured landscapes in her selection that were quite whimsical.

Above: A work by Treasure Cooper
Treasure Cooper works were vibrant and bold. The detail that she used in her facial features made the painting seem photographic. Treasure’s inclusion of abstraction added an interesting edge to her portraiture.

Above work by: Ron Patel
Ron Patel is an up and coming young artist; his works consist of acrylic paintings that show reference to various deities. His works also featured a number of sketches that were well done. Ron is ten years old and I feel that his potential is endless.

Shauna Gale-Colbert