Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Play Readings with Theatre; Just Because

Theatre; Just Because is a local theatre company with the goal to help "grow the local theatre community not only through producing, but giving back at the same time – in the form of affordable workshops and specialized one-on-one mentorships towards professional growth. [They] focus on the individual artist and create unique opportunities for them to create and perform.”  It was with this mandate in mind that the monthly Play Reading Night was formed.

The Play Reading Nights are held in partnership with Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts. Each night brings a different play to life and allows attendees to read a role aloud, or to just listen as the play unfolds. Attendance is open to everyone ages 16+, regardless of theatre experience.

Plays that have been done in the past include selections from various genres and eras including Grey Gardens, Suicide in B, and Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God

The next Play Reading Night will be held on Monday December 5th and the play that will be read is A Charlie Brown Christmas.

For more information on Theatre; Just Because or the monthly play reading night visit http://www.theatrejustbecause.com/play-reading-nights/

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

'Tis the Season of Giving

With so much change for the residents of Wood Buffalo, there is an increased need for support.  By giving your time or by donating items, you can help out in a big way.

The Wood Buffalo Food Bank always has a need for volunteers.  You could sort and stock food items, ensure food hasn’t expired, volunteer for events and so much more!  Volunteer hours are between 9 am and 8 pm Monday to Friday and the second Saturday of each month from 9 am to 4 pm.  You can find out more by calling Anna at 780-743-1125 ext. 228 or by visiting: http://www.woodbuffalofoodbank.com/.

Santas Anonymous is once again being organized by the students and staff at Father Mercredi High School. If you are looking for a way to help, please consider making a donation on their donation page, dropping off some needed toys (a list of which can be found on the wish list page) or by referring a family on the referral page (the deadline for referrals is by the end of day on November 21).  For more information, please visit: https://sites.google.com/a/fmcsd.ab.ca/fmsantas/. 

The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers for their Christmas Kettle Campaign.  Shifts are a commitment of 2 hours.  To find out more, contact Verna by calling 587-646-0981 or emailing verna_thomas@can.salvationarmy.org

The Centre of Hope has volunteer opportunities on a regular basis.  Volunteers do need to be over 18 years of age.  To find out more about volunteering, please call Danielle Stagg at 780-743-3912 ext. 227.  If you wanted to donate some items to the Centre of Hope, fresh fruit, hot chocolate and coffee are always appreciated!  The hours of operation are 8:30 am-4:30 pm, 7 days a week, the office is closed for lunch from 11:30 am-12:30 pm.  For more details about their services and programs, you can visit their website by following the link: http://fmcentreofhope.com/

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo believes in connecting citizens through volunteering. Wood Buffalo offers many events and programs that would not be possible without the support and dedication of volunteers.  You can register to volunteer for some of the following upcoming events including the Santa Claus Parade and Lights of Christmas or WinterPLAY.  To find out more or to register, please visit http://www.rmwb.ca/living/Events-and-Festivals/Volunteering-for-Municipal-Events.htm

These are just a few ways you can get involved and help brighten the lives of those in our communities. I think the following quote by Aesop sums things up nicely, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Let your creativity shine - submit your poems to Words in Motion!

Are you a writer or a poet? Do you like to write clever rhymes or song lyrics?

If so, you should submit your work to this year’s Words in Motion!

Words in Motion is a literacy program that promotes an appreciation for the art of poetry. Poetry can take many forms- whether it be dramatic, lyrical or narrative- so don't limit your creativity! Poems written in any form or language (with an English translation) will be accepted.  

A panel of judges will review the poems and select which ones will be displayed on Wood Buffalo Transit buses and shelters as well as on the RWMB website. 

You have until February 3, 2017 to participate. 

To read last year's selected poetry and to learn more about the program, please visit www.rmwb.ca/wordsinmotion

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Other Side of the Pole

"The Other Side of the North Pole" is a family friendly musical that will be playing at Keyano Theatre Co. as a part of the 4-Play Drama Series 2016/17 Season.  

Watch as two young kids Sandy and Willy investigate why Christmas has been banned from their hometown of Split Hoof. In pursuit of answers, the amateur sleuths learn some very interesting things about themselves, their families and the magic of Christmas.

Show times are:

Preview: Nov. 24, 8:00 pm

Opening: Nov 25, 8:00 pm

Show dates: Nov 26, 30, Dec 1, 2, 3, 2016 8:00 pm

Matinee: Dec 3 at 2:00 pm

To find out more or to purchase tickets, please visit: http://www.keyano.ca/StudentLife/TheatreArtsCentre/CurrentSeason/4-PlayDramaSeries

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Give the Gift of Music

This holiday season you are invited to make a difference in the lives of local young people as the Legacy Children’s Foundation launches an exciting crowd funding campaign to raise $50,000 for music programs that support at-risk youth in Alberta.

Going on twelve plus years, Legacy Children’s Foundations Gift of Music program has helped deserving youth ages 9 to 24 stay in school by providing long-term mentorship and music lessons. Students receive a gently-used instrument, participate in weekly lessons with instructors, and develop their musical talents and entrepreneurial skills, all while focusing on completing their education. 

Legacy Children’s Foundation encourages caring individuals to rally friends, family, and colleagues to participate in the Indiegogo fundraiser and give the Gift of Music to deserving youth. Without this funding, Legacy Children’s Foundation will unfortunately be forced to scale back operations next year which will leave many youth without mentors. 

The Indiegogo fundraiser campaign runs over the holidays from November 14, 2016 to January 12, 2017, and can be viewed at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/give-the-gift-of-music-education/#/ Be the first to take advantage of exciting perks and incentives as certain quantities are limited.

If unable to make a monetary donation you can help by simply sharing this campaign with others, please help spread the word to give the 'Gift of Music'!

For more information about the Gift of Music program and the Legacy Children’s Foundation, please visit www.legacygiftofmusic.com.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Winter BAM!

This past March, Honest Ed's - a famous Toronto discount department store, owned by the infamous Ed Mirvish - advertised a sale of all the store's iconic hand-painted signs.  The line-up snaked around the block.

Since opening in 1948, all of signage inside Honest Ed's is hand-painted by two full-time artists (the store is closing permanently in December 2016).  The signs - brightly painted and riddled with puns - are considered iconic design pieces by many. Here are just a few:

Though hand lettering is rarely seen in stores nowadays, there is still hope for the wonderful art of window displays - something we can soon enjoy as many retailers prepare their windows for the upcoming holiday season.  New York is famous for its many incredible window displays as you can see here: http://www.refinery29.com/best-nyc-holiday-window-displays#slide

In fact, the art of the window display will soon be more prominent right here in Fort McMurray. Until November 21, businesses have the opportunity to apply to get a Winter Wonderland-themed window painting of their own.  Based on a first-come, first-served basis, the windows will be painted by local residents and paid for Communities in Bloom, as part of the BAM! program.  All windows will be painted by December 3 - just in time for the Santa Claus parade!

Launched in 2014, BAM! was created by Wood Buffalo Communities in Bloom to encourage storefront beautification.  Visit rmwb.ca/bam for details and application forms!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Remembrance Day Ceremony- November 11, 2016

On Remembrance Day, we commemorate the people who serve and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace. 

Our local Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 165 hosts an annual Remembrance Day ceremony for our community. This year, the ceremony is dedicated all those who serve our country. In addition to honouring the sacrifices made by veterans and current military personnel, we will also be paying tribute to the first responders for their bravery and dedication  during the wildfire.

The ceremony will take place in two parts, with the first taking place in the Nexen Field House at MacDonald Island. Doors will open at 8:30 am and the service will start at 9 am. 

The second part of the ceremony will then continue at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch, located at 9317 Huggard Street in Waterways.  

How else can you get involved? 

By participating in Act of Remembrance during Veteran’s Week from November 5 to November 11.  As we stop to remember, salute and honour Canada’s Veterans and active duty personnel, the Government of Canada is encouraging Canadians to pay tribute to our heroes for their service and sacrifice by showing your support on various social media platforms. Share a story, a photo, or send your thanks to #RememberThem. 

For more information of Act of Remembrance, visit www.veterans.gc.ca

Monday, 7 November 2016

Financial Help Available to Artists in the Entertainment Sector

It's been a challenging year for residents of the Wood Buffalo Region. If you are an entertainment professional who is facing financial hardship, there is help for you by way of The AFC, previously known as the Actors’ Fund of Canada.

The AFC provides emergency financial assistance to all who work professionally in the arts and entertainment industry, including all aspects of film, television, theatre, music and dance. They strive to help Canadian entertainment professionals  when illness, injury or other personal or professional hardships compromise their health, dignity and  ability to work.

You are eligible to apply for assistance if you have:

  • earned more than half your income in the Canadian entertainment industry over the past 3 years;
  • earned the majority of your income from the Canadian entertainment industry, if you are over 65;
  • experienced an unforeseeable emergency that has led to a financial crisis;
  • made reasonable efforts to find other means of income or support.

Within the last 24 months, The AFC has distributed close to $1 million in emergency financial aid to help entertainment professionals working in all aspects of Film & TV, music, theatre and dance.

Learn More 

For Assistance 

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Graffiti Abatement Mural Program

You might recognize some of these murals from around Fort McMurray, but did you know that they serve more than just one purpose?

The murals were commissioned as part of the Graffiti Abatement Mural Program.  The basis of the project is simple: when a mural goes onto a wall, it is less likely that the wall will be tagged or vandalized with graffiti.  When large spaces become less vulnerable to the threat of graffiti,  it means that property owners and municipalities spend less on graffiti removal and remediation of that space.  

Launched in 2012, the project also provides an opportunity to explore urban art in a legal, respectful way.

Each spring, a Call to Artist is issued nationally.  While the call is open to any artist living in Canada, extra effort is put forth to encourage submissions from local candidates.  

Once all the submissions have been gathered, a local selection panel (comprised of community volunteers including representation from the arts community) reviews the proposed designs and picks the artist and proposal that they feel will be the best fit for our region.  Murals are usually completed by the end of September.

For more information about the Graffiti Abatement Mural Program, please visit: rmwb.ca/mural.  If you have any suggestions for future mural locations, or would like to discuss the program in detail,  please contact beautification@rmwb.ca

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Paint Nite

There's a new creative craze taking over local restaurants and bars in Fort McMurray. If you remember the days of Bob Ross and his "happy little trees", Paint Nite is taking the painting lesson to the next level! Combining everyone's love of art, food and drink, Paint Nite has mastered the recipe for bringing creativity into the mainstream. 

Paint Nite offers an inviting social atmosphere where an instructor guides participants through the process of making their own masterpiece as a group. At $45 per seat, you can select your preferred date and unique design that you will take home at the end of the night. All supplies including paint, brushes, canvas and instruction are included with your purchase of a ticket.  

Anyone, no matter their skill level, can participate in Paint Nite. If you're looking for a fun night out, or even a team building session, this is a great activity that brings people together to enjoy each other's company in a creative atmosphere. 

For information on how to book your ticket to the next Paint Nite happening at a restaurant near you, visit www.paintnite.com. Tickets sell out fast! So be sure to book early to secure your seat and easel. 

Check out results from past paint nights by visiting www.facebook.com/Paint-Nite-Fort-McMurray