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A publication of the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge (AAC)

S p r i n g / S u m m e r 2 014

advancing the arts in Lethbridge

Promoting the arts to the community Working to improve arts facilities in Lethbridge Providing collaborative opportunities for artists Advocating for the arts




See page 19 membership form

Publisher Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge 318 . 7 Street South Lethbridge, AB T1J 2G2 T: 403.320.0555 F: 403.320.2450 Publication date February 2013 Administration Suzanne Lint Executive Director Jana MacKenzie Finance Muffy McKay Projects Derek Stevenson Communications Ashley Markus Publications Programming Claire Hatton- Facility Darcy Logan- Gallery Jeremy Mason- Education

Board of Directors PRESIDENT Kris Hodgson VICE PRESIDENT Kim Siever SECRETARY Tyler Gschaid

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TREASURER Shanna Bailey DIRECTORS Jennifer Babits Amanda Berg Ron Brown Karla Mather-Cocks Tweela Houtekamer Greg Norman Dione Overes Don Reeves Jenn Schmidt-Rempel Gloria Torrance For additional copies contact the AAC office. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher.



Evolve – to change, grow, progress, advance and develop Over the last few weeks AAC Publications Coordinator, Ashley Markus, has shared delightful tidbits of arts history as she developed a timeline of the evolution of the AAC and the arts in Lethbridge (pages 10-11). All of these significant art successes started with an idea, a notion or a vision that evolved to a completed accomplishment. Whether it be a sculpture or a song, a play or a film, or a plan to build a facility or mount an exhibition, all artistic triumphs require a starting point and a process to arrive at a final result. This issue of ArtsBridge shares stories of evolution. Theatre is an ancient art form that is always evolving, sometimes by reaching into the past. Playwright Meg Braem shines a light on her motivation to create Exia, her recent work which references Ancient Greek Tragedy and which was recently performed at the University of Lethbridge. The play, co-created with students, provides us with a glimpse of what goes into the creation and presentation of a theatrical piece (page 16). Film is a relatively new addition to the world of art and we were delighted to have the opportunity to chat with local screenwriter and producer Deric Olsen (page 12). Olsen shares insights into the process of creating the recently produced film Common Chord. A strong media program at the University of Lethbridge and an emerging film industry are exciting advances for the arts scene in Southern Alberta. As audience members we are sometimes challenged and often delighted when we visit an exhibit at an art gallery. What we rarely consider is the process that takes a work of art from the studio of the artist to the walls of the gallery. Curator Darcy Logan shares the steps that occur in the evolution of an exhibition at the Casa Gallery (page 8).

Our arts facilities have changed, grown and developed as well. The Southern Alberta Art Gallery has been renovated and expanded. On the location of what was once the Opera House, a performance space which seated 400, sits our lovely new community arts centre Casa. Hopefully one day, a new Performing Arts Theatre will also be a part of our downtown cultural corridor. What will it take to achieve this vision? How have other communities managed to get their theatres built? AAC Communications Coordinator Derek Stevenson investigates the processes that have led to the creation of theatre facilities in a number of Western Canadian communities (page 3-5). Perhaps the experiences of these comparable Canadian cities will help guide our community’s efforts to achieve the vision for new performance space in Lethbridge. The AAC has also evolved through its fifty plus years as an organization dedicated to advancing the arts in Lethbridge. Our longevity is due in part to our willingness to grow and change in response to the needs of the community. It is also the result of the efforts and support of numerous artists, arts organizations and arts supporters. If you haven’t already, we invite you to become a member the AAC and help us support the evolution of the arts in Lethbridge.

Suzanne Lint Executive Director

Jonathan Blackwood is a Lethbridge-based phographer who provided the cover image for this issue of ArtsBridge. The image features the former Capitol Theatre on 5 St S merged with it’s present day appearance. The Capitol Theatre bore a variety of names throughout its long life including: Morris (1911), Sherman (1913), Orpheum (1917), Colonial (1920), Palace (1924), and Capitol (1929). It was demolished in 1974.



By Tweela Houtekamer, AAC Board Member A new year begins as I write, a time of year that fosters reflection. As a member of the Board of Directors for the AAC, I was led by my reflections to learn more about how the arts have evolved in our community.


During this reflection, I enjoyed the works of several historians including: George Mann (Theatre in Lethbridge 1993); Ainslie and Laviolette (Alberta Arts and Artists, 2007); and Alex Johnston and Andy den Otter (Lethbridge: A Centennial History, 1985). In addition, the Galt Museum on-line archives provided a rich experience of picture viewing and reading.


board blog

a substantial inventory of work that, for a variety of reasons, will likely remain so for some time. Let’s just refer to it as Van Gogh Syndrome, though few if any will ever gain that artist’s posthumous fame.

It can be said without reservation that most visual artists (at least the ones I know) certainly don’t make art for financial gain. Thus, it could be said that the issue of whether a community supports its artists or not is moot. That would be approaching the whole matter from a completely wrong perspective. Let’s, instead, view it from the community point of view. In some ambiguous way there is a symbiotic relationship that exists between visual artists (and probably other 2


• The North West Mounted Police mess hall served as the site for many local musical and dramatic productions in the late 19th century, with many of its members providing much of the talent and support. • The Majestic was built in 1910 and accommodated 75 performers on stage and 800 patrons in a city of about 8,000 people. It hosted programs almost every night for the first years of its operation. • The first Chautauqua in Canada was held in Lethbridge in 1917. • As early as 1909, a Miss Norman advertised tuition in ballroom and stage dancing, and lessons for students of pianoforte and voice. • From 1910 to 1914, the Musical Drama Club of the Lethbridge Conservatory dominated the opera scene and the Conservatory became the major musical training centre in the city while also providing retail access to instruments and music. • In 1916, Edith Fanny Kirk became the first instructor in the city in the visual arts. One of her pupils, Jessie Ursenbach, went on to become a founding member of the Lethbridge Sketch Club (now the Lethbridge Artists Club) • A.Y. Jackson of the Group of Seven made summer visits to Lethbridge during the 1930s to the home of his brother Ernest. Ernest would host Sketch Club members and Jackson would show his latest works and accompany club members on outings. • In 1923, The Playgoers Club of Lethbridge was established by Sterndale Bennett. He went on to be instrumental in the establishment of both Provincial and Dominion Drama Festivals, in which local writers, directors and actors figured prominently. • In 1958, the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge was founded. Sixteen local arts’ organizations were charter members. It struck me as I reviewed these facts that this history is accessible and brought to life by artists: painters, photographers, literary artists, journalists, graphic designers, architects and archivists, to name but a few. Art shows us where we have been. It shows us where we are and imagines or predicts where we are going. Art matters. In its more traditional role, it creates beauty and a retreat from the sometimes harsh world. But art itself continues to evolve and also provokes, educates, and provides visual icons that create a sense of community and belonging. It visualizes stresses and tensions in a changing community, provides a form of expression for immigrant or marginalized groups, for people experiencing personal crises in health or spirit, for dis-enfranchised youth, thus providing a means of communicating with or re-connecting to the larger community. It records the present while predicting a future we sometimes prefer to ignore. Research continues to prove the importance of the role art plays in learning success, mental health, senior health, healing, and community health. Art, culture, entertainment and the visual appeal of our urban environment are hugely important factors in attracting businesses and young professionals to our city. An Ecomonic Impact Study commissioned by the AAC and completed by an independent researcher, will be released later in 2014. It clearly supports the concept that the arts in Lethbridge have more than an aesthetic or intrinsic value and, in fact, also have substantial economic value. It is an exciting and satisfying time to be a part of the Allied Arts Council. AB



Performing Arts Theatre




Performance Perspective: The Process of Building Performing Arts Theatres in Western Canada

Working in the arts can be both rewarding and daunting. In particular it was extremely rewarding to see our new community arts centre come to fruition, from just an idea to the new hub for the arts in downtown Lethbridge. The more daunting task is trying to get a new Performing Arts Theatre built in Lethbridge. This would be the final piece of our vision for the downtown cultural corridor: SAAG, Casa, and a Performing Arts Theatre. In the last Capital Improvement Plan, City Council approved a tentative $10 million dollars of funding for a Performing Arts Theatre. It is “tentative” because the arts community has been challenged to find financial support provincially, federally, and most importantly, from the community. $10 million is only one sixth of the total cost of what a Performing Arts Theatre would cost, so that leaves quite a chunk of change for the community to find. An additional $50 million sounds like quite a lot of money, which it is, but we aren’t the first community to look for funding for arts & cultural facilities, and we most definitely won’t be the last. I made it my mission to discover how other small Western Canadian cities had their theatres built in the past ten years. If all of the following communities were able to build a Performing Arts Theatre, then I believe that we as a community have the capacity to do so as well.




By Derek Stevenson, AAC Communications Coordinator

What I learned from talking to other communities in Western Canada is that every community has different needs and each had a slightly different process when it came to building a new theatre. However, there was one thing that was consistent in all the communities, they all had visionary city council members who were able to recognize the long term benefits that facilities for the arts had for the community. I encourage those who are excited at the prospect of having a new Performing Arts Theatre built in Lethbridge to look at both the similarities that we have with these communities, as well as differences. If we want this project to become a reality for Lethbridge we need to learn from those who have done it before and come together in a collaborative spirit for the betterment of the community as a whole. ARTSBRIDGE


Performance Perspective: CITY & POPULATION





Date of Completion: June 2014 (estimated) Seating Capacity: 550 Other attached Facilities: A 200 seat multipurpose blackbox space




Date of Completion: 2010



Private Donations: 5 Million from Capital Campaign & Seat Sale Sponsorships: 1 Million from Cargill, $75,000 from Hauser Home, $50,000 from Camrose Chrysler

Separate board of seven people: • 2 from the city of Camrose


Date of Completion: 2003 Seating Capacity: 606 Other attached Facilities: Art Gallery, but managed separately

• 3 from the community

Municipal Funding: 100% funded by City

City Owned Building

• Local Groups

Not For Profit Society: • Arm’s Length formed by City of Chilliwack

• Dance Studios

• Includes 2 Council Members and Administration

• Local Symphony


• Community Groups

• Commercial Rentals • Concert Series

Private Donations: 2 Million, $1000/seat Campaign Sponsorships: 2.5 Million, Dream Builders $100,000$500,000: businesses & individuals Provincial Funding: 4 Million Federal Funding: 4 Million Other: raised 4.5 million dollars from their community in 60 days.

• The Prince Albert Arts Board manages the theatre part of the facility

• The community Groups utilize it 90% of the time • Theatre Groups

• The City owns the actual theatre • The art gallery in the facility is managed by the Man Art Gallery of Prince Albert.

Legacy fund from Diefenbaker provides operating funding for the facility annually.

For More information on the Camrose Performing Arts Theatre visit Information provided by Kari Rajotte For more information on the Chilliwack Cultural Centre visit Information provided by Michael Cade For More information on the EA Rawlinson Centre visit Information provided by Darren McCaffery


• University groups • They intend to make accessibility for both university and local groups a priority.

• 2 from the University

Other attached Facilities: 186 seat black box theatre, art gallery, class rooms, studio spaces


• Local groups

Also received funding municipally & provincially, from UofA, and County of Camrose

Seating Capacity: 584



• Dance Studios •Touring Groups • Concert Series • Commercial Rentals (They have approx 244 events per year)

The Process of Building Performing Arts Theatres in Western Canada COMMUNITY SUPPORT



when did it go from a dream or a vision to a reality?



• The community is very much in support of the project, very few are against the project. • There was some push back from some who said “why do we need another one” as they have a smaller theatre space called the Bailey Theatre. • The City Council in Camrose is very forward thinking, they realized all the pillars in the community are as important as others. They recognized that arts and culture are as important as rinks and pools.

• A positive relationship developed between the UofA and the City of Camrose. • United the community to see the project come to fruition. •The arts community, especially the dance community are ecstatic as they no longer will have to perform in outlying communities like Red Deer & Calgary. • Other benefits will be determined once the theatre is in full operation.

• The collaboration between the City and the University really brought the project to life. • Both parties recognized the benefits of collaborating together to make the project a reality. • Since then the community as a whole has embraced the concept.

• Once again it is difficult to answer this as the building is still in the process of being built, but they were fortunate that the building was a design build. • It consists of a full fly, significant stage space, an orchestra pit, plenty of dressing room space, and new technologies like all LED lighting and an automatic fly system. • The building is of national and international significance, both for its state of the art technology and green globes status.

• If a community can find as strong of partners as they have with the University of Alberta, the County of Camrose, and the community is on board, and everyone works in a collaborative spirit. • Noteworthy that a community of 18,000 was committed to getting the building built.

• No debt to build the centre, so little push back. • Community had already built other recreational facilities prior. • No competing infrastructure projects. • Property taxes are low in The City of Chilliwack so little debate over need for the arts. • Very little arts promotion in 20 years prior to the Cultural Centre. • The city was starting from scratch in making the arts relevant in the community.

• The community has gone from having barely any arts activites to having several new options since the opening of the centre. • They have had to grow their audience from almost zero arts activity. • Events are growing, but it is taking time.

• A local Military base closed in Chilliwack which was a major industry in the area. • As a result of the closure the city recognized that Chilliwack needed to become an attractive place people wanted to live. • City council was visionary in their view of the city’s recreational facilities. • They recognized that the community needed several amenities including a cultural component.

• The Orchestra Pit was not up to musicians’ standards, and it was difficult to access it. • Lighting booms were placed in obscure places and had no access to power. •There was no safe made for counting money. • A consultant with operational theatre experience would have been very beneficial. • The Box Office location should have been located in closer proximity to the administrative offices.

• Make sure a strategy is in place to fill the theatre. • Attract people to the building and have an audience development plan in place to connect the community to the arts. • It is important for people to see a great show so that they will return to the theatre. • Find a way to connect your population to the centre.

• There was significant push back in the community, and some people still are not fans of the project. • Once the building was completed and people visited the centre many changed their minds, and it has become a real landmark for the community. • There weren’t many other competing infrastructure projects at the same time as the theatre was built.

• The first year was a honey moon period, where everything the centre produced or brought in was a great success. • The Following three years they had to build support, and build an audience within the community. • They were starting from almost zero arts programming to creating a viable centre.

• Growth in the performing arts groups in the community. • A theatre company and a dance studio in Prince Albert had became large and successful utilizing found spaces. • Many children in the community were involved in the arts, which was a huge factor in the community building the support for the performing arts theatre.

• Would have built a banquet space for around 300 people as a part of the same centre. • Would also have built additional rehearsal space. • The loading dock for the centre was not made functional, and they believe it could have been done more successfully.

• Get people involved early in the process on the ground floor. • Don’t let the architect dictate the use of the space, let function trump aesthetics, or try and find a healthy balance. • Hire the General Manager/Executive Director before or early on in the process so they understand the building. • In the original plan get someone who has managed a facility like this before involved.




How the “Big Wheels” have become part of Lethbridge’s visual identity A Departure is a public art project by artist Ilan Sandler based on three types of driver train wheels that have crossed the Alberta CPR High Level Bridge over the past hundred years. The three aluminum sculptures were installed in 2009 during the Bridge’s Centenary year; they include a rendering of a spoked driver wheel that would have crossed the bridge in 1909, as well as a large driver wheel from the late 1930’s and a modern driver engine wheel that is currently in service. As many Southern Alberta residents can attest, images of A Departure seem to pop-up everywhere- advertisements, photography, television, publications and more.


A Departure has become a symbol of Lethbridge.












Developing an Exhibition: Casa Gallery By Darcy Logan, Curator - Casa Gallery A gallery exhibition is, at its root, is an arrangement of objects in an empty room, organized for the purpose of being visibly digested by a public audience. As simple as this concept may sound, it is merely a veneer over a deeply complicated process that brings together two partners, the artist and the curator. These two parties engage in an aesthetic dialogue and enter into a contract, both metaphorical and legal, that may take place over months or years. The outcome of this relationship is an exhibit that both benefits the artist, and protects the vision and mandate of the gallery.

All exhibitions start with an idea. The gallery may have a theme around which they would like to construct an exhibition, or an artist may have an idea for building an exhibition of their own work. In the first case, the gallery curator will call for artists to submit works that fits the theme, and in the second instance, the artist will contact the gallery for information on how to submit a proposal package. In both instances, the curator will ultimately make decisions on what bodies of work are included. For ease of clarity, we will focus on individual artists looking for a solo exhibition, using a model that we use at the Casa Gallery. It is standard practice for a gallery to accept proposals during a fixed time, and will usually book exhibitions 1 -2 years in advance. This is due to the volume of submissions, and the demand for exhibition space. There are far more working artists than there are venues in which they can exhibit. Once an artist has determined the dates that the gallery is accepting proposals, they will then begin the work of putting a submission package together. A submission package usually consists of a few main components; a cover letter introducing themselves, a proposal letter that outlines the project they would like to exhibit, an artist statement that talks about the concepts behind their work, a

curriculum vitae, a disc with 10-15 images of their current/previous work and a corresponding list that clearly provides the title, date and medium of the images. These are placed in an business envelope, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope, and mailed to the gallery. Once the deadline has been reached, the curator must go through all the submissions, and select the artists who will be exhibiting in the gallery. This is a highly considered process based on a combination of different criteria; including quality of the work, building a balanced exhibition schedule, fair representation of artists/media, audience engagement, and protecting the mandate of the gallery. Once the curator has selected artists to exhibit, letters either accepting the proposals or declining participation are mailed to everyone who submitted. Being declined isn’t necessarily a reflection of the artists ability or skill. If, for example, 75% of the proposals were for painting exhibitions, and only 25% for sculptural works, the curator may still try to fairly represent the different artistic disciplines, meaning many strong painters may not be accepted. Once the artist receives their acceptance letter, a more personal relationship begins. The artist responds to the curator affirming that the dates, fees, exhibition ethos and details are acceptable to them.

T H E C U R AT O R P R O V I D E S A N I M PA R T I A L E Y E A S A C O U N T E R - P O I N T T O T H E S U B J E C T I V E B I A S E S O F T H E A R T I S T.




The actual studio practice of the artist is a disciplined, ongoing process. The artist continues to develop the body of work they proposed to the gallery, and as it progresses towards it’s conclusion, the curator arranges a studio visit. This involves a meeting in the artist’s production space, where the work is discussed, both conceptually and logistically in terms of the exhibition. Absolute discretion over the selection of the work is in the hands of the curator, and a final selection of the work occurs at this point. The curator provides an impartial eye as a counterpoint to the subjective biases of the artist. Sometimes the artist is so involved in the creative process that they are incapable of stepping back and objectively determining their strongest work and creative path. Ultimately, the role of the curator is to use their experience to select strong pieces, and build an exhibition that best showcases the work of the artist. At this final meeting, legal contracts are signed, and delivery dates are finalized. As the exhibition date draws closer, press releases are sent to media, and invitations to the opening reception are mailed out. The gallery is sometimes called upon to assist with the matting and framing of the work. The curator will often draft a curatorial statement that complements the artist’s statement. When the work is delivered, it is brought into the gallery. If the artist is experienced, they may work with the curator to determine the layout of the exhibition. For less experienced artists, the curator may ask the artist to trust their judgement. Ultimately, the gallery is the curator’s domain, a site they are intimately experienced with, and they have final discretion over the installation of the show. The actual installation occurs over the week, and culminates with a reception to celebrate the exhibition’s opening, with finger foods and drinks. This is a night for the artist to celebrate and share their work with the community. The exhibition then runs for 5-7 weeks.


When the public visits a gallery, they encounter what is described in the final two sentences of the preceding paragraph: the reception & display. By giving a cursory description of the entire process, I hope that the general public may receive an insight & greater appreciation for the labour and efforts of the working artist. The curator merely facilitates an opportunity for them. I also hope that artists in the community may have a transparent glimpse into the process of mounting an exhibition, feel unintimidated, and take the first steps in planning exhibitions of their own.





Bowman expansion plan study released by AAC

AAC celebrates 25 years

Bowman declared a provincial historic resource

Inclusion of AAC in City Budget

AAC hosts first annual arts and crafts sale

AAC is part of committee releasing report on the State of the Visual & Craft arts for consideration in the 1978 City Major Facilities Plan

AAC sponsors official opening of SAAG

AAC joins with other groups to promote the conversion of the old Public Library in Galt Gardens into an art gallery

Alberta Art Foundation created

City of Lethbridge creates Community Services Department

AAC prevents Bowman from commercial development

“The School Art Exhibition”, now Arts Alive and Well in the Schools, begins at Bowman

AAC assists in Canada’s Centennial celebrations

AAC Summer Musicals begin

Yates Theatre opens after much controversy

AAC begins to offer art rental program

An “Arts Branch” is created as part of the Cultural

An “Arts Branch” is created as part of the Cultural Development Division of AB Culture & Multiculturalism


AAC moves into Bowman building, officially opens Bowman Arts Centre

Mrs. W.A. Nelson formed women’s committee of AAC

Bowman building purchased by City for use as a museum

AAC lobbies for an Arts & Culture Centre in Lethbridge

AAC forms with 16 member organizations






















1958 - 1965

o f t h e Allied Ar ts



The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards to be held in Lethbridge, coordinated by AAC

Yates renewal & renovation begins

Lethbridge’s Community Arts Centre moves from the Bowman Arts Centre to the newly constructed Casa; the second facility to be completed in the Arts:Rebuilding plan. AAC to continue management

Bowman Building turns 100

AAC coordinates cultural component of Alberta Summer Games in Lethbridge

City’s Public Art Policy approved

ArtWalk expands into Lethbridge Arts Days

SAAG is the first facility in the Arts Re:Building plan to be completed

Performing Arts Theatre Committee formed, releases study & plan

First public art piece under City public art program, A Departure, is installed

An “Arts Branch” is created as part of the Cultural AAC coordinates In theofShadow of the Bridge Festival Development Division AB Culture & Multiculturalism

AAC celebrates 50 years; Carl Granzow creates Public Art Sculpture to commemorate

City approves 4 arts capital projects in 10 year plan

AAC establishes facilities steering committee to work with City to assess arts facilities

Inaugural Mayor’s Luncheon for Business and the Arts

Joan Waterfield Memorial Award established

“Arts arts Branch” is created as part the Cultural City develops a Civic ArtsAn Policy, becomes a priority in of city planning Development Division of AB Culture & Multiculturalism

AAC takes part in Arts & Culture Search Conference to develop a Civic Arts Policy

Joan Waterfield Gallery established at Yates

AAC launches Summer Solstice Festival

ArtWalk re-starts after an absence

First AAC website launched

First ArtWalk takes place Development Division of AB Culture & Multiculturalism













2009 - 2010











Co uncil



AB: HOW DID YOU GET S TARTED IN THE FILM INDUS TRY D O : My first job in the film industry was as a Location Production Assistant on a film that was shooting in Waterton Lakes National Park back in 1997. It was a week’s worth of work over the Reading Week break in February and I loved it. It was an entry level position on the production. I couldn’t have imagined it at the time, but that experience planted a seed that has grown into a passion for the craft. I look back now and wonder what I’d be doing had a not taken that opportunity when it came. It got me interested in the industry and shortly thereafter I started taking classes and making short films as part of my university studies and working on film productions whenever I could. I developed a lot of my skills through working on my own short films and other students’ projects, doing some commercials and promotional videos but ultimately decided my interests and strengths were more suited to making narrative features and so I set out to do that. I pursued graduate studies in directing and producing and completed my first feature film The Phoenix Agenda in 2006. Common Chord is the second feature film I’ve directed. A B : H OW D I D YO U G E T I N VO LV E D I N C O M M O N C H O R D ? D O : My co-producer George Gallant and I first started talking about the film after the 2007 Alberta Film and Television Awards. I had won the Best Director Award for my work on The Phoenix Agenda that evening. George and I were seated at the same table and got to talking about the projects that we were working on and in the weeks following he pitched me the idea of directing this project he was involved with. I had just come off my film where I had written, directed and produced. I was exhausted and really not interested in getting into another large project so quickly after finishing my previous one but I thought the story was



There’s a lot of activity right now and a creative energy that is percolating just under the surface so I feel great about the filmmaking community, how much it has developed and evolved. compelling and timely. I asked him to contact me when he had a script ready to go and that I’d be interested then. Through the next few years George worked to develop the script with his writer, Trevor Carroll, and then in late 2009 they kind of came up against a wall in terms of how far they could take the development of the script. Somewhat reluctantly, I came on as the principal screenwriter and began honing the things that were working really well in the story. I took the script in a bit of a different direction with my drafts and rewrites, and we all worked together to get the script into a place where we could make it into a film. After that I began working with George as a partner to produce and direct the film. A B : W H AT A R E T H E S T E P S I N VO LV E D I N PRODUCING A FILM LIKE THIS? D O : With the risk of glossing over many, many of the facets of the production process, the phases basically consist of pre-production, production, and post-production exhibition or distribution. In Preproduction on this project a lot of time and effort was spent writing and developing the script and when I came on to the project we worked to turn the script into a production-ready plan. We began casting, scouting and securing locations, securing crew, coordinating with appropriate officials and representatives depending on the needs of the production. And the fundraising, I can’t forget the fundraising. Costs have come down considerably which enables more and more low and micro-budget projects like ours to go into production but every dollar we could find to put toward the project was needed. We spent a considerable amount of time trying to round up the financial resources necessary for this project. We started shooting the film in May 2012 and wrapped in late June. This production phase provided a lot of hands-on experience for students and opportunities for local actors, artists, and craftspeople to use their skills on a film. Shooting a film can be a massively difficult undertaking and it is an incredible intense experience. During this phase, all of the work we put into pre-production is executed. Everything is happening at once and can be a bit chaotic at times. But if you’ve put the work into preproduction and you’re really prepared, shooting the film can really be an enjoyable time. Working with my cast and crew on Common Chord was amazing. Making any film takes perseverance, a certain tenacity to get all of the way through the schedule and we had a great group of talent, dedicated people all working to make this film the best it could be. Once we completed production, the post-production phase took approximately 10 months to complete, editing the picture, the overall crafting of the sound, completing the score, securing the music, finishing

the sound mix, creating credits and titles, finishing the colour correction and grading, and, ultimately, delivering a final version of the film ready for an audience. The last step is of course the one that everyone is most familiar with, actually screening the project for an audience. For this film we’ve had a very cohesive film festival strategy that has been very successful at introducing the film to the festival audiences and eventually the success of those screening may lead to opportunities for the commercial distribution of the film. A B : W H E R E WA S C O M M O N C H O R D F I L M E D ? D O : The film was shot in and around Lethbridge with locations such as Henderson Lake, the Christ Trinity Lutheran church and a number of storefronts and streets in the downtown and on the North side. Also some interior and exterior hospital scenes were completed in Raymond and some exterior scenes were filmed in both Magrath and Warner. AB: WHERE IS COMMON CHORD BEING SCREENED? D O : The film had its World Premiere at the Calgary International Film Festival in September 2013 and has been an official selection at seven national and international film festivals since then including the Kingdomwood Christian Film Festival, Hamilton Film Festival, Alexandria Film Festival, Flathead Lake International Cinemafest, LDS Film Festival, and the Picture This... Film Festival. The film was screened at a Red Carpet Fundraising Gala in Lethbridge on December 5, 2013 in support of the Family Centre and we’re working hard to make arrangements to screen the film locally in a limited release in early 2014. A complete list of the recent and current screening information is available on the film’s official website AB: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE FUTURE OF FILM IN LETHBRIDGE? D O : The production environment has become much more enticing, even in the 2 years or so since we were in pre-production on Common Chord. Many of the people involved in the film have used that network we established and have been working on their own projects, and finding crew positions on large studio productions that have shot here in Southern Alberta. I am seeing really incredibly talented students coming through my classes at the University of Lethbridge as well. There’s a lot of activity right now and a creative energy that is percolating just under the surface so I feel great about the filmmaking community, how much it has developed and evolved. I’m really happy that I’ve been able to be involved in that in some way. There’s enormous potential and I’m looking forward to shooting more of my own films here in the future. AB




Snapshots of the arts in Lethbridge Tag your arts photos on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

music is good for your brain

The AAC set up a photo booth at Love & Records this past fall. We asked you...

art speaks when we can’t




Why are the




i like drawing

they make me smile

they help me express myself



The Evolution of Exia By Meg Braem

Meg Braem is a Calgary-based playwright. Her plays have won numerous awards including The Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama, The Alberta Playwriting Competition, The Playwrights Guild of Canada University Competition and a Victoria Critic’s Choice Award. She is a current member of the Citadel Theatre’s Playwriting Forum as well as an instructor in the Department of Theatre and Dramatic Arts at the University of Lethbridge. Recently, Meg was part of the Banff Playwrights Colony and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s Playwright Retreat. Her play, Blood: A Scientific Romance (published by Playwrights Canada Press) was nominated for the 2013 Governor’s General Literary Award in Drama.

Murder begetting murder, revenge breeding revenge.



I was first introduced to Ancient Greek tragedy in my Theatre History class at the University of Victoria. I was eighteen years old, had my heart set on being a professional actor and didn’t see the benefit old texts I felt I would never be a part of. The only thing that stuck with me that first semester was the rumor that during a performance of The Eumenides, the last installment of Aechyslus’ tragic trilogy The Oresteia, the characters of the furies were said to be so terrifying that they caused the miscarriage of a pregnant woman sitting in the audience. The extremity of this review both repulsed and impressed me.


it all boils down to that one audience

member feeling understood in her struggle... that is evolutionary progress.

mother...and the beat goes on. Murder begetting murder, revenge breeding revenge. We have to remember that these blood feuds were not seen as petty malice but as a kind of psychic law that had to be repaid. In the end of The Oresteia, the goddess Athena comes down and decides that enough is

During the final year of my BFA, the Greek tragedy Electra

enough, inventing democracy to break this cycle of vengeful violence. But

was to be part of the season. As most young actors, I

Electra is before that, Electra is in the world where a wrong must be righted...

auditioned with a deep desire to play the title role. Alas, I

even if through another wrong.

was cast as Electra’s sister, Chrysothemis, a character who I believed upon first read to be a fence-sitting whelp. Because

Chrysothemis doesn’t side with Clytemnestra or Electra but feels the pain of

of the University setting in which we were producing the

both. She understands each side, both are right, both are wrong...but both are

play, we had what I now know to be a luxuriously long

right. It is this struggle that I found so fascinating and later realized is the great

rehearsal period. Our first week of rehearsals was spent on

draw of the tragic form. I thought about that production of Electra for years. I

our feet, without text, exploring our character. In acting we

started reading and somehow started to think of revenge as cannibalization:

are taught to champion our character. Through rehearsals,

eating one’s future, eating one’s loved ones and eating one’s self. I wanted

I finally began to understand this. I felt an ownership of

to write about Chrysothemis. While chatting about the idea, someone joked

Chrysothemis that I had never felt before in a role. In the

about what it must have been like to sit around the dinner table with the most

play, Electra’s mother Clytemnestra has murdered her

volatile family in history and with this, the idea for Exia was cemented.

husband, Agamemnon. This is a horrific act of violence but not without motivation. You see, Agamemnon murdered (or

Exia was just an idea when I first introduced it to the New Canadian Plays in

rather sacrificed) their first child, Iphigenia, slitting her throat

Development class at the university of Lethbridge. Lucky for me, the class and

in sacrifice to bring the winds needed to sail to the Trojan

its instructor Gail Hanrahan jumped right in. What followed was three months

War. Clytemnestra clings to the grief of losing Iphigenia

of exploration using acting techniques to research the characters in the play.

for the ten-year duration of the war before murdering

Some of the material students came up with was amazing: different angles

Agamemnon upon his return. Electra is now engulfed in her

and outrages that I had never thought about. This intuitive work went hand

own desire to avenge her father’s death by murdering her

in hand with a close eye on structure and clarity. I may have written Exia but we created it together. The play’s next step was production. The rehearsal process was an evolution in itself: with new actors and new aspects for Director Gail Hanrahan to think about. Seeing the play on opening night was seeing the ideas and voices of a great many artists who were either directly or indirectly involved in its creation. While watching, I realized that the evolution of Exia is also my own evolution: from being a shortsighted kid actor, to a playwright with a deep love for Greek Tragedy. The goal in this work is to make Greek Tragedy accessible to people like me, who tend to think it outdated. During the run, I was visited by an audience member who wanted me to know how much the play represented her own life. Her father had recently passed away and she felt caught between her sister and mother. After she left my office I thought, all those years of work, all those people involved, if it all boils down to that one audience member feeling understood in her struggle...that is evolutionary progress. ARTSBRIDGE


In Memoriam:

Bob Croskery 1926 - 2013 Robert Croskery was born and raised on a farm in Tievenadarragh, Northern Ireland. He came to Lethbridge in 1953 when he entered the banking profession. In 1966 he moved to Toronto with his wife Joan (Rylands) and young daughters. During his twenty-year stay in Toronto, his love of the arts world developed further and he spent weekends and summer vacations exploring and painting the outdoors in Ontario, Alberta and Ireland. Robert spent several summers in Ireland studying landscape painting. In 1989 he was presented with the artistic achievement award by the Mourne School of Painting. Robert and his wife Joan have been actively involved in the Lethbridge arts community since returning to live in Joan’s family home in Lethbridge.

Peter Green 1929 - 2013

Following his retirement from the Bank of Montreal in 1984, Robert taught watercolour landscape painting at Lethbridge College for seventeen years. Robert donated many of his paintings to charity auctions in Lethbridge, and actively encouraged other artists and business owners to join him in his efforts to raise funds, particularly in support of the University of Lethbridge Singers’“Celebration of Art and Song” for over ten years.

Peter was born in Sheffield, England and immigrated to Canada in 1955 with his wife, Olive, settling in the Toronto area,

“From the first lesson, I was captivated. He was a generous, kind teacher who

relocating to Lethbridge in 1978. Soon after, Peter became

never hesitated to encourage and compliment the students on their beginning

involved in the local arts community. Peter worked for Gilbey’s/

attempts. He was the sole reason I never missed a class and the only reason I

Palliser Distillery for 33 years, first in Toronto and then as Vice

continue to paint today.” -Dianne Kubik

President of Production in Lethbridge until his retirement in 1989. Peter’s interests outside of work revolved around his

“Bob’s enthusiasm for watercolour painting was infectious; there was not one

family and his passion for photography. Family time was spent

student ever that did not appreciate this. He was known for his phrase: “It’s better

at the cottage he built and camping across the country, Peter

than you think!” Then he would kindly tell you how to fix it. He gave so generously

taking photographs and Olive painting pictures.

both of his time, expertise and even art supplies. In reflection, I feel so blessed to have had the privilege to be in Bob’s art group and so thankful that we still paint

Peter served as a board member on numerous arts, community

together.” – Julie Cuthbertson

and industry organizations including the Allied Arts Council, the Alberta Foundation for the Performing Arts, the Banff

Robert was an avid outdoorsman who found an abundance of inspiration for

Centre, and was past President of the Toronto Focal Forum.

his artistic creativity in the high country of the Rocky Mountains. He was a

Peter was a member of the Royal Photographic Society of Great

great admirer of John Muir (1838-1914) who wrote:

Britain. His accomplished photographs were exhibited widely including galleries in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, and Toronto.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into

Most recently, the exhibition Ruins was at the Medicine Hat

you as sunshine into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and

Cultural Centre in 2006.

the Storms their energy, while cares will drop off like Autumn Leaves.”

Peter was a proud patron of the arts and could often be seen enjoying gallery openings, musical performances and theatrical events. The Greens even opened their home to the public for two SAAG events (Lethbridge Modern and House Tours & Tea) while their artwork, generously donated to the Art Auction for many years, is cherished in homes throughout the city.



To recognize a contributing member of the AAC ffamily who has passed on, contact us at


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Annual General Meeting Monday, March 24, 2014 7 pm • Casa (230 8 Street South)

Presentation of annual financial statements Presentation of annual reports Appointment of auditors • Election of Directors

AGM Reception to follow.

Please RSVP your attendance to by March 17, 2014


Allied Artist Associate Individual Friend Family Friend Business/Corporate Friend

September 2013 - January 2014

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calendar of events March march

Ammena Dance Company An Explosion of World Dance and Music March 1, 7pm Yates Memorial Centre Casa Gallery Film Series Mark Lombardi: Death Defying Acts of Art and Conspiracy March 26, 7pm Painting and Collage Rick Gillis March 1- April 19 Collage and Sculpture Marie Gomez March 1 – April 19 Empress Theatre Fort Macleod Justice Film Festival 2014 March 14 & 15 The Arrogant Worms – LIVE! March 20, 7:30pm Geomatic Attic Del Barber March 2, 8pm Harry Manx March 10, 8pm Southminster United Church “Ray & Aretha” Tribute Show March 14 & 15, 8pm Kiwanis Music Festival March 3- April 12 Various Locations Lethbridge Folk Club Back Porch Swing March 15, 8pm Lethbridge Moose Lodge Lethbridge International Film Festival March 17 -22, 7pm & March 22, 2pm Lethbridge Public Library Theatre Lethbridge Photo Club Photofusion March 4 & 5, 7pm Casa Community Room Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra Master Series V March 17, 8pm Southminster United Church New West Theatre Harvest by Ken Cameron February 27 – March 8, 8pm March 1, 6, & 8, 1pm & 8pm Sterndale Bennett Theatre Southern Alberta Art Gallery Happy Hour March 7, 5-7pm



Trianon Gallery “Hobby Shop”, Arianna Richardson February 15 – March 31 Trianon Gallery

University of Lethbridge Art Gallery Selected Works from the Recent Jim Coutts Gift February 13 – March 20 Helen Christou Gallery Annual Curated Student Exhibition March 14 – April 10 Main Gallery The 1970s March 27 – May 1 Helen Christou Gallery University of Lethbridge Faculty of Fine Arts Fast Girls by Diana Amsterdam February 27-March 1, 8pm March 1, 2pm David Spinks Theatre Music at Noon March 4,11,18,25, 12:15pm University Recital Hall In Extensio: Wings, Spaces and Cadenzas March 8, 8pm University Recital Hall LAMPS14 Festival March 21 - 22, 7pm Casa The Country Wife by William Wycherly March 18 – 22, 8pm University Theatre New Media Film Series “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” March 27, 7pm Lethbridge Public Library

Hatrix Theatre Spamalot April 15 – April 20, 8pm April 19 & April 20, 2pm Yates Theatre

Lethbridge Community Silver Band “Greatest Hits” April 26, 7:30pm Canadian Western Bank Lounge, Enmax Centre Lethbridge Folk Club Michael Jerome Browne April 12, 8pm Moose Lodge McGill Music and Arts School Spring Concert April 12 University of Lethbridge Art Gallery Annual Curated Student Exhibition March 14 – April 10 Main Gallery The 1970s March 27 – May 1 Helen Christou Gallery University of Lethbridge Faculty of Fine Arts Music at Noon April 1 Recital Hall Rashomon (New Media Series) April 2, 8, 15 7pm Lethbridge Public Library Theatre LARD (New Media Exhibition) April 4 – April 9 U of L Penny Building U of L Jazz Ensemble Concert April 4, 8 pm University Theatre

Global Drums March 28 & 29, 8pm University Theatre

Music of the Spheres: U of L Singers and Women’s Chorus April 5, 8pm Southminster United Church

April april

New Media Advanced Studio Exhibition April 11 – April 18 U of L Penny Building

Casa Gallery Film Series KOOP: The Art of Wanda Koop April 23, 7pm. Photography Lethbridge Photo club April 26 – June 14 Drawing Debra Tisdale April 26 – June 14 Empress Theatre Connie Kaldor April 3 & 4, 7:30pm

Open Forms and Improvisations April 14, 8pm Location TBA U of L Wind Orchestra April 15, 8pm University Theatre Solaris (New Media Film Series) April 16, 7pm Lethbridge Public Library Vox Musica Folk Songs & Spirituals April 6, 3pm Southminster United Church



Casa Gallery Film Series: Richard Long: Stones & Flies + theEye: Hamish Fulton May 28, 7pm Empress Theatre David Francey Concert May 1 & 2, 7:30pm Lethbridge Community Gold Band “Shades of Blue” Featuring pianist Glen Montgomery May 10, 7:30pm Southminster United Church Lethbridge Folk Club Ben Sures May 24, 8pm Moose Lodge Lethbridge Irish Dance Association Concert Performance May 25, 4pm Yates Memorial Theatre Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series IV May 2, 8pm Southminster United Church Master Series VI May 5, 8pm Southminster United Church South Country Fair Association Song writing Competition Event May 3 Slice Bar & Grill Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club Vesna May 3, 7pm University Theatre Southern Alberta Art Gallery Arts Alive & Well in the Schools May 4 – June 15 University of Lethbridge Conservatory of Music Hansel & Gretel May 13 – 10am & 12pm May 14 – 10am, 12pm, & 2pm Southminster United Church University of Lethbridge Art Gallery Dimension May 8 – June 19 Main Gallery A Canadian Abroad: Photographs by Roloff Beny May 16 – September 4 Helen Christou Gallery

June june

July july

August august

Casa Gallery Film Series Makota Aida: Cynic in the Playground June 27, 7pm

Casa Gallery Abstract Painting Bev Mazurick June 28 – August 30

Casa Abstract Painting Bev Mazurick June 28 – August 30

Abstract Drawing Amber-Jane Grove June 28 – August 30

Abstract Drawing Amber-Jane Grove June 28 – August 30

Lethbridge Pride Fest July 2-5 Various locations

Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare August 1, 2, 8 – 7pm Galt Gardens Pergola

Abstract Painting Bev Mazurick June 28 – August 30 Abstract Drawing Amber-Jane Grove June 28 – August 30 Lethbridge Community Silver & Gold Bands “Evening at the Pops” June 7, 7:30pm College Drive Community Church

Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare July 3, 4, 10, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31 – 7pm Galt Gardens Pergola

Lethbridge Jazz Society Lethbridge Jazz Festival June 8 – 14 Various Locations

South Country Fair Association South Country Fair #28 July 18 - 20 Fish & Game Park – Fort Macleod

Southern Alberta Art Gallery Arts Alive & Well in the Schools May 4 – June 15

Southern Alberta Art Gallery House Tours & Tea July 26

Exhibition Opening June 27 - September 7

University of Lethbridge Art Gallery A Canadian Abroad: Photographs by Roloff Beny May 16 – September 4 Helen Christou Gallery

University of Lethbridge Art Gallery Dimension May 8 – June 19 Main Gallery A Canadian Abroad: Photographs by Roloff Beny May 16 – September 4 Helen Christou Gallery

Works in Process: MacKay & McKay June 26 – September 5 Main Gallery

Southern Alberta Art Gallery Art Auction September 13 – 7pm University of Lethbridge Art Gallery Douglas Walker: Other Worlds September 11 – October 31 Main Gallery

*Please note: changes to events may occur, check the AAC website for the most current information: www.

University of Lethbridge Art Gallery A Canadian Abroad: Photographs by Roloff Beny May 16 – September 4 Helen Christou Gallery Works in Process: MacKay & McKay June 26 – September 5 Main Gallery September september Allied Arts Council Lethbridge Arts Days 2014 September 21-28 Downtown Lethbridge Casa Gallery Drawing and Installation Maria Madacky and Troy Nickle September 6 – October 25 CKXU Radio Society Love & Records September 13 Galt Gardens

Works in Process: MacKay & McKay June 26 – September 5 Main Gallery

Lethbridge Public Library Word on the Street Festival September 21 Main Library

Contact information for each event/organization: Allied Arts Council

Lethbridge Folk Club

McGill Music and Arts School

Ammena Dance

Lethbridge International Film Festival 404.328.2854

New West Theatre


Lethbridge Irish Dance Association

South Country Fair Association


Lethbridge Jazz Society

Southern Alberta Art Gallery

Empress Theatre

Lethbridge Photo Club

Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club

The Geomatic Attic

Lethbridge Public Library

U of L Art Gallery

Hatrix Theatre

Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society

U of L Conservatory of Music

Kiwanis Club of Lethbridge Lethbridge Community Band Society

Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra

U of L Faculty of Fine Arts Vox Musica

On the cover: Photo by Jonathan Blackwood

Artsbridge Spring/Summer 2014  

Advancing & Enhancing the arts in Lethbridge

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