ARTS BRIDGE A PUBLICATION OF THE ALLIED ARTS COUNCIL OF LETHBRIDGE (AAC)
Advancing the Arts in Lethbridge
Saturday 05 September 2009 Indian Battle Park
An AAC Festival Presentation
318 . 7 Street South Lethbridge, AB T1J 2G2 T: 403.320.0555 F: 403.320.2450 email@example.com www.artslethbridge.org Administration
Suzanne Lint Executive Director Teresa Ternes Special Events
As kids it seemed we would never reach the end because it was on the other side that we knew summer’s magic would be upon us. I remember those moments very clearly, even
Jana MacKenzie Office Services & Finance
Programming Claire McNab Education Services & Facility Services Darcy Logan Gallery Services
Board of Directors PRESIDENT Barb Cunningham VICE PRESIDENT Ron Brown TREASURER Mike Thiel SECRETARY Elizabeth Songer DIRECTORS Christopher Babits
Growing up my family summered near Kelowna. For young children, it was our Eden. In every direction laid an adventure, the next more poignant than the last. When it came to finding those moments, my sister and brothers and I were not the least bit skiddish. But our favorite moment every summer was when we entered Kelowna, crossing over the suspension bridge.
ARTSBRIDGE ISSUE 4 March 2009 Publisher The Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge Managing Editor Laura Kenwood Design & Production Corinne Thiessen Hepher Bridge Celebration Logo Design Maya Ichikawa Cover Image courtesy of Grade 5 and 6 students (2005) St. Patrick Fine Arts Elementary, Derek Lidstone (Teacher) Printer University of Lethbridge Print Services Distributors The Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge The Lethbridge Herald City of Lethbridge, Community Services For additional copies contact the AAC office No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher.
today. This year marks the centenary of our own bridge - that massive steel trestle, the High Level Bridge. The AAC and Allied Members are knee-deep in plans that will see diversity in arts activities through the year each paying an homage to our bridge and bridging themes. Our first article is written by former AAC board member John Fisher, a retired engineer who maintains an inexhaustible arts practice. John mixes history and aesthetics in his piece titled “A Centenary Span Like No Other”. In her piece “Building Bridges: A Multiplicity of Meaning”, Katherine Wasiak speaks with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra conductor Glenn Klassen about the LSO 2008/2009 season. For its season finale on 04 May 2009, the LSO will present an evening of works chosen that resonant the notion of bridges. Carolla Christie is a practising visual artist with an eye for playing bridge. She brings to ArtsBridge 4 a wrap-up of the annual Canadian Bridge Federation Tournament in her piece titled “Bridge by Bridge Tournament”. Amy Dodic writes about a play she has written about Han the Hungarian and his adventures. Margaret Nelson is remembered in “Profiles” written by Teresa Ternes who, although is the AAC Special Manager, knew Margaret while working with the Symphony. A second AAC contribution titled “Bridging the Gap” discusses our cities arts facilities and the myriad inroads being undertaken by the AAC, its membership and the City of Lethbridge for improvement. Our unified efforts are destined to deliver the arts to Lethbridge’s arts supporters in new and improved facilities in the coming months and years.
About the Cover
And finally, the AAC is pleased to be part of the team that is choosing Lethbridge’s newest piece of public art, dedicated to the Bridge’s 100th anniversary, that will be unveiled later this year. The process has seen submissions received from artists across Canada and presently, the short-list has been chosen with maquettes arriving. A complete review of this exciting news will be featured in ArtsBridge Issue 5. I am struck by the numerous metaphors of what bridges are, of what they mean to us. Is it to naive sounding to say that bridges provide passages? Quite possibly but it is those connections that move us. Born of need or convenience and built by ingenuity and resolution, bridges link distinct spaces to form natural unions. The AAC and its membership is spanning your community to bring you the arts. We await your arrival.
Suzanne Lint Executive Director
Building the Bridge: A collaborative mural for High Level Bridge centennial celebrations In 2005, teacher Derek Lidstone led grade 5 and 6 students from St. Patrick Fine Arts Elementary on the challenge of enlarging an archival photo from the Galt Museum of the construction of the CPR High Level Bridge. The image was sectioned and each student was given a segment to enlarge by hand to create a recomposed piece that measures 216 cm high by 419 cm wide (7’- 1” by 13’– 9”).
a span like no other
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Pacific High Level railway bridge across the Oldman River at Lethbridge. and connecting span and rails. Thus the bridge construction proceeded from east to west. An award winning accurate HO model of the traveling erecter was built by Bob Gardner, Professional Engineer retired from the Lethbridge Iron Works. Bob donated this model to the Galt Museum.
Images Courtesy of Galt Museum and Archives.
Adjacent to the east end of the bridge a stone marker holds a bronze plate which reads:
THE VALLEY FLOOR THIS BRIDGE OVER WHICH RUNS THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY THROUGH THE CROWS NEST PASS SPANS THE VALLEY IN ONE MILE AND FORTY SEVEN FEET. COMPLETED IN 1909 IT IS THE LONGEST HIGHEST BRIDGE OF ITS TYPE IN THE WORLD.
Completion of the bridge in 1909 resulted in a significant engineering accomplishment that provides a practical and artistic solution to extending rail service west to Fort MacLeod and on to the Crowsnest Pass. Artists and photographers
are attracted to the bridge and their impressions may be found in many Lethbridge business establishments. With this year’s centennial celebrations new artistic images are sure to appear. A charter to build a rail line west from Medicine Hat through Lethbridge to the Crowsnest Pass was issued to the North West Coal & Navigation Co. in the late 1800’s. Coal was carried from Lethbridge to Medicine Hat to supply the CPR’s steam locomotives. A major barrier to extending the line further west was the Belly River [now the Oldman]. The solution was to construct a rail line south through the deep Coulees, down into the river bottom and cross the St. Mary River before it entered the Belly. The old abandoned rail bed may still be seen from the south end of University Drive looking south across the river valley. Traffic on this section of line was slow, high maintenance of the wooden structures and step grade led to the need for a better crossing. Route surveys, engineering studies and design, preceeded the start of foundation work in the spring of 1908. The flooding of the Oldman River in June damaged some of the 132 concrete piers. In June the first steel girders and rails were erected on the east side of the river by the Canadian Bridge Company. Upon this steel, a traveling erection crane was built. The crane’s role was to travel along each newly constructed section and to reach out and place the next tower
The Canadian Pacific High Level railway bridge 100th anniversary marks the continued operation of this significant national structure. John Fisher
building bridges and puppets, too things had begun to change. Morality was suddenly an issue. Religion became a sticking point. Commerce, transportation, taxation....all the things that are important today were also discussed 100 years ago. The type of puppets that I am building was determined by the nature of the play and the nature of the play was derived from my research. It is a fairly serious play, so funny mouth puppets would not suit. The rod puppets will be three feet tall upon completion. They will wear period costume (the widow in black, of course). The paperboy, Billy, has a dog; a necessary invention to provide some physical activity to a quiet show.
I was on the AAC Board of Directors when it was decided to plan a ‘birthday for the bridge’ festival in 2009.
I was very enthusiastic about it because I love our bridge and I think it deserves to be celebrated.
I thought that, as a personal project, I might create a children’s book with the theme of ‘building bridges’. My Chinese character, Han, was going to arrive from the west, after a harrowing journey and through a series of wise and brave deeds, make friends with men from different backgrounds. When I began my research for the project, however, I found that no Chinese men had worked on the bridge. Plus, the bridge was not built from the west but from the east.
I was fortunate to meet David Gabert while at Fort Whoop-Up Interpretive Centre doing research. He is a drama graduate who just happens to have a group willing to try anything. David and ‘Drama Nutz’ will do the performance of the production, which will likely be multiple times during the festival with the possibility of a few publicity performances prior to the festival in September. I began the actual work for this in September 2008, so it will have taken a full year to bring to completion. Fortunately, I enjoy the work of researching, writing, carpentry, sculpting, painting and costume and set design. I hope that the play will provide a glimpse of ourhistoricrootsandalsodemonstratetheimportance of the building of the bridge.
I did some professional puppeteer work after graduation. I enjoyed the production end of the job but have never been a big performer, so I have not done any since. But it struck me that the festival would be a good occasion for a puppet show. It was then when my book became a play. Han became Hungarian. The hero’s hardships have to do with a tough Scottish widow and the prejudices of a protestant city experiencing “Lethbridge was not always the growing pains. sleepy little university town that it is today: she’s had a rough past...” Lethbridge itself is a main character in the play. Many of our modern tendencies as a community can be traced right back to our roots. Lethbridge was not always the sleepy little university town that it is today: she’s had a rough past with beginnings as an illegal whiskey trading fort, then as a frontier town, populated with strong men wanting to get rich quickly. In 1909, when the bridge was completed, the number of women almost equaled the number of men, and
A Multiplicity of Meaning The concept of building bridges has significance on numerous levels. With that in
the roster with 50 to 60 performing on any one concert. The orchestra’s core string players also belong to a quartet called Musaeus, which, among other things, take classical music into the schools – building bridges to future audience members. Making connections with young artists also occurs through the bi-annual Young Artist Competition, which showcases southern Alberta’s talented young performers. The 2009 winner of the competition performs with the orchestra the following season.
mind, the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra (LSO) used the theme for its 2008-2009 season. “Brainstorming with members of the artistic and marketing committees brought out numerous ways in which Building Bridges would provide a fitting theme,” says Glenn Klassen, who has conducted the LSO for the past six years. Most obviously, the theme is a nod to the centennial of Lethbridge’s High Level Bridge. The anniversary is celebrated musically in The symphony has also built strong bridges with numerous the final Master Series concert entitled “Bridge to Fine” on May local organizations including the University of Lethbridge. “We 4. “The orchestra will perform “The Little Train of the Brazilian provide an ensemble where string majors can perform Countryman” by “There are three aspects to evin an orchestral setting,” says Klassen. “It provides a Villa-Lobos and “Ol’ valuable addition to their educational experiences.” Man River by Kern ery program,” [Klassen] explains. The LSO and U of L have recently co-established a in honour of the anniversary,” says “What the musicians want to play, string scholarship, which will be presented for the first time in 2009-2010. Klassen, hinting that what audiences want to hear and, the program may also Looking ahead, Klassen sees bridges to future include Simon and finally, what the director wants to endeavors now starting to take shape. “We have a Garfunkel’s “Bridge fantastic proactive board of directors,” he says. “Just Over Troubled Water.” conduct.” like those who built our High Level Bridge, they are Selecting repertoire is not backing away from challenges.” Klassen’s responsibility and one he takes seriously. “There are three aspects to every program,” he explains. “What the musicians want to play, what audiences want to hear and, finally, what the director wants to conduct. Getting that balance right is the secret to creating a successful season.” This year, some of the repertoire bridges the gap between symphonic music and more popular styles such as rock and country music. “We opened the season with Hoe Down, Show Down last August as part of Whoop-up Days,” he says. “We found the concert built all kinds of bridges for patrons of both the exhibition and orchestra. We had people attend the concert who had never been to the exhibition and, conversely, exhibition goers who had never before heard the symphony. It worked great and we look forward to doing it again next year.” The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra is 48years-old. “We’re a community orchestra and could not have survived without building bridges within the community,” he says. “Our board members come from all walks of life bringing their strong, varied talents and willingness to support the orchestra.” There are also about 80 musicians on
Katherine Wasiak is a freelance writer living in Lethbridge
Bridging the Gap: Arts Early in 2006, the AAC and the larger arts community participated in a City of Lethbridge process to assess the capacity and functionality of the three civic arts facilities in the city. Included in the assessment were the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, the Bowman Arts Centre and the Yates Memorial Centre. The results of the assessments were not a surprise to the users of the facilities. All three buildings were found to be lacking in both capacity and functionality. As a result of the assessments the City administration entered a process, in collaboration with the arts community, to provide recommendations for arts facility improvements to City Council when they developed their next Ten Year Capital Plan in 2007. In March 2007, the Arts Re:Building Together Campaign was developed to ensure addressing the shortcomings of these facilities was a priority in the City of Lethbridge 2008 – 2017 Capital Plan. The AAC Facilities Committee implemented a substantial, respectful lobbying campaign to build political support for improving arts facilities. The AAC also dedicated $50,000 of its facility reserve as seed money for the Arts Re:Building Campaign. The lobbying efforts were successful. The success was the direct result of the arts community coming together to speak with one voice on a subject of mutual concern. The City of Lethbridge 2008-2017 Capital Plan included funding for the following facility enhancements: • SAAG: renovation and expansion (2.9 million; 2008 – 2010) • Community Arts Centre (Bowman Arts Centre): expansion (9.2 million; 2008 -2011) • New performing Arts Centre (Yates Memorial Centre): func tional planning (.5 million; 2010) Additionally, approval was given to a policy allocating 1% of Community Services capital project budgets to the acquisition of public art. Update Although progress appears to be slow significant strides in realizing arts facilities improvements have been made over the last eighteen months. The design work on the SAAG project is complete and the tender for construction will occur early in 2009. A functional program plan for the Community Arts Centre was developed in collaboration with the arts community and a process is underway to evaluate potential sites based on program requirements. It is anticipated that a site will be identified in early 2009 and the project will enter the design phase in the fall of 2009. Construction will commence in 2010 with an anticipated completion in 2011. The planning process for the Community Arts Centre indicated the advisability of a parallel planning process for the New Performing Arts Centre. Planning funds to develop a functional program plan for a performing arts centre will be accessed in 2009 and a Request for Proposals (RFP) for facilitating the process will be issued. The City of Lethbridge has established a Public Art Steering Committee which has been meeting to develop a master plan for public art acquisition as well as to develop required policies and procedures.
Although the City of Lethbridge has committed significant dollars to arts facility improvement, there is clearly a requirement for a capital campaign to raise funds to support the projects. The City of Lethbridge has hosted a number of administrative meetings with professional fund raisers to begin development of a strategy for a significant capital campaign. Framing such a campaign has presented challenges because the project scope and funding requirements for the New Performing Arts Centre are not yet defined. This year the Arts Re:Building Together Campaign focus will shift to the development of a capital campaign. The strategy is to develop a comprehensive Case for Support that speaks to the value of arts in the community and the need for improving all of the arts facilities. SAAG will be developing a Case for Support specific to their institution and program. The campaign will focus on all of the projects but will highlight the SAAG project as the first step in achieving arts facility improvement. As the Community Arts Centre and Performing Arts Centre projects become more defined they will be added to the community presentations. The first step in the campaign will be awareness building within the larger community. AAC Strategies Lethbridge is fortunate to have a strong, diverse arts community and a rich, historical arts tradition. The AAC vision is “Lethbridge is enriched by a thriving arts community”; its mission “To provide leadership in advancing and enhancing the arts in Lethbridge”. The AAC Board of Directors has developed strategies to fulfill its mission and achieve the vision. Included in those strategies is the improvement of arts facilities. Another key strategy is advancing awareness of the intrinsic value of the arts beyond arts enthusiasts and into the larger community. Initiatives such as the Mayor’s Luncheon for Business and the Arts and Artwalk; the development of strong partnerships with Clear Sky Radio (The Lounge 94.1FM) and Global Lethbridge; publication of the ArtsBridge magazine and the Arts Directory; participation in the Economic Development Lethbridge project to create government awareness of Lethbridge; as well as AAC participation on community, civic and provincial committees are all designed to grow arts awareness and support in the greater public.
bridge by the bridge tournament The Canadian Bridge Federation Tournament is the annual Canadian competition sponsored by the national Bridge (playing) association. Commencing Monday 23 February through Sunday 01 March, Lethbridge hosted the annual event to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the High Level Bridge. Lethbridge’s Exhibition Park Grandstand was the official tournament site and featured 20 different events - in 36 different sessions - for bridge players at all levels from novice to expert. The proceeds from the tournament went to support Canadian representatives in international competitions. For those who are less familiar with the game of Bridge, these are a few notes: The Canadian Bridge Federation provides official sanction to Canadian tournaments; it registers internationally recognized player points and rankings; and it supports Canadian players in international events. When at play, individual players have the opportunity to earn “masterpoints” for winning games. For those who are less familiar with the game of Bridge, a masterpoint is counted towards player rankings.
prize. There was also two overall prizes, each awarded to the person with the most masterpoints. The novice with the highest points was awarded a deep-relief wood carving of the High Level Bridge.
“Each winner was presented with an original piece of art created by a local artist.” Non-bridge players were not forgotten. Special tournament tours in and around Lethbridge were offered each full day. Outside of the city the first was to the Remington Alberta Carriage Centre in Cardston followed by the Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump that featured a lunch of buffalo meat and bannock. The final two out-of-town excursions, made by special arrangement, included the RCMP Museum in Fort MacLeod followed by the Birds of Prey Centre in Coaldale which , for first-time visitors, was for a behind the scene look at the inhabitants. On Saturday February 23rd, the final tour took in City of Lethbridge museums and galleries: the Galt Museum, Fort Whoop-up, Helen Schuler Coulee Centre, Still Waters Gallery, and Southern Alberta Art Gallery. The organizers of this year’s event covered every aspect of planning ensuring a well-rounded event for participants and guests alike. Each evening meal were unique culinary celebrations with specially themed evening meals and entertainment. The dinner plans took on distinct palettes: the Coalminer’s evening was historic; the Hutterite Colony and Aboriginal evenings were regional; and the Italian Cafe and Japanese Karaoke evenings reminded everyone of the importance of Lethbridge’s ethnic diversity. Official Bridge merchandise was made available by the Canadian Bridge Supplies.
The Tournament organizers were very pleased to involve Lethbridge’s arts community which played a prominent hand with the competition. Each winner was presented with an original piece of art created by a local artist. Each person on each winning team and for each event received one of 60 framed photographs, each photographic composition being of the High Level Bridge. Each game’s winner choose their own
If you would like to learn more about 2009 Canadian Bridge Federation Tournament, please contact Tournament Chair, Bob Christie (T: 402-388-5011 E: firstname.lastname@example.org) More information is also available on the Tournament website: members.shaw. ca/cbfregional. Carolla Christie has a thriving arts practice in wood and stone sculpture.
The Mighty Bridge 09 May - 20 September 2009 In 2008, the construction of the Lethbridge Viaduct or, as local people call it, the High Level Bridge, was recognized as a significant National Historic Event by Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. In 2009, we celebrate the Centennial of the completion of the bridge across the Oldman River Valley. As the longest bridge of its kind in Canada, some say in the world, it has become an identifiable icon for this region. It is an image that has been and continues to be captured regularly by artists and photographers. The Galt Museum will host an exhibition that focuses on the construction, maintenance and use of the Lethbridge Viaduct, the economic benefits the railway contributes to in southern Alberta, and the bridge as an icon for the city of Lethbridge. The exhibit will include artifacts, maps, documents and photographs from the Galt museums and archival collections as well as artifacts from private collectors and other museums. Members of the Lethbridge Photo Club will be invited to exhibit their pictures of the bridge and artwork and memorabilia from the Galt Collection and the community will be featured.
Come celebrate with us! sponsored by APEGGA Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta
Saturday 09 May 2009 10:00am - 4:30pm come Celebrate Community Museum Day Free admission and activities throughout the day celebrating the new exhibit and the 100th Anniversary of the High Level Bridge.
The AAC expresses it ’s sincerest thanks to our Ar tStage Par tners Val and Flora Matteotti • Ferrari Westwood Babits Architects • Ward Bros. Construction • Advance Glass & Alumi-
num • Deltec Power & Control Systems • Ingrid Hess • Lethbridge Musical Theatre • Southern Alberta Art Gallery • 1st Choice Savings & Credit Union Ltd. •
Dennis & Penny Beaudin • Andrea Billington • Barrie & Marion Broughton
• Jim & Barb Cunningham • The DeBow Family • Rajko & Amy Dodic • Rod & Martha Draffin • C. Dunford Consulting Inc.• Economic Development Lethbridge • John & Barbara Fisher • Godlonton Realty Co.• Hanteck Engineering Ltd. • KPMG • Ike & Diana Lanier • Doug McCallum & Joanna Kubic • Doug & Suzanne Lint • George Lomas • Peggy Mezei & Robert Moffat • Perlich Real Estate Ltd. • Don Reeves • Minda Rogerson & Neriza Wallace (The Rogerson Team) • Dan Shapiro • Ray & Ingrid Speaker • YPM Chartered Accountants • Classique Dancewear • Coffee Express • Gary W. Fong Prof. Corp • Foster & Sons Jewellers • Naturistas • Nicholai • Sous Chef • Streetside Eatery • The Studio • Ultraviolet Eye Wear • The Slice Bar & Grill • Impact Sound Systems • Jeff Graham • Ethel Gammon • Rose Primachuk • Joyce Peters • Joy Jones • Ann Todd • Mary Insley • Sarah Christiansen • Barb Tate • Yates Staff • Ian Randell • Dr. Van Christou
now part of Lethbridge’s arts landscape
ArtStage Act II 2010
Profile: Margaret Nelson
(1924 - 2008)
It’s said that angels walk among us. Anyone who had the pleasure to
tra. Margaret’s dedication and loyalty to the LSO translated into know Margaret Nelson knew that to be true. Margaret 25+ years as an active was a quiet force of nature whose generosity and talvolunteer including a 3 ent impacted the Allied Arts Council and Lethbridge’s year term as president of the Symphony Board (1972 larger cultural community for over 50 years. - 1975) and, as the founder of the ‘String Instrument Program’(1974). Including the AAC, other members Margaret began her musical training at age 4. She to benefit from Margaret’s benevolence include the attended Bowman School and the Lethbridge Public Library, the LCI and in 1945, Margaret obtained “It seems that in every place Southern Alberta Art Gallery the Piano Performance Diploma where music was played, Margaret and the Galt Museum & Ar(LRSM) from London, England’s chives.* Royal School of Music. Margaret was on hand...” was a Registered Music Teacher and was active in the Provincial Registered Music Teachers and the CFMTA.*
It seems that in every place where music was played, Margaret was on hand: as organist and choir director in her church; as accompanist for the Anne Campbell Teen Clefs and school choirs; or working with individual performers participating in the Kiwanis Music Festivals. In 1951 she revived the Lethbridge Women’s Music Club and in 1960, she and her husband Bill organized a meeting in their livingroom for a Board of Directors to start the Lethbridge Symphony Orches-
Margaret once described her husband Bill as being”... the nicest and kindest of men, and was I ever lucky to have found him”. If I had the chance, I would say to Margaret words with a similar message, words that echo the memory of a woman who gave willingly and happily to the arts with a passion and exuberance that has since flourished through our arts community. And yes, Margaret shone like the angel she was.
Teresa Ternes works with the AAC as Events Manager. *Excerpts taken from The Lethbridge Herald 02 January 2009
NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Notice is hereby given that the 2009 annual general meeting of The Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge (AAC) will be held at the Bowman Arts Centre 811 5 Avenue South Lethbridge, AB at 7:00pm 24 March 2009. The order of business will include: Presentation of the annual financial statements and annual reports, the appointment of auditors and the election of Directors. Reception to follow. Public invited. For further information or information pertaining to nomination to the Board of Directors please contact Suzanne Lint.
NEW & RENEWED MEMBERSHIPS 09.31.08 > 01.19.09
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The Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge is a registered non-profit organization operating on behalf of its membership and the public-at-large. The Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge provides leadership in advancing the arts in Lethbridge and conducts its business and related activities with two primary goals: (1) to provide its membership with broad access to new publics and (2) to provide new publics with on-going, uninterrupted access to its membership. The organization is supported by its members, corporate and private donations and annual fundraising activities. Support is gratefully received from:
COVER IMAGE: Building the Bridge, Grade 5 and 6 students, 2005 - 2006, St. Patrick Fine Arts Elementary