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The 16 Originals






Celebrate the arts in YQL

Years Young

CASUAL CELEBRATING SNAPPY years TO FUNKY FORMAL THE ALLIED ARTS COUNCIL FEB 10/2018 at 7pm C a sa , 2 3 0 8 St reet So ut h, L et hbr idge




Diamond sponsor:

years years


Tickets: $60

Available at the AAC Office Avenir Heavy 403.320.0555


Publisher Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge 318 7 Street South Lethbridge, AB T1J 2G2 T: 403.320.0555 F: 403.320.2450 Publication date January 2018

Administration Suzanne Lint Executive Director Dawn Leite Executive Assistant Pamela Vera Finance Kelaine Devine Communications Muffy McKay Projects

Programming Brenna Lowrie Facility Programs Brad Goruk Facility Operations Darcy Logan Gallery Jan Reeves Education

Winter/Spring 2018 Board of Directors PRESIDENT Amanda Berg VICE PRESIDENT Greg Norman SECRETARY Margaret (Peggy) Mezei

director’s message 60 years young! The Allied Arts Council was formed in 1958 by a visionary group of people who believed arts and culture were critical for a healthy and vibrant Lethbridge. Sixty years later, an expanded AAC continues to support and encourage the arts in our community. To kick off our 60th Anniversary year, we will be joining with our Diamond Sponsor, Foster & Sons Jewellers to host a unique 60 Years Young celebration on February 10, 2018. We are inviting members of the community to join us at Casa to partake in scrumptious bevvies and bites, enjoy an art creation moment and experience our talented players and performers. The celebration will be the launch for the AAC Endowment Fund. The endowment, which will be established through the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta, will be a legacy of this special anniversary. The endowment will help provide sustainability for the AAC in future years and will assist us as we carry out our mission of providing leadership in advancing and enhancing the arts in Lethbridge. As we prepare to celebrate our Diamond Anniversary, we are saddened by the passing in September 2017 of one of these visionary people and one of our founding fathers, Dr. Van Christou. Van was a dedicated community builder whose achievements continue to have a positive impact on Lethbridge. ArtsBridge is a vehicle for enhancing community awareness of the arts and arts issues in Lethbridge. This issue includes the story of the AAC origins and the founding organizations who were part of the AAC’s formation (pg 3), a visit to Casa (pg 14), an exploration of the relationship between a clay artist and the technician who supports his practice (pg 16) and a visual encounter with the art practice of Ryan Smithham (pg 10). The energy of community members in the 1950s and 1960s as they created spaces, organizations and events is truly inspirational. All of us can have that same impact in our community by showing up, engaging and dreaming about the potential of the arts community. Take a moment to enjoy our publication and consider participating in the numerous arts experiences our community offers.

TREASURER Scott Rowland DIRECTORS Louise Drysdale Jessica Robinson Don Reeves Mercedes Fawns

Suzanne Lint Executive Director

For additional copies contact the AAC office. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. A P UBLICATION OF THE ALLIED ARTS COUNCIL OF LETHBRI DG E


Amanda Berg, President

board blog The arts in Lethbridge is not just a good news story, it is a great news story. Working on behalf of our members and artists is both rewarding and exciting. The Allied Arts Council conducted an economic impact study in 2014 and from that study provided measurable context for the impact the arts play financially to the economy of Lethbridge and surrounding communities. Arts in Lethbridge employs over 300 individuals and contributes to over $7 million annually to our local economy. That’s just direct output. Add up the indirect and induced outputs and that number increased to $10 million. Provincially, the arts contribute over $20 million to the Alberta economy.

The year ahead gives good reason to reflect on and celebrate the arts in Lethbridge as 2018 marks the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge’s 60th Anniversary! Since its founding, the Allied Arts Council has worked tirelessly to advocate for and enhance the arts in Lethbridge. Throughout those sixty years, staff, board members and volunteers of the Allied Arts Council have accomplished many goals. We have worked hard to engage with youth in our community and are proud of the opportunities that our programming and our spaces provide for individuals of all ages. We are especially proud of our programming for adults with special needs, and the Housing First and First Nations programming supported by ATB Financial. 1

The AAC puts on many public events every year, such as the Mayor’s Luncheon for Business and the Arts and Lethbridge Arts Days. From Christmas at Casa, to the Soar Emerging Artist Festival for young artists, the Allied Arts Council is always planning and putting on events to enhance the arts in our community. The organization also continues to build awareness and advocate on behalf of our arts community in our ArtsBridge and Arts Directory publications. This November, we participated once again on Team Lethbridge, championing our programming and collaborative local relationships to the provincial government. The year 2018 also marks another important arts milestone: the 5th anniversary of Casa. Operating this magnificent space and providing invaluable educational programming to the community is not just a source of pride for our organization, but a shining example of visionary planning and dedicated collaborative work between the Allied Arts Council and partnering organizations to create and facilitate a space that is now an example to other communities across Canada.

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Our 60th Anniversary Gala will kick off the festivities on February 10 and we look forward to seeing everyone there. We invite you to join us throughout 2018 to celebrate our diamond anniversary. Our 60th Anniversary Celebration will kick off the festivities on February 10 and we look forward to seeing everyone there. There will be many more opportunities to celebrate the arts throughout the year including a Party on the Square to commemorate Casa’s 5th year. We are also establishing an AAC Endowment Fund through the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta. Funds earned will support our programming for years to come. Looking into the future, we continue to see a strong, diverse and engaged arts community. Although the AAC is only sixty years young, we still have much work to do and we can’t wait to see what the next sixty years will bring.

e h T g n i d ou n


of the

l i c n u o C s t r A d e i All Our ties with the past are often intriguing and a nostalgic trip by AAC staff members to the archives of the Galt Museum and Archives was a revelation. As we began to read through the archives, we realised that Lethbridge has always had a strong artistic heart. The Allied Arts Council was officially formed on March 20, 1958, however, the formation of the organization had been contemplated for quite some time. At the first meeting, Dr. Van E. Christou was elected President pro tem and Edward G. (Ted) Godwin was elected Vice-President by acclamation. Later, David Howell was named Treasurer and Jessie Baalim was named secretary. A delegation (Christou, Godwin & Baalim) appeared before Lethbridge City Council on May 5 to outline the objectives of the organization. These objectives included, “to foster and encourage cultural activities in Lethbridge and surrounding district; to coordinate the activities of member organizations; and to cooperate with persons, groups and organizations in the promotion of cultural activities and the provision of cultural facilities.� These objectives were to be met by encouraging cultural entertainment to visit the city, encouraging an expansion of member organizations activities, providing an arts newsletter, providing instruction in the arts and by compiling a directory of the arts and events to avoid duplication and conflict. When one compares this list to the current activities of the Allied Arts Council some sixty years later, one can see that the organization has not strayed far from the original vision. The first annual meeting of the Allied Arts Council was held on June 9, 1958 and all of the directors were re-elected. At this meeting, nineteen directors were appointed as each member organization was allowed a director. Unfortunately, the official attendance list from this first meeting was not with the Allied Arts Council documents in the museum archives. The list of members that exists from this first meeting comes from the Lethbridge Herald. As one might imagine, finding information for organizations some sixty years later poses some difficulty. As such, existing organizations have contributed information to this article and we have done additional research on other organizations with the help of the Galt Museum & Archives. We are always interested in expanding our knowledge of our roots and encourage community members to contact the AAC and share information you may have about these founding members. A P UBLICATION OF THE ALLIED ARTS COUNCIL OF LETHBRI DG E


The Alberta Association of Architects

(1906 – current)

The Alberta Association of Architects (AAA) is a self-governing professional association of Architects and Licensed Interior Designers (LIDs). The Association regulates Architects and LIDs for the protection of the public while representing the interests of the professions and providing consulting expertise with government and other industries. The AAA was a founding member of the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge and supports its mandate to encourage, coordinate and promote the arts in the Lethbridge area. The AAA’s upcoming Banff Session 2018 conference will share the spirit of this mandate by exploring how Architects and LIDs can draw inspiration from their creative counterparts. The AAA is proud to have played a role in the history of the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge and is eager to see continued growth in the Lethbridge arts community. Source: Derek Schutz, Marketing & Communications Assistant, The Alberta Association of Architects

Alberta Teacher’s Association

(1918 – current) The Alberta Teacher’s Alliance was created in 1918. The passage of the Teaching Profession Act in 1936 changed the name of the Alliance to the Alberta Teachers’ Association. The Association is the professional organization of teachers in Alberta. Its objectives are set out in the Teaching Profession Act. The Association undertakes research on a wide range of issues related to teachers’ conditions of professional practice. Association policy covers a wide variety of issues in education. Source:

Beta Sigma Phi Sorority

(current) Beta Sigma Phi is a non-academic, social fraternity. The Lethbridge chapter in the 1950s and1960s sponsored or produced performing arts events including concerts, plays, ballets and fashion shows. Today, Beta Sigma Phi has over 200,000 members and can be found throughout the United States, Canada and thirty other countries. Source:

Black & White Photography Club

(not current) One of two photography-based founding organizations. A photographic society is mentioned in the will of Deane Roscoe Yates as one of the provisions was that a darkroom and projection facility be included in the building of a new cultural centre. It is not clear which specific organization was being referenced. Source: Galt Museum & Archives fonds.

Classical Record Club

(not current) Little information is available on this club, however, we imagine that people collected hard-to-find imprints of classical music and assembled regularly to enjoy the music they had collected. Also, the AAC and CJOC, the local radio station, regularly hosted programs about member groups interspersed with recorded music. One might surmise that the Classical Record Club assisted in this practice.

Colour Camera Club

(not current) The Colour Camera Club is the second of the two photographic founding members. We presume, given it was 1958, that this club was formed around owning camera equipment and the creation of colour slides which was quite complicated at the time. We do know for certain that the Camera Club met at the Civic Centre to share exhibits of photographic work. Source: Galt Museum & Archives fonds.

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Lethbridge Ballet Auxiliary

(not current) The Lethbridge Ballet Auxiliary supported ballet instruction and performance in Lethbridge. A branch of the Canadian School of Ballet, the Auxiliary was established in the 1950s under the direction of Joy Camden. The school had connections with the Winnipeg Ballet Club and the Banff Centre for Fine Arts. Source: Survival in the Dance World, Joy Camden, Trafford Publishing, 2005

Lethbridge Handicraft Guild

(1951 – current) The Lethbridge Handicraft Guild originally started in about 1935 as a branch of the Canadian Handicraft Guild. The guild disbanded during World War II but was re-organized in 1949. The members began weaving, as a handcraft, in the early 1950s using box looms from Eaton’s. The guild’s first floor loom was bought, at a cost of around $165, by saving soup can labels. This loom is still in constant use along with many additional looms. When the Bowman School was converted to an arts centre, the guild became one of the first guilds to move in and they remained there until the move to Casa.

Lethbridge Jazz Society

(dates unknown) This founding organization is not the same organization as the current Lethbridge Jazz Society. Through a thorough questioning of senior jazz musicians in Lethbridge, we surmise that a group of musicians that met regularly for jam sessions in the York Hotel basement comprised the original organization. Louis Hilder was the founder of the society and he is listed as the groups representative to the AAC in the AAC minutes of 1958. Source: Interviews and Galt Museum fonds.

From the beginning years, a multitude of handcrafts have been taught by guild members. Today, while weaving predominates in the guild, many other skills, such as spinning, dyeing, etc, are still practiced and shared. The guild focus still remains to preserve and share the skills of traditional arts and crafts and of weaving. Over the years, many expert instructors have been brought in to further these skills locally. The Guild has also organized and hosted numerous Provincial Conferences. The membership has kept growing with many younger members learning these skills through the current programs offered by the Guild. Source: Frances Schultz, Lethbridge Handicraft Guild

Lethbridge Philosophical Society

(not current) Unfortunately, we were unable to track down information about this organization at time of printing. As the Canadian Philosophical Association also was founded in 1958, one might presume that the urge to meet and discuss the issues of the day within the confines of philosophical debate was happening throughout the nation. Source:

Lethbridge Public Library Board

(current) The Lethbridge Public Library has a long history of partnership with the Allied Arts Council and the arts in Lethbridge. The first annual meeting of the Allied Arts Council was held in the Library and the Allied Arts Council had a hand in endorsing the former Central School site as the 1974 site for the new Public Library. As early as 1976, the Lethbridge Public Library was noted as having an art gallery. The ways in which the Library hosts and promotes arts in Lethbridge has evolved over the years, but the purpose is the same. Having art displayed at the Public Library is another way the Library can connect people to ideas. The Main Branch has two display cases, which feature visual displays by Allied Arts Council members or community A P UBLICATION OF THE ALLIED ARTS COUNCIL OF LETHBRI DG E


Lethbridge Public Library Board


groups, and they provide a way to encourage Library customers to discover new hobbies or pursuits and also provide connections to community contacts: individuals, groups, places and resources. The Public Library also provides a low key space to enjoy art for those who might be intimidated by a formal gallery setting. The Lethbridge Public Library hosts exhibitions from local, regional and national artists. The art exhibitions in the Library Gallery space at the Main Branch can come from local artists who generously loan the library artworks, the TREX (Alberta Foundation for the Arts) travelling art program, or national artists who mail work in from across the country. Every new exhibition presents the community at large with new possibilities for learning, leisure and equitable access to art. The Library also holds a large collection of original works with historical and cultural value from local artists. Some of the artists represented in the Library collection are: Lethbridge sketch club members

(P.J. Collins, Anna Mackenzie, Michael Pisko, Donald Frache), Van Christou, Irene McCaugherty, Hiroshi Shimazaki, Evan Gushul, Conrad Chief Body, Hokusai Katsushika, Pitseolak Ashoona and Kenojuak Ashevak. In 2016, The Crossings Branch was excited to unveil the finished door murals painted by the Chinook High Art Club and hosted an art opening for the artists. Since that time the atrium space at The Crossings Branch has become another Library venue to display the work of local artists. The art displayed at Lethbridge Public Library has motivated creators and inspired audiences. Considering that hundreds of thousands of people visit the Library every year, the opportunity for visitors to enjoy the displays in a familiar setting are abundant. Source: Terra Plato, Bernice Duguay and Shanell Papp, Lethbridge Public Library staff

Lethbridge Registered Music Teachers Association (1942 – current) The Lethbridge branch of the Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association is part of a Canada-wide federation of music teachers encompassing all provinces and the Yukon, with approximately 3,500 members. To be a member of the Association, teachers must hold a degree or diploma from a recognized university or conservatory, or meet the necessary qualifications set down by the registering province. This ensures a high level of training and a commitment to professionalism. Its aim is to provide leadership in private music education in the community. The Lethbridge branch was established in 1942 and has been active in the community ever since. Many influential members of the Lethbridge musical community have been Registered Music Teachers including Beatrice Foster, Margaret Parisel, Arthur K. Putland, Anne Campbell, Margaret Wozak, Marion Swanston, Ruth and James Ringland, Lucien and Louise Needham and Margaret Nelson.    Currently, the Lethbridge Registered Music Teachers present a number of student recitals each year, including an annual Canada Music Week recital in November which features music by Canadian composers and a recital in the spring in which students have the chance to perform in preparation for the Kiwanis Festival. Opportunities for adult students to share their music in a supportive performance setting are offered twice a year. Workshops and master classes for all students and teachers in the community are presented, often in collaboration with other organizations. Presently, the Lethbridge branch has 24 members from Lethbridge and the surrounding area who give lessons in piano, theory, pedagogy, composition, strings, woodwinds, voice and organ.    The Lethbridge branch’s teachers and students participate in the Lethbridge & District Music & Speech Arts Festival and the Lethbridge Piano Class Festival. In coordination with Royal Conservatory Examinations, workshops regarding developments related to the Royal Conservatory’s programs are presented. Twice a year, a luncheon for visiting Royal Conservatory examiners is hosted by Branch members.

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Another focus for the Lethbridge branch is to recognize the achievements of students completing exams by awarding over $1,500 annually to those students studying with current members who have achieved the highest first-class honors marks in practical and theory examinations for the previous year. In addition, two annual Kiwanis Festival piano awards are sponsored. A Practise-a-thon was recently held in which 70 students practised over 260 hours and raised nearly $3,500 for the awards program.   The Lethbridge branch’s members promote a love and knowledge of music through professional music teaching. Its members and students contribute to the community as church musicians; accompanists for school choirs, community choirs and dance studios; as entertainers in senior centres, lodges and at other community events; and as supporters of the arts through attendance at arts events.  Source: Christine Rogers, President of the LRMTA

Lethbridge Women’s Music Club

(1932 – 1974) The Lethbridge Women’s Music Club was founded in 1932. The club was inactive during World War II but was revived in 1951. Music clubs who organized in-house recitals by local amateur musicians were popular throughout Canada at this time. These recitals morphed into larger concerts with professional performers and paid musicians as the groups grew. The Lethbridge Women’s Music Club was no different in that it organized six annual concerts which were held at the Capitol Theatre on 5th Street. These concerts included a ‘young artist’ recital held in conjunction with the Lethbridge Registered Music Teacher’s Association and a concert with Kiwanis Music Festival Scholarship winners and top examination students. The group also sponsored two scholarships for Kiwanis Music Festival winners. Early in the 1970s, the number of concerts waned and the club eventually disbanded in 1974. Source:

Playgoers of Lethbridge

(1923 – current) Established in 1923, Playgoers of Lethbridge has the unique distinction of being the oldest, amateur, drama group in Canada. Like many groups, there was a fallow time during World War II but the Playgoers found renewed purpose and became very active in the 1950s. The group organized a variety of productions and entered regional drama festivals throughout the province. Today, the Playgoers of Lethbridge is still a vital participant in the Lethbridge arts community. The group produces two productions annually: a dinner theatre production in the fall and a mainstage production in February. This year, due to the closure of the Genevieve E. Yates Memorial Centre, the February mainstage production will be replaced with a dinner theatre production Beyond a Joke by Derek Benfield. As well, the group sponsors the Regional One Act Festival and participates in the Alberta One-Act Festival in March/April. Source: Theatre Lethbridge, George Mann, Detselig Enterprises Ltd, Calgary, Alberta, 1993

Quota Club

(Lethbridge chapter disbanded in 1977) The Quota Club Lethbridge chapter was a member of Quota International, a service organization, which focused on the needs of women, children and the deaf and hard of hearing communities around the world. The Quota Club produced a number of artistic productions in support of their causes and also sponsored scholarships for girls. Source:

University Women’s Club

(1944 – current) Since its founding in 1919, the Canadian Federation University Women (CFUW) has been working to improve the status of women and to promote human rights, public education, social justice, and peace. The CFUW - Lethbridge chapter was formed in 1944. Seventy three years later the CFUW continue to meet and engage in community activities that support their mandate. Source:

CURRENT MEMBERS (2018): AFA Travelling Exhibition Program Southeast (TREX) Bellows To Brass Buskers Association Of Lethbridge CariBridge Chinook Woodturning Guild The Empress Theatre Galt Museum & Archives The Geomatic Attic IINNII It’s About Music Society LCI Arts Academy Lethbridge & District Music & Speech Arts Festival Society Lethbridge Artists Club Lethbridge Big Band Lethbridge Centennial Quilters Guild Lethbridge Chinese Manie Opera Society Lethbridge Community Band Society Lethbridge Community Taiko Association Lethbridge Folk Club Lethbridge Handicraft Guild Lethbridge International Film Festival Society Lethbridge Jazz Society Lethbridge Modern Quilt Guild Lethbridge Musical Theatre Lethbridge Photography Club Lethbridge Pride Fest Society Lethbridge Public Library Lethbridge Registered Music Teachers Lethbridge Scottish Country Dance Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society Lethbridge Society of Glass Artisans Lethbridge Society of Independent Dance Artists Lethbridge Symphony McGill Blvd. Music & Arts School New West Theatre Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens Oldman River Potters Guild Playgoers of Lethbridge SOS Film Collective South Country Fair Southern Accord Chorus Southern Alberta Art Gallery Southern Alberta Taiko Society (HIBIKIYA) St. Patrick Fine Arts School Textile Surface Design Guild Trianon Gallery Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club uLethbridge Art Gallery uLethbridge Conservatory of Music uLethbridge Faculty of Fine Arts uLethbridge Recreation Services Visual Arts Alberta Association Vox Musica Choral Society



IN MEMORIAM Dr. Van Evangelos Christou (1926 - 2018)

Dr. Van Evangelos Christou was a truly remarkable person and one of the most inspired community builders to grace our city. So much of what is good in Lethbridge is because of Van’s vision and tenacity. The University of Lethbridge, the University of Lethbridge Art Collection, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, and the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge all were shaped by his passion. Dr. Christou was associated with the realization of the University

Of particular significance, to the Board and staff of the Allied

and the construction of the original Arthur Erikson building.

Arts Council of Lethbridge, was Van’s role in the formation of the

He was a member of first board of governors and served as

AAC, a not for profit arts and culture umbrella organization, with

the Chancellor from 1975 to 1979. Van contributed to the

the mandate of nurturing and encouraging arts and culture in

establishment of the extensive University of Lethbridge Art

Lethbridge. Within one week of its establishment, Van as pro tem

collection having secured, in 1967, the first donation – Moses by

President, announced that the AAC would be sponsoring May

Sorel Etrog. Originally displayed at Expo 67, the large sculpture

performances by the National Ballet. Van served as President

is currently installed in the Centre for the Arts at the University.

from 1958 to 1959 and again from 1961 to 1962. In its early years,

He was a passionate advocate of providing public access to the

as well as supporting the activities of its member organizations,

collection and was involved with The Bridge Exhibition held the

bringing arts entertainment to the city, producing a newsletter

1980s in the old Eaton’s building. He was keenly disappointed

to increase awareness of arts activities and providing instruction

when the initiative to establish a permanent gallery in the facility

in various arts disciplines, the AAC acted as a political voice on

fell through.

arts issues. Van was a member of the committee that advocated that the Yates family bequest be used, as it was intended, for the

Dr. Christou was also a part of the visionary group of citizens

construction of a cultural facility. The result of this advocacy was

who began work in the mid-1960s to establish a community art

the construction of the Genevieve E. Yates Memorial Centre.

gallery. Their efforts led to the establishment of the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in 1976. The presence in our community of the Southern Alberta Art Gallery has been instrumental in enhancing Lethbridge’s national reputation as a centre for the arts. Van was an exceptional photographer, with numerous

Van Christou was an artist in the broadest sense of the work and his creative spirit touched all that he did.

exhibitions, publications and teaching assignments to his credit. He was active member of the Lethbridge Photo Club. He

Van was recognized as an Honourary Life Member of the AAC

published two volumes of his photographs – Land of Shining

and received the Joan Waterfield Memorial Award in 2008 in

Mountains (1998) and Garden of Serenity (2006). Both books

recognition of his long term, on-going contributions and support

include exceptional photos that share with a wide audience the

of the arts in Lethbridge. His support for the AAC continued

beauty of our community. His work was exhibited in a special

throughout his life. Van Christou was an artist in the broadest

photographic exhibit that accompanied the 2002 premiere of the

sense of the work and his creative spirit touched all that he did.

musical composition McIntyre Ranch Country by Howard Cable.

We are all very fortunate that Van chose to make Lethbridge

In 2003, the Allied Arts Council was pleased to host Heliography

his home. He will be missed.

a progressive and well received exhibition of Dr. Christou’s photographs in the two galleries in the Bowman Art Centre. Perhaps, less known was Van’s active interest in drawing and painting and his association with the Lethbridge Sketch Club.


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s e c i o V y e n n O a n a h T r M Are Bette UNITY














Organizations, individuals and businesses can support the arts in Lethbridge with an AAC membership!





ATB Financial Community Room


Presentation of annual reports • Appointment of auditors Appointment of Honourary Lifetime Members Reception to follow

Please RSVP your attendance to



Ryan Smitham  was raised in the forested


foothills of the Rocky Mountains near the hamlet of Bragg Creek, Alberta. The most pervasive theme in his work is the wisdom and beauty of nature, which is demonstrated through the use of organic patterns and materials, as well as, through references to gravity, chaos and the effects of time. His studio practice involves the exploration of a wide range of techniques, media and subject matter with an emphasis on process-based sculpture.

Smitham received an MFA from the Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, New York) in 2013 and a BFA and B.Ed from the University of Lethbridge (Lethbridge, Alberta) in 2003 and 2005 respectively. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada and the United States.  Smitham  currently teaches Sculpture at the Alberta College of Art and Design and Visual Art at Foundations for the Future Charter Academy in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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Downtown Lethbridge Perspectives, Smitham’s first public exhibition of work, took place at the Bowman Arts Centre in 2003. Smitham was also one of the first artists to exhibit at The Gallery at Casa in 2013.

Throughout his visual arts

career the Lethbridge art community has been his central support system and foundation. Though having not lived in Lethbridge since 2006, Smitham still considers it to be his art home.

This January, Smitham with Yasunari Izaki will be exhibiting Accumulation of Memories at The Gallery at Casa. Exhibition Opening Saturday, January 13 at 7:00pm Show runs January 13 – February 17, 2018

To l e a r n m o r e a b o u t t h e a r t i s t v i s i t r y a n s m i t h a m . c o m A P UBLICATION OF THE ALLIED ARTS COUNCIL OF LETHBRI DG E


The Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge hosted the 12th annual Mayor’s Luncheon for Business and the Arts on September 21, 2017 at the Lethbridge Lodge. The event recognized the achievements of individuals, organizations and businesses who have

Mayor’s Luncheon for business and the arts

contributed to the arts vibrancy of our city. During the lunch, the Allied Arts Council Excellence (AACE) Awards were presented to an individual, service organization and business that have significantly enhanced the arts community. The Young Artist Award was awarded to an up and coming Lethbridge‐based artist who is advancing and enhancing the arts in our community. The Joan Waterfield Memorial Award was presented to an artist, respected by their contemporaries, for outstanding contributions to the community. A jury comprised



of AAC Board Directors and long-time members of the arts community deliberated throughout the summer to choose the 2017 award recipients.


Nominated by the Lethbridge & District Music & Speech Arts Festival (L)Amanda Berg, President, Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge (C) Mayor Chris Spearman, (R) Bette Palmarchuk accepting on behalf of Rose Primachuk, AACE Individual recipient



Nominated by Kristin Krein

(L) Amanda Berg, President, Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge (C) Loralee Sand Edwards, owner Drunken Sailor, recipient of AACE Business Award, (R) Mayor Chris Spearman


Nominated by Deborah Williams

From L to R: Amanda Berg, President, Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge, Linda Spaller and Virgina Yellow Wings of the Ability Resource Centre, recipient of the AACE Service Organization, Mayor Chris Spearman


COURTENAY FAULKNER Supported by Shona Lamb and Kristin Krein

(L) Amanda Berg, President, Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge, (C) Mayor Chris Spearman, (R) Courtney Faulkner, Young Artist recipient



Nominated by Linda Richards

We are sad to inform you that Alex Bakk passed away in October of this year. We were fortunate that he was able to attend the Mayor’s Luncheon and receive his award from the Mayor. We know that he will be greatly missed by the Lethbridge Artist Club and the greater arts community for his helping spirit and gentle mentorship of artists. Our condolences to his family and friends. (L) Mayor Chris Spearman and (R) Alex Bakk, recipient of the Joan Waterfield Memorial Award

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CALL FOR NOMINATIONS! Do you know someone who has contributed to the artistic vibrancy of Lethbridge through volunteerism and philanthropic activities? Is there a young artist who is making a difference in the city? Is there a business that champions the artistic community through donations and time commitments?


ay Nominate them tod

The Allied Arts Council is calling for nominations for the AACE Individual Award, AACE Business Award, AACE Service Organization Award, Young Artist Award and the Joan Waterfield Memorial Award.

For more information and to download nomination forms, please visit

Completed applications must be received by 5:00pm on June 1, 2018



The scholarship provides financial support to a student pursuing study in the field of Theatre Production Design and Management and/or Television Production and Design at a recognized

Canadian post secondary educational institution.

MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP The Ray Jolliffe Memorial Scholarship was established by the Jolliffe Family in 2008 to recognize the contribution of Mr. Ray Jolliffe in the field of theatre production in the community of Lethbridge. Ray Jolliffe was an active member of the Lethbridge theatre community for more than 40 years and his work backstage was instrumental in bringing untold productions to life. Ray was willing and able to handle many aspects of creating the magic of theatre.

Application for the scholarship is open to Canadian students who were born, raised or are presently residing in the geographic area from the County of Warner, west to the British Columbian border and Vulcan County south to the United States border.

His work was a wonderful example of how the commitment of working behind the scenes is as rewarding as being on stage. The Ray Jolliffe Scholarship is a legacy of Mr. Jolliffe ’s contributions to the arts.

Deadline for application: March 31, 2018 For more information or to apply, visit the Awards & Scholarships section of the AAC website:



5 YEARS OF: Exhibiting Artists............................................................ 496 Exhibitions ....................................................................... 143 Room bookings ............................................................3498 Visitors ......................................................................470,927

Submitted by Kevin Allen

Casa – an outsider’s perspective I began coming to Lethbridge regularly in 2009 when I was the Executive Director of the Alberta Media Arts Alliance Society. In conversation with my Lethbridge peers, I learned of the dream of Casa and what kind of efforts would be needed to manifest it.  The Allied Arts Council pushed this dream forward tirelessly and with great conviction, making Casa a reality. Now, surprisingly, this home for the arts in Southern Alberta is five years old. I have moved on to other work, but I still keep coming back to Lethbridge. Casa, quite frankly, is one of the reasons I return.  Not only is the building beautiful, but also the cultural programming is excellent: the building is abuzz with workshops, classes, exhibitions and creation. Yet, Casa is much more than its parts and member guilds. There is an alchemy that happens when you mix different arts disciplines under one roof. As evidence of this, I recently attended Christmas at Casa. The building was packed with art and creativity but also packed with people. Never before have I ever had difficulties parking in Lethbridge - circling the block the general busyness felt like I was home in downtown Calgary. Once we crossed the threshold, we were met with talented artisans and craftspeople, feminist steampunk barbies, life-size cosplay sculptures, inspired photography and more, and more, and more.  What a treat!   We ogled and shopped and came away with several original items. Admiring a fetching, cozy pair of mittens not in my size, I ended up getting a custom fitting. We left Casa that night with an order for personally hand-measured mitts of the most beautiful class. I guess we will have to return to Lethbridge to collect them when completed and every return to Lethbridge includes a visit to Casa.

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Before Casa’s opening in 2013, a call was made to the community to submit potential names for the new community art centre.

The winning selection was ‘Casa!’ The name is the Latin term for ‘home’ and it was felt that this new building would soon become a home for many artists in many disciplines from around southern Alberta.

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Casa was completed in 2013 and its grand opening held on May 14, 2013. As the ‘home for the arts in southern Alberta, Casa has become a popular place to learn, grow and gather for the community.



Bridges 3D Studio Access Holder Jim Munro How long have you been working with ceramics? My involvement working with ceramics began at the University of Lethbridge when I watched Larry Weaver take a soft lump of clay and skillfully create a pottery form. That was in 1973, I was determined to learn all I could about working with clay. Could you describe your day creating? My day working in the studio at Casa begins with a concept of a form that I would like to create. From there, it is a matter of preparing materials and tools. Then it is off to the potters wheel to see if my idea can be thrown as I have seen it in my mind. Describe the relationship of the Casa 3D Technician to the Studio Artists? Casa is fortunate to have a 3D Studio Technician with the knowledge and patience of Aaron Hagan. He has the task of keeping the studio in an orderly and efficient operating manner, but at the same time is willing to help or advise anyone who needs it. New ideas or modifying existing procedures are always open for discussion with Aaron. What excites you about ceramics and clay? Taking a piece of clay that would dissolve in water and turn it into an object that will last for a undetermined amount of time is an exciting thing to do. Waiting for the gas kiln to cool after twelve or thirteen hours of firing is a suspenseful time as you wonder if the firing was successful and the results are as you hoped. The opening of the kiln can reward your efforts, sometimes unexpected results can be celebrated or mourned. What are the challenges of ceramics and clay?


Challenges with ceramics and clay are an ongoing part of working with this medium. A person can work with proven methods and materials and achieve satisfying results, however, there are always new ideas and styles to be explored. Ceramics and clay has been used for many years but the materials and equipment continue to improve making it much easier for people to become involved and feel good about their efforts. Future art goals?

What the future will bring is an on-going determination to continuing development of my own abilities and more exploration in incorporating metals with ceramics and clay. The free exchange of ideas, information and knowledge that happens at the Casa 3D Studio is a great place for the ongoing development and future of ceramics and clay.

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Bridges is our on-going feature that explores relationships in the arts. Lethbridge has a strong history with 3-dimensional art, especially ceramics and pottery. The call of clay is strong for human beings as we all have memories of playing with mud as children. Elevating this mud to the level of fine art take dedication, science and craftsmanship. Learn more about this alchemical process through this edition of Bridges.

Casa 3D Technician - Kiln operator - Clay Instructor

Aaron Hagan

How long have you been working with ceramics? I have been working with ceramics in a serious capacity for over 15 years. Since 2002, I have been developing my skills in both handbuilding and the wheel. I became the primary kiln technician for the Allied Arts Council education programs in 2004.  With the building of Casa in 2013, my role with ceramics for the Allied Arts Council has developed into a full-time position.  Could you describe your work day? My average day at Casa varies greatly, but in a given month some of the responsibilities include: firing kilns, teaching children and adults both the wheel and handbuilding skills, giving orientations and supporting our Casa studio users. Ordering supplies, recycling clay and mixing glazes are also important activities to keep the classroom and clay studio running smoothly. I also try to invigorate the programming at Casa with special clay happenings for Arts Days, Family Day and Christmas at Casa.   Describe the relationship of the Casa 3D Technician to the Studio Artists?  I consider all of our studio users to be great assets to the Casa community. My role to the studio users is one of support; to share my knowledge and to help them realize their creative visions within their hobby or arts practice. This extends to attaining the right materials and equipment they need to effectively assist them in their creativity. I try to be both careful and attentive with regard to properly firing all wares with the utmost respect. I also take time to listen to the studio users’ collective years of expertise as it adds to my development as an effective technician. What excites you about ceramics and working with artists?

What are the challenges of ceramics and working with artists? Some of the challenges I encounter with clay is figuring out, as an instructor, how to best teach a new student the basics of handbuilding or the wheel using language and examples that will speak to them. As a firing technician, one of the greatest challenges is to keep up with the demands of a highly successful educational clay program coupled with firing hundreds to thousands of pieces made by our studio members each season. As well, I love the challenge of loading the kiln like a Tetris puzzle and handling artists’ complex and delicate wares. This challenge can make me truly shine or falter as a technician. I value the opportunity to provide artists the services, resources and technical support they need to make their art. 

ridges Although I have a long history working in clay, what excites me most about ceramics are the creations of others. I guess it is the teacher in me that really gets excited to see the development and inventiveness in the minds of studio users. To see raw clay turn into both functional and whimsical and often jaw-dropping creations by both students and studio members alike is a treasure. I feel like I am a small part of each artist’s individual journey in clay. For many studio members, their evolution in both skill development and personal expression is really amazing. To have a job that allows me to interact with both professional and budding artists on a day-to-day basis is an honor and a privilege. 

Future art goals?

I absolutely love the material of clay and its unique technical and creative processes. Over the years, I have developed skill working with clay both on the wheel and by hand. Painting is also a major part of my art practice and I have relished the opportunity to transfer my painting skills onto pottery in the form of colourful glaze combinations. I hope to continue my work at Casa for many years to come and to use my skill as a painter to enhance my wheel thrown vessels.




on the Square Saturday, May 12, 2018

We are excited to be marking five years of Casa, Lethbridge’s community arts centre, and would like to welcome the Lethbridge community, building users, studio access artists, visual arts and music

11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Party on the Square is a celebration of Casa’s 5th Anniversary, to be held on Saturday, May 12, 2018 on Casa’s Rotary Square including live entertainment, a barbecue, birthday cake and tours of the facility.

students, resident groups and guilds, as well as those who are visiting the space for the first time to join us in celebration. As a thank-you to all who have made Casa a vibrant, bustling and well-used space, we invite the community to come enjoy food, music, art work and the facility itself.

Soar Emerging Artist Festival May 30 & 31, 2018 The Soar Festival returns with its popular Cabaret and Visual Arts Project featuring works by young, emerging artists aged 18 – 35 at Casa! Theatre, dance, poetry, film, music and digital art are featured in this multidisciplinary showcase of emerging talent from southern Alberta and beyond.

Submission Call - Soar Cabaret Performing Artists Artists ages 18 – 35 are invited to submit work for presentation (music, drama, performance, dance, new media, spoken word) at one or both Soar Cabaret Nights. Artists are encouraged to explore collaborative inter-disciplinary work, multi-media and new technologies. Successful applicants will receive technical, administrative and marketing support, as well as an artist honorarium. Submission forms online: December 15, 2017

Deadline for submissions: February 28, 2018

Submission Call - Soar Visual Arts Project Moving While Standing Still - Gif Project Casa’s Digital Gallery will feature a digital mail art exhibition of local, national and international gifs made by young artists aged 18 – 35. The exhibition will run from April 28 – June 8, 2018, preceding the festival and in conjunction with Soar Cabaret Nights. Successful applicants will receive a digital compilation in return for participation. Submission forms & requirements online: January 15, 2018

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Deadline for submissions: February 28, 2018

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Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge (AAC) Advancing and enhancing the arts in Lethbridge since 1958


• Promoting the arts to the community • Working to improve arts facilities in Lethbridge • Providing collaborative opportunities for artists • Advocating for the arts Core funding support is gratefully received from:

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Organizations, individuals and businesses can demonstrate support for the arts in Lethbridge with an AAC membership! For a full listing of member benefits, visit NEW MEMBER

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August - December 2017



Allied $75 Artist $25 Associate $75 Individual Friend $15 Family Friend $25 Business/Corporate Friend $75

Allied Members: CariBridge LCI Arts Academy

Associate Members: Lethbridge Kendo Club

Artist Members: Cassandra Allred April Clare Matisz Carson Morton Pierre-Andre Ouellet Gabriel Thaine Olsen Jane Senda


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calendar of events January january

Casa The Gallery at Casa Presents: ACCUMULATION OF MEMORY: Ryan Smitham & Yasunari Izaki CHASING THE DEVIL’S ROPE: Adrian Cooke Exhibition Opening: January 13, 7:00pm Shows run: January 13 – February 17 Muffins, Mimosas and Movies: IDA APPLEBROOG January 28, 10:30am ATB Financial Community Room, Casa Empress Theatre Centre Stage Concert Series: Polyjesters January 27, 7:30pm Empress Theatre Lethbridge Folk Club Howlin’ Wolf Open Stage January 12, 7:00pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa Lethbridge Public Library Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour January 8 – 12, 7:00pm & January 13, 2:00pm Main Branch, Public Library POP FOODS, artwork by Len Komanac January 31 – April 5 Art Gallery, Main Branch Lethbridge Registered Music Teachers Association Piano Duo Recital feat. John-Paul Ksiazek & Graeme Roset January 20, 7:30pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa New West Theatre Starlight December 19 – January 6 Chinook High School Media Centre Hansel & Gretel January 5, 3:30pm & January 6, 1:00pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club Malanka: A Ukrainian New Year’s Celebration January 20, 4:30pm German Canadian Club

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uLethbridge Art Gallery You Are Here: Playlist January 5 – February 23 Helen Christou Gallery, LINC Building, Level 9

Playgoers of Lethbridge Beyond a Joke Dinner Theatre by Derek Benfield February 7 – 10 Italian Canadian Club

Folk Music & Fantasy feat. Lethbridge Community Silver Band March 24, 7:00pm College Drive Community Church

Meryl McMaster: Confluence January 18 – March 15 Main Gallery, Centre for the Arts

Southern Alberta Art Gallery Voices: Artists on Art | Visualizing Agriculture | 2167 Exhibition Openings: February 17, 8:00pm Shows run: February 17 – April 22

Lethbridge & District Music & Speech Arts Festival Society Lethbridge and District Music & Speech Arts Festival March 12 – 24 Venues throughout Lethbridge

uLethbridge Conservatory of Music First Friday Lunch & Listen Iberoamerican Music, feat. Iliana Matos (guitar) February 2, 12:00 – 1:00pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa

Musical Theatre Showcase March 17, 2:30pm Southminster United Church

uLethbridge Conservatory of Music First Friday Lunch & Listen Schubert, Debussy and Bach, feat. Lisa Mulgrew (voice) January 5, 12:00 – 1:00pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa uLethbridge Faculty of Fine Arts New Media Film Series: CAMERPERSON January 17, 6:00pm Theatre Gallery, Main Branch, Lethbridge Public Library New Media Film Series: PAN’S LABYRINTH January 24, 6:00pm Theatre Gallery, Main Branch, Lethbridge Public Library Faculty Artists & Friends Concert January 22, 7:30pm University Recital Hall, Centre for the Arts



Allied Arts Council 60 Years Young – Celebrating the AAC February 10, 7:00pm Casa Casa Family Fun Day! February 19, 11:00am – 4:00pm Casa Empress Theatre Centre Stage Concert Series: Maria Dunn February 24, 7:30pm Empress Theatre Lethbridge Folk Club Howlin’ Wolf Open Stage February 9, 7:00pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa Lethbridge Symphony Vienna: City of Dreams with uLethbridge Opera Workshop February 2 & 3, 7:30pm Southminster United Church

uLethbridge Faculty of Fine Arts New Media Film Series: THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL February 7, 6:00pm Theatre Gallery, Main Branch, Lethbridge Public Library The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie February 13 – 17, 7:30pm University Theatre, Centre for the Arts New Media Film Series: THE INVITATION February 14, 6:00pm Theatre Gallery, Main Branch, Lethbridge Public Library



Allied Arts Council Annual General Meeting March 28, 7:00pm Casa Casa The Gallery at Casa Presents: Nick Wade Tony Partridge Exhibition Opening: March 3, 7:00pm Shows run: March 3 – April 13 The Empress Theatre Centre Stage Concert Series: Lindi Ortega March 17, 7:30 pm Lethbridge Community Band A Taste of Jazz, feat. Lethbridge Community Brass Choir w/ special guests: Altius Brass March 17, 7:00pm College Drive Community Church

Stars of the Festival March 24, 2:30pm Southminster United Church Lethbridge Folk Club Howlin’ Wolf Open Stage March 9, 7:00pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa Lethbridge Symphony Love Notes from Camelot March 3, 5:00pm Coast Hotel & Conference Centre Tempting Trios: Deanna Oye, piano; Mark Rodgers, cello; Peter Visentin, violin March 9, 7:30pm La Cite’ des Prairies Beethoven & Sanctuary with Ventus Women’s Choir & LCI Singers March 19, 7:30pm Southminster United Church uLethbridge Art Gallery Here & There March 2 – June 1 Helen Christou Gallery, LINC Building, Level 9 Animating the Archive / Stories for the Collection March 22 – June 1 Main Gallery, Centre for the Arts uLethbridge Conservatory of Music First Friday Lunch & Listen Concert Series: Global Drums March 2, 12:15–1:00pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa

uLethbridge Faculty of Fine Arts New Media Film Series: 101 DALMATIONS March 7, 6:00pm Theatre Gallery, Main Branch, Lethbridge Public Library New Media Film Series: SEVEN YEARS BAD LUCK March 14, 6:00pm Theatre Gallery, Main Branch, Lethbridge Public Library

Lethbridge Folk Club Howlin’ Wolf Open Stage April 13, 7:00pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa Lethbridge Symphony Chamber Finale: Musaeus string quartet; Catherine McLaughlin, violin April 20, 7:30pm La Cite’ des Prairies

Medieval and Mystery Plays March 20 – 24, 7:30pm David Spinks Theatre, Centre for the Arts

uLethbridge Conservatory of Music First Friday Lunch & Listen Concert Series Piano Guys Arrangements April 6, 12:15–1pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa

U of L Singers Concert March 24, 7:30pm Southminster United Church

Spring Recital April 21 Southminster United Church

U of L Jazz Ensemble Concert March 28, 7:30pm University Theatre, Centre for the Arts

Suzuki Violin & Stringendo Orchestra Spring Recital April 21, 1:00pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa



Casa Muffins, Mimosas and Movies: PATRICK NEU - SALAMANDER COMPLEX April 15, 10:30am ATB Financial Community Room, Casa The Gallery at Casa Presents: Jana MacKenzie Rob Miller Exhibition Opening: April 28, 7:00pm Shows run: April 28 – June 8 Lethbridge Community Band Heroes & Villains, feat. Lethbridge Community Gold Band April 14, 7:00pm College Drive Community Church

New Media Advanced Studio Exhibition Opening: April 6, 7:00pm Show runs: April 6 – 14 Penny Gallery, Dr. Foster James Penny Building U of L Wind Orchestra Concert April 12, 7:30pm University Theatre, Centre for the Arts   New Media Film Series: WHITE GOD April 18, 6:00 pm Theatre Gallery, Main Branch, Lethbridge Public Library



Allied Arts Council Soar Cabaret Nights May 30 & 31, 7:00pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa Bellows to Brass Celebrating Music Together May 5, 7:00pm College Drive Community Church

W.H.I.P. Ensemble & World Drumming Spring Recital April 24, 5:30pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa

Casa Party on the Square May 12, 11:00am – 4:00pm Rotary Square, Casa

uLethbridge Faculty of Fine Arts New Media Film Series: THE RED TURTLE April 4, 6:00pm Theatre Gallery, Main Branch, Lethbridge Public Library

Lethbridge Folk Club Howlin’ Wolf Open Stage May 11, 7:00pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa Lethbridge Symphony Youth & Fireworks May 7, 7:30pm Southminster United Church

Global Drums! April 6 & 7, 7:30pm University Theatre, Centre for the Arts U of L Collaborative Ensemble April 10, 7:30 pm University Recital Hall, Centre for the Arts

Southern Alberta Art Gallery Art’s Alive & Well in Schools uLethbridge MFA/BFA Exhibition Openings: May 6, 1:00pm Shows run: May 6 – June 10 Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club Vesna: A Celebration of Spring May 3, 7:00pm Enmax Centre uLethbridge Conservatory of Music First Friday Lunch & Listen Concert Series: Student Showcase May 4, 12:15–1:00pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa



Casa The Gallery at Casa Presents: Keri Lehr, Nichole Yanota & Karen Tamminga-Paton Blake Evernden Exhibition Opening: June 23, 7:00pm Shows run: June 23 – August 24 Lethbridge Community Band Cartoons & Animations, feat. Lethbridge Community Gold & Silver Bands June 9 College Drive Community Church uLethbridge Conservatory of Music First Friday Lunch & Listen Concert Series: Ventus Women’s Choir June 1, 12:15–1:00pm ATB Financial Community Room, Casa

Feel the Beat: Alligator Pie May 11, 7:00pm Southminster United Church

Contact information for each event/organization: Allied Arts Council 403.320.0555

Lethbridge Public Library 403.380.7311

Bellows to Brass

Lethbridge Registered Music Teachers Association 403.327.2073

Casa 403.327.2272 Empress Theatre 403.553.4404 Lethbridge Community Band 403.381.7822 Lethbridge Folk Club 403.381.4449

Lethbridge Symphony 403.328.6808 New West Theatre 403.329.2616

Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club uLethbridge Art Gallery 403.329.2690 uLethbridge Conservatory of Music 403.329.2304 uLethbridge Faculty of Fine Arts 403.329.2227

Southern Alberta Art Gallery 403 327 8770



Photographs by Henriette Plas. Š2015 BACK Dancers from Troyanda perform outside of Casa.

FRONT Maria Livingstone performs outside of Casa.

ArtsBridge Winter/Spring 2018  

Celebration. The Allied Arts Council celebrates its 60th anniversary. Casa celebrates its 5th year of operation. The arts community in Lethb...

ArtsBridge Winter/Spring 2018  

Celebration. The Allied Arts Council celebrates its 60th anniversary. Casa celebrates its 5th year of operation. The arts community in Lethb...