On October 1, I am heading south to Longview to help out with their “Night of Foolishness”. This event, being held in conjunction with the Alberta Arts Days, will be a celebration of local talent including a cowboy poet, a revised rendition of an old Joplin tune as well as a showcase of the musicians from the surrounding area. Now… how cool does this sound? I mean, seriously!
Longview is just one of over 70 communities (if not more!) participating in this year’s Alberta Arts Days. The Alberta Arts Days, taking place from September 30 – October 2, is an annual celebration of our culture, heritage, artistic diversity and provincial pride.
And why not celebrate our culture, heritage, and artistic diversity? Studies show, in fact, that arts, culture, and heritage-related activities are:
•Essential to personal health – active living is a key determinant of health status
•Key to balanced human development and helping us reach our potential
•Essential to quality of life and place
•Reduces self-destructive and anti-social behaviour
•Builds strong families and healthy communities
•Reduces health care, social services, and police costs
•Significant economic generators in our communities
*Click on the National Benefits HUB for evidence of the above.
And the Government of Alberta seems to be taking this seriously. This year, in an effort to stimulate community involvement, the Government of Alberta increased the number of grants that designated Alberta Arts Days Celebration Sites.
These sites work with local community groups, artists and arts organizations to present family-friendly activities, workshops and performances during the Alberta Arts Days weekend. This year, five organizations have received Feature Celebration Site status and 64 organizations (a majority of them in rural communities) have received Host Celebration Site status. Click here to see a list of these sites.
Last year, thousands of Albertans discovered, experienced and celebrated our unique culture, heritage, artistic diversity and provincial pride through 682 events in 91 communities throughout the province. The Alberta Arts Days this year will continue to showcase the province's artists, arts organizations and cultural industries, while encouraging Albertans to discover the important role the arts plays in developing a prosperous, vibrant society.
So if you’d like to see what is happening in your community see this link!
And it just so happens that Longview is one of the Alberta Arts Days new Host Celebration sites and I can’t wait to see how it all works out. So, if you happen to be down Longview’s way, come join me for a celebration of the arts in rural Alberta!