From September 25-27, all provincial historic sites and museums that are open for the weekend are offering free admissions and special programs to Albertans*. From art displays to an evening under the stars, Alberta Culture Days provide an excellent opportunity for Albertans to explore and discover a diverse range of activities and treasures throughout the province.
*some activities may have additional fees; please check each site for details
This year, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts is holding a special exhibition of the work of camera obscura photographer Colin Smith. Colin is an Alberta artist, known for his creative use of photography and his knowledge of the high tech motion picture industry to create unique camera obscura scenes.
On top of that, on Friday, September 25, the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie will be unveiling their new AFA commission by artist David Hoffos called Night School, a media and sculptural installation on-site. More information about this commission can be found on the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie’s website.
The Frank Slide Interpretive Centre is a great location to take in the beauty of the breathtaking Crowsnest Pass. During the Alberta Culture Days weekend, you can enjoy an evening under the stars accompanied by a concert and presentation by the Lethbridge Astronomy Society. The Crowsnest Pass Public Art Gallery is open and free to the public that features a special concert on Sunday afternoon.
Take a free tour of Government House on Sunday, September 27 during Alberta Culture Days! In addition to seeing the features of this historic building including the Premier’s Den and the Alberta Room, there will be new art exhibits on display that are worth checking out. They include the addition of the George Weber art exhibit on the main floor as well as the Aboriginal and Canadian Stars art tours.
Jump on down to the Buffalo Harvest on Saturday, Sat. 26 at Head-Smashed-in-Buffalo-Jump. Blackfoot guides will lead tours of the interpretive centre and visitors can participate in the Living off the Land demonstrations. Learn more about their regalia and hear stories of the Plains People from the Elders. First Nations artists will demonstrate their skills, as well as display and sell their artwork and handcrafted artisan goods. Buffalo-themed culinary treats will be available in the cafeteria. On Friday and Sunday, regularly scheduled guided tours will be offered to the public for free.
Celebrate Alberta Culture Days 1920s-style at Lougheed House! Enjoy 1920s dance performances all day, crafts for kids, and live music! From the Charleston to the Lindy Hop, experience the dances of the Roaring Twenties and their evolution over time. Alex Boisselle, a Cajun Roots musician with over 20 years’ experience, will perform at 12 pm on Sunday, Sept. 27th. There is something for everyone!
On September 25 at the Northern Jubilee, we open our doors to over 600 students from across Edmonton and area to participate in Arts Education Day. Students will get to experience a variety of workshops with different Alberta artists from visual to performance art. Confirmed facilitators for the day are Edmonton Opera, Rapid Fire Theatre, Laura Raboud (drama), Mile Zero Dance, Visual Arts Alberta, March Music and Edmonton Digital Arts College. The Jubilee will transform into a living art museum for students to explore their creative side!
In the South, we are taking the Jube to the streets with an Instrument Zoo! Partnering with Long & McQuade and City for Calgary to be part of Calgary’s Alberta Culture Days’ Block Party on Friday September 25 from 3:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Attendees will have the chance to play a variety of musical instruments and get their groove on! The Block Party is located on Stephen Avenue Walk (8 Avenue between 1 Street SE and 3 Street)
Inspired by the accounts of early settlers, missionaries and explorers – as well as her own personal history and connection to the Edmonton region – Katherine Braid’s exhibition, Voices from Our Past, presents paintings depicting moments taken from those stories. Building on the historical descriptions and other research, Braid has created intimate portraits of Alberta’s past.
The exhibit will be on display from September 25, 2015 until January 23, 2016. Exhibition hours are Tuesday through Saturday 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Wednesdays 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Admission is free.
On Friday and Saturday, September 25-26, bring the family to learn more about the history, science and technology of the oils sands in Alberta. There will be plenty of interactive experiences, interpretive films and activities at the Dr. Karl Clark exhibit. Have fun in the Play Lab and outdoor exhibits for a better understanding of the oil sands.
Discover the largest collection of horse drawn vehicles in North America at the Remington Carriage Museum! Families can check-out interactive galleries that tell the tales of turn-of-the-century society and the carriage industry.
Browse the work of local artists that will be on display and enjoy the art work of famous horse jockey George Woolf. You can also sign up for a special tour called “Art of Carriages” that focuses on hand-crafted carriages made for both beauty and function. That tour will be available on Saturday at 1 p.m.
There’s much to see and do for this year’s event! Check out Stan Reynolds: The Original Canadian Picker exhibition that provides insight into Stan Reynolds and his love of history and preserving the past for future generations. Be sure to pick up an activity sheet at the front desk and use the clues to lead you through the exhibit! Build your own thaumatrope (a toy popular during the 19th century) to take home, and get to step beyond the barriers by taking a special White Glove Tour.
Experience your favourite galleries and beloved artifacts before they are packed away and moved to the new museum! This will be the last Alberta Culture Days in the Glenora building as the Royal Alberta Museum prepares to close its galleries this December and begin the move to its new downtown location. Before anything is packed, check out the museum’ feature exhibit ‘Glimpses of the Grasslands: The Artistic Vision of Colin Starkevich’ and explore the amazing Human and Natural history of this province through the museum’s Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture, the Natural History Gallery and the Wild Alberta gallery. The museum’s galleries close on Dec. 6, 2015 so make sure to visit before then!
Take a 90-minute long journey through the badlands to search for fossils, see real dinosaur remains, and learn about ancient Alberta. Try your hand at dinosaur crafts and create a fossil cast with the Royal Tyrrell Museum. These extra family-friendly, art-filled activities will be on throughout Alberta Culture Days. The full schedule of activities can be found on the Royal Tyrrell Museum website.
How can an alpaca make a pair of mitts? Find out on Saturday and Sunday of Alberta Culture Days! See how we use the fiber from all kinds of animals, to make every day items, from clothing to toys. Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site will focus on local talent in the arts and culture community, all centered on fiber; the history of various fiber industries in Alberta, along with fiber sources, uses and products. Bring the family and try your hand at carding and spinning wool. Explore the handiwork of several artisans and create your own craft.
Join in on the fun!
Be part of the province wide party as Albertans come together to celebrate our local artists and arts organizations, our unique heritage and history and the diverse cultures and languages that make up our province.
Alberta Culture Days, Sept. 25-27, is part of the national Culture Days movement, which includes communities from coast to coast, and is helping to increase the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.
Where can I go for more info?
Website: Alberta Culture Days
The Other Details
When: Friday Sept. 25 to Sunday Sept. 27.
Where: Throughout the province.
Admission: Free for all historic sites and museums; some activities may have an additional fee. Check websites for more details.