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Lieutenant Governor of Alberta celebrates ten emerging artists for 2020

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Lieutenant Governor of Alberta celebrates ten emerging artists for 2020

Alberta’s 2020 Emerging Artists named

Edmonton (June 4, 2020)

The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation today announced awards totaling $100,000 to the 10 recipients of its 2020 Emerging Artist Award.  More than 60 invited guests joined the Zoom awards show, which is now public, and available on the Youtube link above.

“We are pleased to be able to invest in advancing the careers of these outstanding artists at the early stages of their professional development” says Foundation Chair, Arlene Strom. “When economic times are tough, our artists are particularly vulnerable. And in the midst of societal change and upheaval, ensuring our artist voices and perspectives are heard is critical.”

Here are this year’s awardees:

  • Kablusiak, visual, multidisciplinary artist, Calgary
  • Amy LeBlanc, writer, Calgary
  • Luc Tellier, theatre, Edmonton
  • Carlos Foggin, music, classical, Calgary
  • Lauren Crazybull, visual, Edmonton
  • Evan Pearce, multi-media, music, new technology, Edmonton
  • Molly Wreakes, music, French Horn, Edmonton
  • Bruce Cinnamon, writer, Edmonton
  • Tamara Lee-Anne Cardinal, visual, multimedia, Calgary
  • Griffin Cork, theatre and film, Calgary

Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta congratulated the awardees on a Zoom meeting June 4, 2020. Each awardee receives a $10,000 cash award, a handcrafted medal and 2020 Emerging Artist certificate.

The 10 recipients were selected from 160 applications in a two-tiered adjudication process overseen by The Banff Centre. The adjudication panel included: Denise Clarke, associate artist, One Yellow Rabbit, 2007 Distinguished Artist awardee;  Adam Fox, Director of Programs, National Music Centre; Lindsey Sharman, curator, Art Gallery of Alberta; Alice Major; writer, poet, 2017 Distinguished Artist awardee.

Here is some background the each of the artists:

Kablusiak (they/them) is an Inuvialuk artist based in Mohkinstsis/Calgary and holds a BFA in Drawing from the Alberta University of the Arts.  Recognition for Kablusiak includes the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize (2017) and the Primary Colours Emerging Artist Award (2018), and short-list nominee for the Sobey Art Awards (2019).  A multi-disciplinary artist, they imbue a variety of mediums with their trademark ironic humour to address cultural displacement. 

Amy LeBlanc is the author of three books: her debut poetry collection, I know something you don’t know, was published with Gordon Hill Press

in March 2020.  Her novella, Unlocking, will be published by the UCalgary Press in 2021. Pedlar Press will publish her short story collection, Homebodies, in 2022. Her very timely master’s thesis is a work of fiction examining pandemics and chronic illness.

Luc Tellier is a theatre actor, director, and educator from Amiskwaciy Waskahikan, colonially known as Edmonton. He’s been seen in over twenty-five professional productions since graduating from MacEwan University’s Theatre Arts Program in 2014. As an arts educator and through his own freelance workshops, he mentors hundreds of students every year – sharing his belief that the arts are for everyone!

Carlos Foggin is driven by his passion to share live orchestral music with as many Albertans as possible! In 2016, he founded the Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra which has since performed to more than 30,000 Albertans in over 50 concerts in small southern communities. He is a celebrated pianist, organist and improviser and has performed internationally on some of the world’s greatest organs.

Lauren Crazybull is a Blackfoot Dene artist living in Edmonton.  In 2019, Lauren was selected as Alberta’s inaugural artist in residence and was long listed for the Kingston Portrait Prize. Through her art, Lauren is asking poignant questions about how Indigenous identities can be represented, experienced, celebrated and understood through portraiture.

Evan Pearce began his career by editing music videos using found footage for local bands, but he’s now on the leading edge of two new emerging technology art forms: VJ-ing and New Media – working at the intersection of music, video, and leading-edge technology. Evan is fascinated with incorporating XR (Extended Reality) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) in a live performance setting while VJing – and beyond.

Molly Wreakes is a classical french horn player originally from Edmonton, who has performed internationally as both a chamber and orchestral musician.  Molly served as the academist with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra In 2018/19 – performing with the orchestra and training with their horn section and orchestra members. Molly is also an avid chamber musician who is inspired to explore community outreach opportunities through music and musical creativity.

Bruce Cinnamon is a writer whose creative work thrives in the radiant sunshine of the gigantic Alberta sky, twisting and bending the familiar prairie landscape into carnivalesque fantasies.  Bruce won the 2015 Alberta Views short story contest; his first novel, The Melting Queen, was published by NeWest Press in 2019. He is currently working on his second novel, a fantasy story about a small Alberta town which suddenly vanishes when it is torn into a parallel universe by a predatory City.

Tamara Lee-Anne Cardinal is a multi-media artist, community activist, and perpetual learner. She is a recipient of the National BMO 1st Art! Competition Award, and of the 2017 Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Award. Cardinal has been an active member in the urban Indigenous community in Treaty 7 Territory. Her work reflects the teachings she receives along her journey – and invites  others to become a part of the process, to partake in its making.

Griffin Cork is a Calgary-born actor and producer in the film and theatre industries. He is co-founder and Artistic Producer of Hoodlum Theatre, a small collective dedicated to creating disruptive and unabashed work. His company Numera Films took home an AMPIA Rosie Award for Best Web Series – Fiction in 2019 for Abracadaver. Griffin is committed to telling engaging, Albertan stories and strives to merge the mediums of film and theatre.

Backgrounder: About the awards

The late Fil Fraser, the late Tommy Banks, the late John Poole and Jenny Belzberg (Calgary) established the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation in 2003 to celebrate and promote excellence in the arts. The endowments they established were created with philanthropic dollars and gifts from the Province of Alberta and Government of Canada.

Since its inception in 2003, the Foundation has awarded $1,230,000 to 20 Distinguished Artists and 63 Emerging Artists, all Alberta affiliated.

The Foundation administers two awards programs:

  • The Emerging Artist Awardsprogram, established in 2008, gives up to 10 awards of $10,000 each to support and encourage promising artists early in their professional careers. Emerging Artist Awards are given out in even years.
  • The Distinguished Artist Awardsprogram, begun in 2005, gives up to three awards of $30,000 each in recognition of outstanding achievement in, or contribution to, the arts in Alberta. Distinguished Artist Awards are given in odd years. The 2019 Distinguished Artist Awards celebration will be in Maskwacis, Battle River region in September 21, 2019.

Todayville’s President Lloyd Lewis is a Board Director of the Foundation and was the Master of Ceremonies for this year’s online awards show.

Read more on Todayville.

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WestJet extends temporary suspension of international sun flights until June

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CALGARY — WestJet says it will extend its temporary suspension of international sun flights to destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean until June 4.

Canadian airlines in January suspended all flights to sun destinations until April 30 at the request of the federal government. 

WestJet President and CEO Ed Sims said in a release that it made the decision with the clear expectation that as more Canadians are vaccinated, government policy will change.

He says guests with affected itineraries will be notified of the cancellations.

WestJet says since Nov. 1, 2020, it has been providing refunds for all travellers where WestJet initiated flight cancellations.

Sims says WestJet continues to advocate for the replacement of mandatory hotel quarantines with a testing regime that is equitable and consistent with global standards at all points of entry into Canada.

“Alongside an accelerated and successful vaccine rollout, this policy transition will support the safe restart of travel and help stimulate the Canadian economy, where one in ten jobs are tourism-related,” he said Tuesday.

“A safe travel-restart framework is the most effective way to support those interests and restore jobs.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2021

The Canadian Press

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Canada's world champion beach volleyball duo finally getting games before Tokyo

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CALGARY — Canada’s world champions in beach volleyball are amping up preparations for the Summer Olympics coming over the horizon.

The COVID-19 pandemic kept Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ont., and Toronto’s Melissa Humana-Paredes apart and docked from competition for much of 2020.

The Canadian duo plans to compete in at least five tournaments over the next two months starting Thursday in Cancun, Mexico.

The world governing body of volleyball, FIVB, created a hub of three straight World Tour events in Cancun to afford teams the chance to qualify for the Tokyo Summer Games opening July 23.

Pavan and Humana-Paredes booked their Tokyo berth when they won the women’s world title in 2019. 

The upcoming tournaments, however, are crucial game reps for a duo that’s short on them.

“I think Cancun will be a real test for us against every team because it is such a lengthy event, to see where we’re really at,” Pavan told The Canadian Press.

“Other teams are scrambling to accumulate points. Obviously we want to win every tournament we play . . . but to be able to take a very objective approach and just see it as information gathering for Tokyo is definitely a luxury.

“We are able to use all of these events to gather information both on ourselves and the things we need to get better at, but also on tactics teams are using against us, or improvements or changes they may have made during COVID.”

Toronto’s Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson also in the Cancun women’s field have essentially qualified for Tokyo based on their FIVB Olympic provisional ranking of sixth.

Canada can send a maximum of two teams in each gender, but the men have some work to do this spring.

Samuel Pedlow of Barrie, Ont., and Sam Schacter of Richmond Hill, Ont., rank just outside the top 18 in the provisional rankings. 

Calgary’s Ben Saxton and Toronto’s Grant O’Gorman are also trying to qualify.

Pavan, 34, and Humana-Paredes, 28, aren’t facing qualification pressure, but they want to recover their game form in the upcoming tournaments.

“Do I think we’re playing at the level that we need to be in July? Absolutely not,” Pavan said. 

“I don’t think we’re performing at a gold-medal level right now, but fortunately we still have a few months to be able to hit our stride.”

The duo intends to compete in World Tour events in Sochi, Russia in May and Ostrava, Czech Republic in early June. 

They’re also contemplating another tournament in Gstaad, Switzerland in early July to avoid six weeks without a match heading into Tokyo.

Pavan lives in Hermosa Beach, Calif.

Canada’s requirement of a 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving outside the country was a barrier to the teammates crossing the border to practise together.

Neither woman felt she could afford the deconditioning that happens during two weeks of isolation too many times.

Humana-Paredes headed to California on Jan. 2 to join her teammate and stayed there. She doesn’t expect to return to Canada until after the Olympic Games conclude Aug. 8.

“I won’t be able to go home until after Tokyo,” Humana-Paredes said. “That’s the mindset I’ve had to come to terms with.  For the majority of the time, I’m in a good head space and happy to be able to train and be with my team and continue to get better. 

“Sometimes I miss by people back home and than can weigh on me a little sometimes. Last summer was so difficult because there was so much uncertainty.  We do have a schedule to look forward to, a routine and things we can plan for and the Olympics are still on.”

Her boyfriend, Connor Braid of Victoria, is a member of Canada’s rugby sevens team bound for Tokyo.

Pavan and Humana-Paredes finished second in the Katara Beach World Cup in Doha, Qatar on March 12 in their first major international competition in 18 months.

The field didn’t include all of the world’s best teams, said Pavan, but the result was important for the Canadians’ confidence.

“We had signed up for the event, but we didn’t feel ready and we actually made the final decision to go a week before the event,” Pavan said. 

“We were unsure, but we decided to just use it as a measuring stick. There were some teams that weren’t there, but to be able to fight through that event while not being as crisp as we’re used to was good.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2021.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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