Arts enthusiasts will be in heaven this weekend at this year’s Smoky River Cultural Days: A Celebration of Arts, Culture, and Community, and organizers are saying it could rival city events that are held nationally.
The three-day event is being held from Sept. 8-10 at the Centre Chevaliers and Falher Municipal Campground in Falher, with a variety of events, workshops, and artistry sure to appeal to all demographics.
Nord-Ouest FM executive director Gisele Bouchard says the event will have a little bit for everyone and is sure to provide entertainment for all who attend.
“Cultural Days are a national undertaking that has taken root in many larger centers in Canada,” says Bouchard.
“Events centered specifically around celebrating the arts are rarer in the Smoky River area. Les Journées de la culture de Smoky River Cultural Days are our partners and our first attempt at hosting such an event,” she adds.
The event is affectionately called ‘Journées de la culture de Smoky River Cultural Days’ and will feature artists, performers, artisans, and other aspects of the community that will focus on creativity and a celebration of the arts.
Cultural Days is partially funded by a grant received from the Alberta government, but money received was significantly less than what organizers were anticipating. Thus, they are finding creative ways to raise more funds to help pay for the event, like hosting a 50/50 draw and a cash bar at their Friday event.
“For our organization, this is a great occasion to bring people to the Centre Chevaliers,” explains Bouchard.
“We know the Société du Centre Communautaire would love for the hall to be used more often for community events. We thought we would bring organizations together to hold an art and performance event right here in the Smoky River area.”
Nord-Ouest FM has partnered up the Falher Library, Smoky River Adult Learning, ACFA régionale, Café Nord-Ouest, Smoky River FCSS, Centre Chevaliers and Rural Northern Chicks to host the event.
“We always need art in our lives and we don’t always take the time to celebrate it,” she says. “Cultural
Days are a great occasion to do just that.”
Festivities will start with a Happy Hour Karaoke and barbeque supper on Friday night, sponsored by New Horizon Co-op and East Peace Gas Co-op. As part of the evening, Nord-Ouest FM will commence its season premiere of Les artiste de chez-nous, featuring Magmatix, Rocky Mountain Sound, and the Blues trio Lavoie Ferrée.
Saturday will feature lots of local talent at the Centre Chevaliers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with Renelle Ray, Jenna Loewen, Alexanne Fillion, Kendall and Justin Beaudoin, and Manon Mano performing. There will also be local authors Pierrette Requier and Talena Winters reading excerpts, workshops, a craft market, and treats available at the canteen. The evening will feature a Smoky River Transportation dance fundraiser with Diamond Highway performing. Tickets for the supper can be purchased by phoning FCSS at (780) 837-2220.
“We hope this event will help promote the many artisans, artists, authors and performers from our area,” says Bouchard. “It’s much more about recognizing the talent we have in this area. Instead of always looking further afield for cultural entertainment, we should take the time to appreciate the talented people we have right here.”
Sunday will feature the Association Canadienne- française de l’Alberta’s annual Corn Shucking event, featuring the Franco-Albertain cover band Dépaysé from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Falher Municipal Campground.
“The event is open to everyone,” she says. “We made a point of making sure most everything is free.
“There are workshops for adults and youth, live music, public reading, and a chance to meet two local authors.”
For a complete list of all the singers, events, and great attractions that will be part of this weekend’s festivities, please visit the event Facebook page, Journées de la culture de Smoky River Cultural Days, or phone the radio station at (780) 837-2346.