September 26th, 2018

Medicine Hat brimming with culture all weekend long

By Jeremy Appel on September 29, 2017.

Vi Wiens, at the wheel, and Lenora Stein visit while working on their pottery projects Wednesday morning. The Medicine Hat Potters' Association, Fibre Arts Society and Hat Art Club are among the many groups and organizations taking part in Culture Days this weekend and will have their work on display at the Cultural Centre.

Medicine Hat’s arts scene is gearing up for Alberta Culture Days, a series of free events scheduled from today to Sunday.

“Every year, and throughout the whole year, we have a plethora of cultural activities happening throughout the city,” said Tobie Laliberte, marketing and promotions co-ordinator for the Esplanade, which has several events planned for the weekend.

“It’s amazing how vibrant this city is culturally at any given time, but you can really see it shine during Culture Days.”

Tonight is the Downtown Medicine Hat Art Walk, which occurs at the Esplanade from 7-9 p.m.

The Esplanade is using this opportunity to display four new art exhibits, including one about hockey.

Other venues will be open even later tonight and have events occurring throughout the weekend.

The library is hosting a Culture on the Street event in conjunction with the Downtown Art Walk. It will be hosting a series of author readings and a downtown story walk near the library.

The former I-XL plant will be the site of the 15th edition of Pecha Kucha, “an informal speaker series.”

Medalta Ceramics has free museum admission all day today, with a “special tour” of the Shaw Centre, its artist residency, “which is not usually open to the public,” museum co-ordinator Maggie Flynn said.

They’re also participating in the Art Walk this evening with a pop-up ceramic shop.

Medalta is staging the Filthy Hands Festival with the library’s assistance Saturday, from 2 p.m. to midnight, at the former Brick and Tile (I-XL) plant.

“It’s a festival that combines music, art, lots of tours of the Brick Factory and kids activities as well,” said Flynn.

The event is free from 2 to 8 p.m. They have a ticketed concert from 8 p.m. onwards, which is technically not part of Culture Days, as it’s not government-sponsored.

The City Centre Development Agency has a Family Fun Day scheduled at Riverside Veterans’ Memorial Park starting at 3 p.m. today, which includes activities for children, karaoke and plenty of food trucks.

April Tunke, office and events co-ordinator for the CCDA, said this is a “great way to celebrate” Medicine Hat’s rich cultural heritage.

The Medicine Hat Cultural Centre has three studios participating in its activities this year — potters, weavers and visual artists.

It will be open to the public Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Here in Medicine Hat, we’re a bit of a distance from any other major centre so we have had to develop our own culture,” said Allan Jensen, programs co-ordinator for the Hat Art Club. “Quite often you’ll find that isolated areas … will certainly be hotbeds as far as culture is concerned.”

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