Call For Performing Artists – Fort McMurray Urban Market Entertainment Tent

Deadline June 23, 2017

The Fort McMurray Urban Market is seeking entertainers for their summer market season. Arts Council Wood Buffalo (ACWB) will be hosting the entertainment tent and is currently looking for a variety of artists, including but not limited to musicians, DJs and bands of all genres, storytellers, dancers, children’s performers, theatre and circus artists. Entertainers can also comprise of visual artists facilitating art activities and demonstrations.

The Urban Market is an annual event running from June until September, located at Jubilee Plaza in Fort McMurray. Visitors can find a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, handmade crafts, free-range meats, prepared lunch items, ethnic food and much more. For more information on the Urban Market visit

To submit an application, fill out the form at the bottom of this page. Please review the below guidelines or download a copy  of the Call for Entertainment_Urban Market prior to applying. For further information contact Christina Beckman, Communications & Engagement Manager at


Entertainment Guidelines

  • ACWB welcomes submissions from both established and emerging artists, individuals and groups.
  • Entertainment for the event is selected based on the quality, engagement/audience appropriateness, price range, genre of their proposed service.
  • Preference is given to permanent residents of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
  • Artists or groups should take into consideration unforeseeable events such as inclement weather.
  • All artists or groups must be fully set-up by the start of their scheduled time slot.
  • Artists or groups must understand that the show is family focused and any act deemed inappropriate will immediately be removed from the event.
  • Event organizers will provide a 10’ x 10’ entertainment tent to be shared between ACWB and entertainment. Artist or groups must request additional equipment in their application. This can include six-foot tables and chairs, PA System, power, etc. Artists are responsible for supplying any additional art supplies.
  • Artists are responsible for the set-up and take-down of their arts activity in its entirety.
  • Artists are responsible for their own meals.
  • Event security is limited, please ensure that all valuables are not left unattended.
  • 15 minute breaks will be provided for every 2 hours of performance.
  • All participating artists are encouraged to promote this event amongst their networks, promotional materials / graphics can be supplied by the Fort McMurray Urban Market.
  • Artists must carry their own general liability insurance. The Fort McMurray Urban Market and Arts Council Wood Buffalo, its partners and sponsors, are not responsible for damages, theft, accidents related to the entertainment during this event.


Urban Market Schedule

There are 11 available market days with scheduled time slots. Artists or groups will be chosen to participate on one of the 11 days and will be required for 3 – 5 hour time slots. Artists or groups may be chosen to occupy more than one time slot per market.

1 Wednesday, June 21

2pm – 8pm

2pm – 5pm 5pm – 8pm Summer Solstice
2 Saturday, July 1

10am – 3pm

10:00am – 3pm Canada 150
3 Wednesday, July 5

11am – 6pm

11am – 2pm 3pm – 6pm NA
4 Wednesday, July 19

11am – 6pm

11am – 2pm 3pm – 6pm NA
5 Wednesday August 2

11am – 6pm

11am – 2pm 3pm – 6pm NA
6 Saturday, August 12

10am – 3pm

10:00am – 3pm Children’s Market
7 Wednesday, August 16

2pm – 8pm

2pm – 5pm 5pm – 8pm Alberta Winter Games
8 Wednesday, August 30

11am – 6pm

11am – 2pm 3pm – 6pm NA
9 Wednesday, September 6

11am – 6pm

11am – 2pm 3pm – 6pm NA
10 Saturday, September 9

10am – 3pm

10:00am – 3pm TBD
11 Wednesday, September 20

11am – 6pm

11am – 2pm 3pm – 6pm Alberta Culture Days


Entry Requirements

Entertainers are required to fill out the online application form below.

Before starting the applications process please refer to the application checklist below:

  • Artist and/or Group Bio (100 words maximum)
  • Description of entertainment or activity.
  • Additional equipment and supplies needed. I.e. tables, chairs, PA system, power.
  • Listing of preferred market dates.
  • Photos or website link of related performances, activities, experience etc.


Application Deadline

Applications must be received by end of the business day, Friday June 23, 2017.


Selection Process

ACWB is currently filling time slots. Entertainers will be selected by Arts Council Wood Buffalo staff on first come first serve basis and based on available dates, proposed entertainment/activity and pre-established market themes.

Please note ACWB will review all applications and will try to accommodate all performers, however bookings will be based on the limited time slots available.


Artist Fees

There is a set budget allocated for each market. Please include in your application your artist fee indicating a minimum of 3 hours and up to a maximum of 5 hours. Review the Entertainment Guidelines as a reference.

Application Form

  • Brief description and background of artist / group.
  • Inclusive of GST, insurance, and performance/activity specific supplies.
  • Inclusive of GST, insurance, and performance/activity specific supplies.
  • I.e. tables, chairs, PA system, power
  • Photos or website link of related performances, activities, experience, etc.
    Drop files here or

ACWB is Centre Stage with Julie Rowe

Read this month’s Arts Council Wood Buffalo member feature in the May edition of snapd Wood Buffalo, on stands now!

Wood Buffalo is home to a small but well-published group of authors. One of these literary artists, ACWB member Julie Rowe, is publishing her thirteenth novel this month, Viable Threat. Julie has lived in Fort McMurray since 1976, graduating from Father Mercredi, and is now a contract instructor at Keyano College. Although she has a Medical Lab Technology diploma and worked as a lab tech before starting a family, Julie is a writer. “I’ve been writing since junior high, mostly poetry then. I wrote as a way to express my feelings and, after my kids came along, to give myself something engaging to do that wasn’t about parenting. I moved from poetry to short stories, then to personal essays and magazine articles, which sold to magazines like Today’s Parent and Canadian living.” Julie is not one to shy away from a challenge, which led her to her first book deal. “One day I read a particularly horrible romance novel and said to my friend, Mary, “This was so awful, I could write something better.” She dared me to do it, and I accepted the challenge,” Julie remembers. “It took me a year and a half to write that first 200 page book, and it was awful. I’d fallen in love with writing, however, and started another book, then another and another…I wrote for ten years, completing more than a dozen manuscripts, before I sold my first book…which came out in November of 2011.” Currently Julie is in the middle of a five book romantic thriller series contract, Outbreak Task Force. The first book, Viable Threat, is set to release on May 22, 2017.

After several years of experience, Julie is passionate about supporting other artists in achieving their goals. “A lot of people helped me during the years before I sold my first book, so I’d like to pay that forward where I can,” Julie says. She is currently mentoring some local young writers, she teaches an online workshop about discovering your writing voice, and she will be instructing bookfolding art at The Art Foundry. Aside from writing or practicing your art every day, Julie advises artists to submit your art/writing to opportunities so that your work gets out there; take as many classes and workshops as you can, as learning is key; and go to conferences/conventions so that you can meet fellow artists, industry professionals, and consumers – network! You can keep up with Julie on her website, on Goodreads, and on Twitter and Facebook.

New Executive Director for Arts Council Wood Buffalo

The Arts Council Wood Buffalo (ACWB) Board of Directors is thrilled to announce Liana Wheeldon as the new permanent Executive Director. Liana comes into the position after working as the ACWB Membership & Engagement Manager since September 2016.

Liana Wheeldon is a graduate of Emily Carr College of Art and Design and has been a professional visual artist for over 20 years. Liana has had a lengthy career in customer service management and before coming to ACWB, she spent a year administering the Learning Through the Arts program as the Wood Buffalo Regional Manager. Since moving to Fort McMurray in 2009, Liana has been an active volunteer and arts advocate in the community and was one of four artists chosen for the 2014 Wood Buffalo Artist In Residency program run by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. She continues to create and instruct art to adults, youth, and children. Liana looks forward to bringing her strong leadership and administrative skills, as well as her arts experience to this important role in the arts community.

ACWB is also pleased to announce that as of May 1, 2017, Christina Beckman will be joining the organization as the Communications & Engagement Manager, and Diana Moser will remain with ACWB as the Programs & Partnerships Manager.

ACWB thanks their stakeholders and the arts community for their support during the past several months of transition, and looks forward to a bright future championing investment in the arts in Wood Buffalo.

Playwriting 101 course


Instructors: Conni Massing and Tracy Carroll

This hands-on course introduces participants to the fundamentals of writing for the theatre: dramatic structure, character, conflict, and dialogue. The instructors will guide participants through writing exercises and the creation of a short play during the eight-week session, utilizing diverse approaches to trigger the theatrical imagination. The course will culminate with the in-class presentation of the short plays created by students.

For interested playwrights in Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie, we are opening up a couple of spots just for you. Consider participating in our class without driving anywhere! Instead we will invite you to be a part of our writing group via Skype.

Thursday nights, 6:30 – 9 PM.

September 29

October 6

October 13

October 20

(no class Oct 27)

November 3

November 10

November 17

November 24

For more information, please contact Doug Mertz, Director, Education and Outreach / 780.428.2139

To see our brochure, go to:

Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards nominations


Arts Council Wood Buffalo (ACWB) is pleased to announce the launch of the Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards. This is an annual program that recognizes and celebrates excellence in various areas of the arts and builds awareness of the incredible contribution artists make to the region. Artists, arts educators, arts administrators, students, and other creative individuals can be nominated in 12 categories spanning a variety of disciplines. Nominations will be accepted August 16 – September 16, 2016.


“The Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards is an important opportunity to recognize the achievements of those organizations and individuals who champion the arts in our region,” says Constance Scarlett, ACWB Executive Director. “Often our artists are recognized outside of our community, and the Arts Council really wanted to provide an opportunity to showcase the best of our arts sector within Wood Buffalo.”


Starting August 16, nominations are open in the areas of Arts Administration, Arts Education, Creative Collaboration, Traditional Aboriginal Arts, Fine Craft, Media Arts, Music, Dance, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Literary Arts. The program also includes a category for artistic youth, aptly called Rising Star. Artists can nominate themselves, or have someone nominate them.


The Arts Awards, aka “The Buffys”, will be handed out during a showcase event on October 22, 2016. The focus of this event is to celebrate the achievements of our local artists through high energy, poignant performances that highlight all that our vibrant arts community has to offer. The theme for this year’s awards showcase is “The Midnight Circus”, which promises to provide a breathtaking back drop for the evening’s entertainment. Scarlett says that “the Arts Showcase is an important piece of this program. It not only provides a paid opportunity for local artists, but it gives the wider community the opportunity to see some of region’s top artists right here in Fort McMurray.” Tickets will be available for the public to come enjoy a night of entertainment and support the arts. “The Board of Directors was determined to make the event accessible to as many residents of Wood Buffalo as possible, which is why tickets are being sold for only $25,” states Scarlett. “This vision of a high-caliber local arts event for the entire community is only possible because of the tremendous support of our sponsors” she says, a group that includes Suncor, Don Scott McMurray Law Office, McMurray Métis, Balsom Communications, and Birdsong Connections.


The Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards invests in the future of our growing arts community. The recognition received by each award winner will raise their profile, build their portfolio, and allow them to compete and thrive as an artists within our community and beyond the borders of Wood Buffalo. Nomination application guidelines and forms can be found at

Theatre; Just Because 2016-17 season

All Theatre; Just Because programming is education-based, open to the community, and employs 100% local artists.

Jr. High Play Production Series (for any student enrolled in grades 7,8, or 9) – The Fantastic Mr. Fox 

This year we’re offering a brand-new Play Production Series of workshops for Fort McMurray youth! Join us to work on a production of The Fantastic Mr. Fox by David Wood & Roald Dahl and explore this story through many different avenues — music, movement, acting, and visual art!

Participants will play a role in the production, whether as an actor, assistant stage manager, or backstage support. No matter your role, this program will encourage team work, education, exploration, and professionalism.

Directed by Michelle Thorne and featuring workshops by local guest artists!
Registration opens September 1st at and visit for more information.


Play Reading Nights

Come out to read a role or to listen to the story unfold – your level of participation is completely up to you. These evenings are free to anyone attend (ages 16+), regardless of your level of experience or previous participation in our play readings.

Visit for more information and a full listing of dates.



Our workshops aim to give you the skills you need to excel at your theatrical art form. Whether you’re new to the scene or have dozens of shows under your belt, our focus is to lead you through something new and different – techniques and ideas to take with you to your next audition or project.

These are 3 hour intensive sessions lead by Theatre; Just Because artists and guest artists. Our workshops are open for anyone to register for(ages 16+), regardless of your level of experience. For more information and to sign up visit


Alberta Culture Days

Friday September 30, 2016

In partnership with The Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts, Arts Council Wood Buffalo, and  RMWB we are thrilled to be showing The National Theatre Live’s presentation of Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch. With bar services provided by The Jaguar Lounge and featuring a live Shakespearean introduction starring local actors, this is an event not to be missed. Tickets $20 | 18+ | DOORS OPEN 6PM PRE-SHOW 6:30PM SHOW 7PM


Saturday October 1

Come join Theatre; Just Because at The Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts as we celebrate Alberta Culture Days 2016 with a free workshop!

Have you ever wanted to perform on stage but get overwhelmed at the thought of having to audition?

Join local director and actor Michelle Thorne for this fun and interactive workshop for youth where will give you the knowledge, skills, and tools to eliminate the fear and help you conquer the auditioning process.

Register on line at


Sunday October 2

Come join Theatre; Just Because at The Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts as we celebrate Alberta Culture Days 2016 with a live reading of Joan MacLeod’s The Hope Slide.

Inspired by the infamous rock slide that buried part of the mining town of Frank, Alberta in 1903; The Hope Slide is an immersive portrait of one woman’s struggle to find meaning in the aftermath of the devastation following one of Alberta’s most notorious natural disasters.

Featuring a cast of local actors and directed by Michelle Thorne.

Sunday October 2 | 2pm | SECPA Theatre | FREE ADMISSION


Former YMM artists work hard to support Fort McMurray through the wildfire

Seto Pottery – Calgary, Alberta

Melba Seto is a multi-disciplinary artist who called Fort McMurray home for 5 years. She just permanently relocated to Calgary a couple months ago. Seto, who was very active in the theatre and visual arts community in Fort McMurray, is using her new studio space to support evacuees and the rebuilding effort in her former home.

13138851_1247931951884471_1496571546032837712_n Photo credit: Okotos Western Wheel, 5/4/16

50% of Seto Pottery sales in May will go towards the victims of the Fort McMurray fire. To purchase Seto Pottery go to Paint It Up Pottery Studio in Okotoks, Alberta.

” From my hands to your home, thank you” – Seto 司徒

seto pottery 2 seto pottery 1 Photo credit: Seto Pottery Instagram

“Support the Fort” – Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

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Roxanne Dicke spent many years in Fort McMurray teaching and directing in the former Keyano College Visual and Performing Arts program. Even after moving to Prince Albert, she continued to work with the Fort McMurray arts community as the director of of the Keyano Theatre Company Drama Force program, a summer arts intensive camp for youth. Dicke most recently collaborated with Fort McMurray theatre artists as director of Keyano Theatre Company’s final show of the 4 Play Drama Series 2015-16 season, Run For Your Wife, which closed on April 30, 2016, just days before the evacuation.

Dicke, now the Prince Albert Arts Board chair, and the Prince Albert arts community, several of whom also have ties to Fort McMurray, have organized “Support the Fort”, an event to raise funds for the Fort McMurray United Way to help address important social needs like housing, food assistance, trauma and mental health supports, and much more. Musical acts from Prince Albert and area will provide the entertainment, and there will also be a silent auction, thanks to the generosity of Prince Albert residents and businesses.

13245426_10153495282861087_1005454883601756538_n Handmade cedar arbor with swing donated as a silent auction item for the event (Facebook – Support the Fort)

13256522_10156858074200024_7420353990566019951_n Just some of the many silent auction items donated for the event (Facebook – Laura Hopper)

“Support the Fort” plays at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre for the Arts in Prince Albert on May 18, starting at 7:30 pm. Visit the event page here.

Artstrek 2016 – Theatre Alberta

A summer theatre school for teens

Theatre Alberta encourages students who are considering enrolling in Artstrek to register as soon as possible. For application information, please click here.

For the summer of 2016, Artstrek participants will immerse themselves in a New York City neighbourhood with hip hop beats and Latin-inspired musical arrangements. From the creator of the current Broadway sensation Hamilton, and winner of four 2008 Tony Awards and three 2016 Olivier Awards, In the Heights tells the story of three generations of Washington Heights residents over the Fourth of July holiday.

Exploration I: July 3-8 | Exploration II: July 10-15 | Exploration III: July 17-23



Wood Buffalo young artists at the Arctic Winter Games Day 6

March 11

Today Mat, Akshaya, and Camryn went on an incredible tour of the National Theatre of Greenland (NTG).

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Fast Facts about NTG

  • Director is Makka Kleist
  • Hosts 5 shows a year
  • Space used to be a hardware store – includes costume storage, props storage, and a backstage area with green room and dressing rooms
  • Black box design (a simple, somewhat unadorned performance space)
  • Theatre opened in 2011, the school started in 2012

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The NTG school currently enrolls 5 students for a 2 year program. New students are auditioning as the current class is graduating. The school is working on expanding the program to 3 years and a goal of 7 students. Currently, graduating students receive a certification using the European credit system. Students must be over 18, very mature, and independent. The theatre program is very strict – each day of class begins with a rigorous 1.5 hour long voice and physical warm up. If a student has 3 unexcused absences, they are dismissed from the program.

Greenlandic culture, language, and history are the main focuses of the program. Students have special teachers to help expand their understanding of the Greenlandic language. Equally important is dramaturgy – the study of dramatic composition and the representation of the main elements of drama on the stage. Students also learn how to tell their own personal stories through Greenlandic theatrical forms, some of which go back thousands of years.

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Classes are taught by local and outside artists. Topics include: presence, staying in the moment, voice and speech, movement, scene work (how to analyze a script, learn lines, build your character and relationship), the inner critic (how to make it help you, not hinder you), traditional Inuit mask dance, European clowning, Stanislavsky method, radio plays, camera acting. Students also present an annual Christmas family show. This is their first public performance, and it is a shared experience with established professional actors.

The NTG is currently in rehearsals for The Rez Sisters by Thompson Highway. This is a Canadian script which is being translated into Greenlandic for this performance.

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In the evening Mat, Akshaya, and Camryn attended the closing ceremonies and fireworks. The president of the games announced the 2018 Arctic Winter Games will be happening in the Northwest Territories. Popular local Greenlandic band “Small Time Giants” performed the AWG theme song “We are the Arctic” which the whole crowd (participants, coaches, locals, VIPs) sang along to with pride.

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One of the best parts of the closing ceremonies was seeing the mosaic of contingent uniforms. For the opening ceremonies each contingent walked together in all matching outfits; but come closing ceremonies so much trading of clothing items had occurred almost every person had a hodge-podge of items from a variety of contingents. It really spoke volumes to the collaborative and supportive nature of the games.

After the closing ceremonies everyone walked down to the Old Harbour for a spectacular fire works show!



Wood Buffalo young artists at the Arctic Winter Games Day 5

March 10

Mat, Akshaya, and Camryn had the pleasure of participating in a traditional Greenlandic custom called “Kaffemas” which translates to ‘coffee meeting.’ This is where visitors come into locals’ homes and they share cake, coffee, tea, and stories. The hosts also perform for the guests and the guests perform for the hosts. The group went to a local foster home where the children put on a play for us. They were also treated to a presentation by a visiting string quartet made up of older foster children from all over Greenland. This program has been integral in giving these children the skills and confidence to rise from their unfortunate beginnings and have successful and balanced adult lives. It was a incredibly touching experience.

Akshaya received the Fair Play award from Team Alaska and Team Greenland gave the Fair Play award to all 3 members of the Team Alberta North cultural contingent.

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The artists had their final gala performance. Once again the participants performed to a sold out audience of almost 500 people. The official Arctic Winter Games website says the show elegantly united the modern and traditional, the past and future, youth and experience in an abundance of cultural capacity. “We got good insights as to how our cultures are connected and yet different. We got to see something new and something old put together in a modern and very exciting show. Most of all we experienced young performers being a part contemporary globalized times standing on a solid basis of Arctic culture. To me that is very life-affirming and it gives a lot of hope for the future” says Maliina Abelsen, General Manager of Arctic Winter Games 2016.

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You can see the Mat, Akshaya, and Camryn’s performance during the Arctic Winter Games 2016 Gala here. Their performance starts around the 3:00 mark.

After the performance, every cultural contingent participant was given a special medallion made from melted down found bullet casings and old coins discovered by Greenlandic hunters. The medallions are in the shape of a drum and are very unique. All the cultural group managers received a medallion as well.

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You can see the second half of the Gala and the medallion ceremony here: The presentation of the cultural contingent participant medallions starts around the 35:00 mark.