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 http://www.artscouncilwb.ca/programs/wood-buffalo-excellence-arts-awards/2016-arts-awards-nominees/.

Call for Mentee Applications – Graffiti Abatement Mural Mentorship Program

Arts Council Wood Buffalo and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo are pleased to offer the Graffiti Abatement Mural Mentorship Program. The program is designed to provide one emerging mural artist / visual artist in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo hands-on experience working on a large-scale mural project, under the guidance of an established mentor artist.
The program offers the successful mentee the opportunity to build their portfolio and provides 20 hours of peer learning. The mentee will be compensated for their time assisting with mural.

Mentee Applicants must be:
– At least 16 years of age
– Residents of Wood Buffalo for a minimum of 12 months prior to the deadline
*Note: Applicants may apply for both the Graffiti Abatement Mural Project and the Mentee Position. The application for the Graffiti Abatement Mural Project can be found here: http://www.rmwb.ca/living/Beautification/Graffiti/Graffiti-Abatement-Mural-Program.htm

$20 / hour for a maximum of 20 hours (including one hour of safety training and one hour of concept work with the mentoring artist).
Mentees also receive Arial Platform Training, Fall Arrest Training, and Bear Aware Training.

Wednesday August 10, 2016, 4:00 PM (MDT)
Applications must be emailed to Constance Scarlett, Executive Director at constance.scarlett@artscouncilwb.ca.

– A one page letter of interest detailing how the mentorship opportunity will help move you closer to your professional and artistic goals.
– Curriculum Vitae
– Three digital images of your artwork (maximum). No detail shots. JPEG format with file size not to exceed 1MB. Files should be named as follows: first name_last name.1.jpeg, etc.

– Applications will be reviewed by a three person selection panel consisting of: a member of the Public Art Committee, an Arts Council Wood Buffalo Board Member, and an established Wood Buffalo visual artist.
– Applicants will be assessed and ranked based on their portfolio, experience to date, and the potential impact of the mentorship on their artistic career.
– An Arts Council Wood Buffalo staff member will facilitate the selection process to ensure it remains fair and transparent.
– Applicants will be notified by Friday August 26, 2016. The successful applicant may refuse the mentee position based on the selected mentor artist (being selected concurrently). In such a case, the mentee position will be offered to the next ranked applicant.

Should applicants have any questions about the program or application requirements, they can contact Constance Scarlett, Executive Director at constance.scarlett@artscouncilwb.ca or 587-674-1625 x.101.

Call for Mentee Applications PDF

Call for Artists: Art in Motion

Art in Motion at McMurray Experience

Summer Exhibition: A Celebration of Indigenous Artwork

This theme is a celebration of indigenous art that includes many divergent artistic practices that operate outside of established western canons of art and art history.

Many contemporary indigenous artists draw on their ancestral connections, combining these with their knowledge and engagement with contemporary international art practices. Indigenous artwork can come in many forms ranging from sculptures, paintings, beadwork, woodwork and carving.The resulting art is often a critique of current social conditions that are the consequence of colonial histories. The experience of forced assimilation, cultural repression and displacement, common to many indigenous peoples, are defining characteristics of these art forms.

This theme is as it states – “a celebration” of perseverance and generational transmission of culture and language.

Join the celebration of indigenous artwork in McMurray Experience! This exhibit will be displayed from August 10 to October 28, 2016.

The exhibit space allows for both 2D and 3D art and has space for 12 pieces.

Deadline for submissions is July 29, 2016.

More information on both the theme and Art in Motion can be found at www.rmwb.ca/artinmotion.

Wood Buffalo Artist Creates Wildfire-Inspired Painting for Online Auction

In the wake of the Fort McMurray wildfires Sharon Heading, a long-time Fort McMurray resident and artist, is using her art to heal and provide financial support for her community. Heading has created a piece inspired by Calgary firefighter Sara Durocher’s photograph of a rainbow in the midst of a smoldering forest that has been widely shared on social media over the past several weeks. In partnership with Arts Council Wood Buffalo (ACWB), the charcoal and gouache (a type of watercolour) painting will be auctioned off online, with all proceeds going to help local artists rebuild.

Heading was immediately inspired by the original photograph: “I was amazed that in the middle of the heat and wet (she was dodging a stream of water) she took the time to snap a photo with her phone.” Heading said that throughout the tragedy that has befallen Fort McMurray, she has been “focusing on tiny perfect moments. A way to remind myself that it is important to take joy where we can and not be overwhelmed by life and what it can throw our way. This seemed like one of those moments.”

ACWB Executive Director, Constance Scarlett says she’s excited to support this project. “We have been absolutely humbled by the out pouring of support from the arts community across Canada asking to help Wood Buffalo artists. When Sharon, an evacuee herself, approached us with this auction we immediately wanted to make it a reality.” For Scarlett, providing support for the region’s artists is an important part of the rebuilding process; “we know that the arts will be crucial in rebuilding a balanced community in Fort McMurray with a remarkable quality of life. In order to be a part of that rebuilding process, our artists will need certain resources themselves.”

Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Heading has called the west home for the last 16 years. Art education came later in life when she took courses at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and the Visual and Performing Arts Program at Keyano College. Heading finds the process as rewarding as the finished work. Her art has been evolving over the years as she experimented with various mediums and styles. Water and nature have been a dominant theme but there was no consistent focus until a recent experiment with “poured” paint resulted in a new body of work. Heading likes to work large with bold lines and dynamic colour, and says that “inspiration is everywhere, staying focused is always the challenge.”

For Heading, the piece she has created for the auction is a departure from her usual work which normally involves poured paint. “Even if I had access to my studio or any studio, paint just would not work for this piece. I choose gouache and charcoal because that is exactly what the picture was: primal, water and fire. It didn’t ever occur to me to use anything else. The thought that something beautiful could be made from charcoal (the aftermath of fire) appealed to me.”

The auction will be hosted by ACWB on their Facebook page starting at 9:00 am MST on Monday, June 13. Bidders are asked to submit their bid in the comments section of the painting’s photo. For those who do not have Facebook but still wish to bid, please email communications@artscouncilwb.ca. The auction will close at 11:59 pm MST on Friday, June 17. The winner will be contacted by June 20. All proceeds will go to helping local artists who have lost supplies, artwork, and instruments as a result of the wildfire. Arts Council Wood Buffalo will announce how the funds are to be distributed in July. Visit the ACWB Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ArtsCouncilWB.


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

13087922_10154206711136214_7665784277874184927_n 13102814_10153147337704058_5914397980101319077_n

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.


In Bloom Open Call for Artworks

The MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery presented by Kirschner Family Corporation in collaboration with Wood Buffalo Communities in Bloom will be hosting a collective exhibition entitled In Bloom, open to the public from July 25th through to August 19th, 2016. For this exhibition the gallery will be accepting individual art submissions and group proposals, both outlined in the guidelines.

The “In Bloom” exhibition coincides with the Communities in Bloom’s annual competition and artists are encouraged to be inspired by the CiB program’s judging criteria in their own visual interpretation and express what beautification means to them. Examples include floral, landscapes and heritage. We are also accepting three dimensional artwork for this exhibition. They must fit within our new gallery display cases and if you are interested, please contact me for more information.

Group submission proposals are due May 29that 4:00pm, giving the successful group a month and a half to complete the artwork. Individual artists submissions of up to 3 finished artworks are due June 26th at 4:00pm.


See complete call for more information: In Bloom – Exhibition Open Call to Artists (PDF)


Christina Beckman

Arts Exhibit Coordinator

Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo

1 CA Knight Way

Fort McMurray, AB

T9H 5C5

P: 780-791-0070, ext. 5043


Art Bus Tour

Art bus tour from Fort McMurray to the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA)

May 13 – 14, 2016

Make a trip to Edmonton for a weekend of special programming at the AGA. This art-lovers bus trip will arrive in Edmonton on Friday afternoon with the option to attend the annual AGA fundraiser and silent auction “Art on the Block”: http://www.youraga.ca/calendar/art-on-the-block-3/

The following day a delicious brunch at the Zinc Restaurant: http://www.zincrestaurant.ca/ , a private gallery tour and a hands-on class before returning to Fort McMurray.

Please visit the following link with more details and full itinerary: http://www.youraga.ca/aga-art-bus

2016 Wood Buffalo Artist in Residency program Call for Artists

The 2016 Wood Buffalo Artist in Residency program invites local emerging artists aged 16 and older to apply to two mentorship programs:

Program 1: May 30, 2016-July 8, 2016

Program 2: July 18, 2016-August 26, 2016

Up to six applicants will be accepted into each of the two six week sessions. Local applicants have a choice as to which program they would like to apply for, or they can apply to both.

Successful applicants will receive:

Access to studio space

Full mentorship opportunities

A modest budget set forth by the Municipality for supplies

Their work publicly exhibited at the MacDonald Island Community Gallery presented by the Kirschner Family Corporation Program

Participation expectations:

A commitment of 15 hours per week to the program

The completion of two original works created within the session

Application requirements:

A 500 word essay on why the applicant would like to apply to the mentorship program, the benefits they hope to receive from the program, a description of their artistic process, and what they hope to explore.

Five photographs of five original pieces of work

A sentence stating which mentorship program they would like to attend or if they are applying for both

All contact information: phone, email, and mailing address

We invite all community members aged 16 or older interested in the visual arts to submit a proposal on or before Friday, April 29, 2016, at 4 p.m. (Mountain Time) via email to recreationandculture@rmwb.ca, or by hard copy to: 2016 Artist in Residency Program, c/o Michael Beamish The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo 9909 Franklin Avenue, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada T9H 2K4

Leave your Wallets at Home; Art Paid with Heart at the Wood Buffalo Timeraiser

FuseSocial is thrilled to announce that the fifth annual independent Timeraiser presented by Suncor and Shell will be happening once again during National Volunteer Week April 10 to 16.

Timeraiser is a volunteer matching fair for the social profit sector, a silent art auction, and a night out on the town. The big twist is rather than bid money on artwork, participants bid volunteer hours. The Opening Reception will be at MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery presented by Kirschner Family Corporation on Thursday April 14, 2016 at 6:30 PM. This year, 48 pieces of art have been purchased from local artists for the event, which means that approximately $18,000 has gone into supporting the Wood Buffalo Art Community. We anticipate that the combined art pieces will generate close 3,700 volunteer hours similar to last year’s event.

“We are pleased to host the fifth annual Wood Buffalo Timeraiser during National Volunteer Week,” said Katie Loutitt, Champion of Change at FuseSocial. Timeraiser is a unique way to increase volunteer capacity within our community while supporting local artists. In the past, the Wood Buffalo Timeraiser has been more generous, per capita, in volunteer hours compared to larger cities such as Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. It is a testament to our community spirit.”

The evening will also include an opportunity for volunteers to engage with 20 social profit organizations and the silent auction. Appetizers will be served and beverages will be available. Tickets are on sale and are $15 each. For full event information and tickets visit fusesocial.ca.

For more information:

Katie Loutitt, Champion of Change

T 780-791-9333



Call for Artists: Centennial Art Project (Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors)

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors


100 Years of Chiropractic

1917 – 2017




The Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors (ACAC) is celebrating 100 years of chiropractic in Alberta in 2017. The ACAC is seeking to commission a painting to honour this significant milestone. The painting will be displayed in the ACAC office, and prints of the piece will be distributed to the association’s membership (approx. 1,050 members) and select stakeholders.




Completed artwork will be expected by September 30, 2016. The selected artist will work with the ACAC to conceptualize and complete one draft sketch before work on the piece begins.


Budget (including artist fees, materials and transportation) is $2,500.


If possible, the finished artwork will incorporate the themes of centennial, chiropractic and Alberta.


The artwork will be reproduced in poster form for distribution to Membership and other stakeholders. Artist will be compensated according to CARFAC’s Minimum Fee Schedule (2016).


Submission Requirements


The applicant must provide access to an online or print portfolio, addressed to:


(Brittany Ayotte)

Email: bayotte@albertachiro.com


Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

11203 70 Street, Edmonton, AB  T5B 1T1


Along with a portfolio, applicant must enclose a short letter expressing their interest and intended media, as well as a CV/resume and two references.


Deadline for submissions is May 7, 2016 at 8 a.m. MST.