Cochrane arts and culture festival receives provincial grant
Cochranites can look forward to a weekend of culture and the arts this fall.
Arts and Culture Foundation of Cochrane (ACFC) members recently learned the organization is the recipient of a $4,000 grant from the Province to pay for free community events for Alberta Culture Days, to take place across the province on Sept. 29 and 30.
“It is just really exciting for the ACFC and the community,” said Sandy Johnson, cultural programmer with the Town of Cochrane. “What the funding does is create a bigger event than we would have without the funding.”
Cochrane was chosen as a host celebration site for its third annual Alberta Culture Days, a province-wide celebration of arts and culture.
The two-day event will take place in Cochrane’s Centennial Plaza, which is located in the downtown core. One or two streets will also be closed down and a nearby green space will be utilized.
Although the events are not yet finalized, the weekend will include indie films brought in by the Chinook Film Group, performances by local musicians, a concert by Canadian artist Joel Plaskett and the art of local and area artists, including painting, sculpting and photography.
Cochrane’s Classic Car Club will also be putting on an inaugural show and shine.
The annual outhouse races, a unique charity event featuring homemade structures that are raced by teams, will also take place over the weekend.
Saffron Collective Studios will hosts its second annual Empty Bowls event.
Hand made bowls and mugs, which will be filled with beverages and food by local restaurants, will be available for $20. All the proceeds will go to the Cochrane Food Bank.
According to Nicole Snider of Saffron Studios, last year’s Empty Bowls event raised more than $2,600 for the organization. The event sold 150 bowls in four hours.
“We are trying to double it this year,” she said.
“It is a fantastic cause. It is helping your community by giving back.”
Johnson said Cochrane has been celebrating arts and culture for three years, but this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever. She encourages people to make it a weekend getaway.
“It has turned into a cultural feast,” she said. “It is a vibrant event…we try to get representation from all the arts, including performing, visual, culinary. It (will be) a great way to spend a weekend in Alberta.”
Janny Hutchinson, ACFC president, said organizers are now in the planning stages for the celebration and welcome suggestions from residents.
“We are open to ideas,” she said, adding artist and cultural demonstrations would be welcome.
“There’s lots of events happening and lots of people are out and it makes it more interesting and fun for everyone,” said Hutchinson.
She encourages artists hailing from Cochrane, Rocky View and surrounding areas are to take part in the art sale and demonstrations taking place over the weekend.
“You certainly get to meet other artists,” said Hutchinson.
“You get to expose what you are doing and let other people know what you are doing and how you are expressing yourself to the artist community.”
Alberta Culture Days is open for involvement by all communities, governments, businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals.
To encourage participation, the Alberta government is sharing $375,000 in grant money with 64 community organizations to help with planning and coordinating the events.
“Alberta Culture Days is about family, community, diversity and cultural vibrancy. It’s a celebration of everything great about this province,” said Heather Klimchuk, minister of culture.
“We’re hoping the leadership shown by the Celebration Sites will inspire even more Albertans to get involved.”
Each organization receiving support will partner with others in their community to present free, family-friendly events and cultural activities throughout the Culture Days weekend.
For more information, visit www.albertaculturedays.ca