by: Rochelle Dorosh, Production Assistant.


With the start of the Works Festival approaching quickly, the production team’s workload has ramped up. Our days are now fully occupied with installations, art pickups and project completions for a variety of exhibits. Since the start of our work term, the scale of our projects has increased. The riser we are currently building is the size of a king-size bed! As an architecture student, I often build miniature models of my projects, but this internship has shown me the challenges in working at a bigger scale. We have to consider weight, bracing, transportation, and environmental factors. The slight warp or bow in a 2”x 4” can alter our finished product. Sometimes ladders and paint roller extensions are required to span the height. Gravity seems to work against us. The construction techniques and joinery of materials is crucial in our projects, whereas wood glue is sufficient for my miniature models. Our projects need to be strong, as they must support artwork and last for more than one festival season. In comparison, my architecture models can easily shatter into a million pieces if dropped from desk height and are short lived.

Working in a team, rather than as an individual, has been very rewarding and a great relief given our workload! We have an opportunity to draw on the various backgrounds and skills that each member brings to the team. We learn from each other, problem solve together, and most importantly, we share the physical weight of our projects, literally!

Rochelle Dorosh is currently pursuing a Master’s in Architecture at the University of Calgary. She attended the University of Toronto, graduating from a Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture and Sociology with High Distinction in 2016. In 2012, Rochelle obtained a Diploma in Architectural Technology from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). As part of an arts-based project led by a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, she volunteered as an arts facilitator, working with young mothers experiencing homelessness. In 2010, she co-founded Francophilosophie, a fundraiser displaying the abilities of French speaking artists.  Francophilosophie supports a scholarship awarded each year to a French Immersion graduate at Harry Ainlay High School in Edmonton. Rochelle is interested urbanism, alternative housing, and the relationships that people have with the spaces they inhabit. 

The Artist Life

by: Vanessa Traub, Volunteer Coordinator.


Photo: Kasie Campbell at the Kennedale Facility Artist Residency

Being a Works to Work intern involves, well, work, but in that are invaluable experiences that teach, challenge and encourage the growth of emerging artists. Me and three other interns were given the opportunity to join in the creation of a sculpture for the festival behind the lead of local artist Kasie Campbell. Not only did Kasie invite us into her studio but she shared many stories of her transition from university to a professional practice, from the initial struggles of not having access to resources to managing a family and work. We all sat outside, asking questions while sewing away to create a collectively dynamic piece. However, this collaboration was more than just creating art. Through genuine curiosity and meaningful conversation I got a real look into ‘the artist life’.

Just a few weeks later, all the Works to Work interns went on a field trip to visit Kasie at her artist residency. In her eleventh and final month at The City of Edmonton Kennedale Facility, Kasie guided us in her exploration of using concrete in sculpture. She gave us a tour of her studio space and spoke to the challenge of juxtaposing visually organic objects with an industrial medium. After seeing her studio space we all sat outside in a quiet space to ask questions about Kasie’s residency and artwork, and even hear about her time as a Works to Work intern.

Getting the chance to work with an artist for the festival and seeing first hand what an artist residency looks does not happen everyday. These surprising interactions with Kasie are an example of the opportunities the Works to Work summer internship offers. The internship program strives to get interns involved in the Edmonton arts community and I’ve found it does exactly that.

Vanessa Traub is an artist based in Edmonton pursuing her BFA in painting at the University of Alberta. Her work has been featured in various fundraisers including the Edmonton Public School Foundation’s annual Ready to Frame auction. Vanessa’s past works speak to the impact of mental health on identity, and currently embraces childlike imagination. Recently, she has initiated an art program at the Edmonton Young Offender Centre teaching beginner and advanced classes. Vanessa strives to teach the youth invaluable skills that they can take as tools to explore their interests and the vast definition of art.

Backstage Basics

by: Linda Mullen, Marketing Assistant.

Ever wonder how things are run backstage at a concert or play? How did that giant set piece appear onstage in a blackout? How were pyrotechnics timed perfectly with the entrance of Beyoncé? Well, let me drop some knowledge on you and share one of the greatest tools used to make everything run according to plan: the stage bible. 

Every successful entertainment event you have attended has to be meticulously planned. Details must be thought of in order to ensure the enjoyment and safety of both the audience and crew. The stage bible, containing a wealth of information, is usually kept and created by a stage manager. Depending on the type of show being produced, content in the binder can differ. For The Works Street Stage, the main documents are stage plots and technical riders. Stage plots are drawings indicating location of instruments, performers and equipment onstage. Technical riders contain specific technical requirements such as what kind of guitar amp a band prefers or how many power sources they will need. Since The Street Stage will be presenting more than 80 performances, having other information like contact lists, band bios, schedules, contracts and stage inventory are important to be accessible. 

In order to build a stage bible you will need a 4” ring binder, a ton of tab dividers and labels. Sections should be clearly labeled and organized because backstage work is usually fast and done in very dim lighting. While a binder full of paper is not very high tech, it is imperative to a smooth show. The stage bible is only one of many tools used to keep audiences and crew safe and happy.

Linda Mullen is an emerging stage manager and theatre technician from Edmonton. She is currently in her third year of the University of Alberta’s B.F.A. Stage Management program. While her passion is in stage management, she is also a graduate of MacEwan University’s Theatre Production program. She enjoys all aspects of production and takes special interest in theatre lighting, scenic painting and drafting. Linda enjoys working in both theatre and festival
settings. In her spare time, she likes to be in the fresh air, whether it is hiking in the mountains or walking in the Edmonton River Valley. Select theatre credits include Twelfth Night (Studio Theatre), @Tension (Viral Flock), Nice Work If You Can Get It (MacEwan), Curtains and Heathers: The Musical.

Just Ask

by Susan Winters, Volunteer Supervisor


This past winter, The Works was selected to participate in artsVest, a Canadian training program that connects arts organizations with local business. This training consists of online modules, webinars, peer-to-peer discussions and mentorship sessions with experienced arts administrators. Apart from expanding my sponsorship vocabulary and refining my pitching strategy, the biggest lesson I take from artsVest training is to ask for exactly what you want. Ask specifically and realistically. Without such epiphany, I would have never had the guts to ask longtime volunteer department supporters, Cookies By George, to sign onto a 3-year sponsorship contract. They gladly agreed to it and now we’ve secured a 3-year supply of cookies for our deserving volunteers. However, this deal has little to do with my strategic pitching and far more to do with the generosity of this sweet business.

I used to perceive dissonance between the arts and business. There’s something uncouth about the logo soup found on the backs of programs, on the footers of webpages and embedded in our favorite organizations’ letterhead. Marketing seems like a trick and the act of “cultivating a sponsor” seems morbid.

Through artsVest we’ve been prepped to speak to the needs of a business’s marketing strategy. But the businesses that support the volunteer department seldom care about the return on their investment. When we reach out for support, it’s members of the community that reach back with generosity and we’re eager to thank them with whatever we can offer, even if it’s just the logo on the footer of our webpage.  

Susan Winters is a writer based in Edmonton, Alberta. In 2017, she was selected to participate in the National Screen Institute’s Features First program. Her writing can be found in literary magazines such as Canthius Journal, This Side of West and (parenthetical). In 2016 she was twice shortlisted for PRISM international’s poetry contest, and placed second in the Blodwyn Memorial Prize for poetry. She won Best Screenplay through the Reel Shorts Film Festival with script Little Thailand in 2014, which she directed in 2015. In addition to holding a degree in Screenwriting from the University of Victoria, she is a Fine Art graduate of Grant MacEwan University

The house

by: Gabriel Soligo, Production Assistant


It’s said that the best athletes can make their actions look effortless—at The Works we seek the same graceful execution year after year. On June 22nd Churchill Square will be vibrating with a thousand excited voices; we hope that all that action is enough to mask the weekdays, evenings, and long weekends worked in anticipation of the festivities. Our labour of love may execute effortlessly on the tiles of Churchill but all those overtime hours when the staff of The Works are hustling the most take place in McCauley.

Yes, follow the bread-crumb-trail of screws and bolts away from Churchill Square and you will find a proud two-story house at the corner of 106a and 95th street which is the heart of the festival. Home of The Works and it’s staff, this house looks ordinary from outside but if you venture inside you will find a hive of activity. Somehow this whole festival fits in a space the size of a large family home. Within these walls we pick our artists, sign contracts, design our guide, build props, recruit volunteers, —take five—, and organize every bit of what you’ll see on the streets of Edmonton during those long late-June days.

All of us employees come together in the corridors and crannies, the deep basement, and the hot top-floor to share idea’s. It’s through this sharing that we are are able to put on the largest free art and design festival in North America. Without the dialogue that we foster together there would just be a few busy bodies working on our own projects in a big house, we know that it’s only through the conversations we have with each other that we are able to transform The Works into something bigger than it’s constituent parts.

Gabriel Soligo is an artist and designer who works within various media and textile art forms. Originally from Peterborough, Ontario—he is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the Intermedia program at NSCAD University in K’jipuktuk (Halifax), Nova Scotia. Gabriel has forged a theory focused art practice—honing skills in fashion design and construction, textile structure, video, sound engineering, and is generally adept at working with hands-on materials. 

His recent artistic interests have been into ideas of alienation vs. collectivity, processes of exchange, and non-immediacy as a nurturing practice. In 2017, Gabriel completed his first collection of clothing and also celebrated his first solo exhibition. He has won several academic scholarships including the Robert G. Merritt Memorial Scholarship, Robert Pope Foundation Undergraduate Award, and the Nova Scotia Talent Trust.

2017 !

by: Betty-Jo McCarville, Education Facilitator

The Works kicked-off our 32nd Festival season yesterday with a successful media launch at the Matrix Hotel. 

2017 is a year for dialogue, and one such vein for sharing our ideas and experiences will be right here on the Works Blog. Stay tuned for new posts by this year’s internship participants over the coming weeks.

Exercise your right brain

by Ben Garcia, Production Assistant


The arts are good for you. Literally. Study after study show the positive impacts on your health when making art - from reducing stress and anxiety, increasing positive emotions, and reducing the likelihood of depression, just to name a few. 

That being said, I want to show you how to make your very own custom stamps.


- Erasers

- Lino/Stamp cutting tool/Xacto knife

- Cutting mat

- India ink/ink pad


1. Draw or transfer (with tracing paper) your design onto the eraser. 

2. If you’re using a lino cutting tool, use the small ‘v’ shaped blade in the cutting tool to cut around the outline of your design and the flatter blade to cut away the larger areas. The goal is to cut away any negative space. 

3. When you’re happy with your design, ink up your custom stamp and print away.

So go ahead, be creative, and exercise your right brain. You’ll be a healthier and happier human for doing so.

Ben Garcia is an emerging photographer from Edmonton, AB. He recently completed a Photographic Technology diploma from NAIT. His interest lies in storytelling through provocative and intimate imagery. This year his work was selected for Alexis Marie Chute’s Infocus Photo Exhibit. Moreover, he was featured in Photolife magazine’s 25 emerging photographers to watch in 2016. To view more of his work, please visit

The Beauty in the Details

By Natalie Castrogiovanni, Production Coordinator

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my two years as a Works to Work intern at the Works Art & Design Festival, it is that the mentality of the team is crucial to the quality of the outcome. This year we had a fantastic outcome, directly reflective of who was involved behind the scenes. Our team always has a group of people with diverse backgrounds and strengths, but with one overarching common goal and a talent for breaking all the major things we need do into manageable sizes and celebrating the little things we accomplish along the way.

 The thing I love most about art is in the details, and there are a million little details to putting up a festival. The ones specific to an art and design one are definitely worth celebrating. This year the convergence of art and design was especially prevalent in the production interns lives as we built pergolas from scratch with the leadership of our production supervisor. beyond these pergolas, after encountering the Edmonton peace poles project, is the large-scale sculpture Canopy by Jose Louis Torres, actualized by the help of his team of Skip interns. The craftsmanship, careful consideration and overall aesthetic quality of both projects are a great addition to the Works festival this year. Canopy is a piece made almost entirely of donated and found objects. The pergolas are entirely built of recycled wood which the Works has collected over the years from various projects. The convergence of art and design, as well as re-purposing of old, forgotten objects and materials are beautiful details both projects possess. It is only upon further investigation that this connection can be made, and that in itself is the inherent value of art. 

As an art student about to enter my final year of school, I find myself looking for aesthetic beauty everywhere now and enjoying the overlap of art, design and life which is omnipresent yet often invisible to the naked eye. I challenge everyone who visits the festival this year to attempt to access the beauty of the details in everything they encounter on the square and in external venues, because I guarantee it is there, and connections to life, art, and design are always waiting to be made. 

Natalie Castrogiovanni is a multidisciplinary artist originally from London, Ontario and currently based out of Toronto, Ontario. She engages with found and constructed objects and imagery that reference the body, usually its temporality, or politics and external forces which limit and shape one’s experience of having a body, especially one that presents as feminine in the Information Age.

Behind the scenes parts

By Jayleen Wilke, Production Assistant

One of the many great things about being an intern for The Works is being directly exposed to the amazing community Edmonton has. During these past months I’ve seen so much of Edmonton I’ve never seen before, or been to before, even though I was born and raised here. The biggest reason for this is because of the giant installation called Canopy by Jose Luis Torres, which you can find in the middle of Churchill square right now.          

Prior to the festival, the production team was running around picking up recycled materials to be a part of the massive sculpture. One of these stops was to the Canadian Bumper Recycling warehouse, where they collect damaged bumpers from collision repair shops. There were a lot of bumpers. Bumpers compressed into big square bales waiting to be shipped away and melted, ready to become something new again. But what really stuck with me was when the owner mentioned that they were just breaking even as a business but diverting thousands of plastic waste from landfills annually.

My whole Works experience so far has been filled with meeting amazing people who do amazing things, which makes my heart happy, and hopefully the Festival can do the same for you! Make sure you check out Canopy, Jose’s sculpture, and see how many bumpers you can find!

Jayleen Wilke is a multi-discipline artist and designer from Edmonton, Alberta. She recently completed her 3rd year of a Bachelor of Design specializing in Industrial Design at the University of Alberta. Her design work focuses on the handcrafted, while her paintings depict landscapes she’s visited; connecting places in nature with people.

Jayleen was awarded top of the class awards in Art 10, Art 20, and Art 35 from St. Joseph High School (2011-2013). She participated in The Whyte Avenue Art Walk for the past two years as well as having work in the Pop Pop Shop (2015), hosted by the SDA from the University of Alberta.

Eating well at the Works

By Jenny Erb, Production Assistant

As a Works Intern I love the art filling the Works Art and Design Festival, but there is more to our festival than just art. There’s food. One of the highlights of every summer event.

Now if you’re like me and try to keep a healthy diet, don’t stress, there are so many ways to get a full balanced meal from The Works Festival food venders. For a start, add some lettuce and tomato to your burger or pick up a salad at Soner Donair with your donair. Check out the fruit stand for an easy healthy snack. And if you are looking for a healthier meal choice try a Crepe or a fresh wrap at Lemon Grass. There are also many vegetarian and vegan options around, including at Curry N Hurry, or Panda Hut. We can’t forget dessert, there are lots of great choices including bubble tea, sweet crepes, ice cream, and fruit. You’ll love the chocolate covered bananas at the ice cream stand (vegan and gluten free).

Of course you don’t have to be healthy all the time. Deep fried foods call all of our names at festivals. One of my favourite guilty pleasures is the deep fried Oreos. So here are some easy tips for eating your fill of fried foods:

Share: Most likely you’re checking out the festival with some friends or family. So if there are a couple of things you want to try, share some plates. If you aren’t here with friends, tell yourself that you are saving half the food for later. Even though we both know you’ll eat it all at once, it’s the thought that counts.

Add fruit to your meal: Apples are a great choice for settling your stomach if you aren’t used to fried foods, pick some up at the fruit stand for your dessert. Another great stomach settler is grape juice, so head to the beer garden and get the red wine flowing, it’s almost the same thing.

Stay hydrated: The best thing you can do to stay feeling great is drink lots of water. If you’re looking for something flavoured try a Gatorade instead of a pop. We wish it did, but beer does not count as water, so keep a 2:1 water:beer ratio if you’re drinking.

Keep coming back throughout the day: Take some time between foods and snack throughout the day. This will give you time to do some walking and burn off those extra calories. Try a longer tour for some exercise filled with incredible art, or do some high energy dancing while enjoying the live bands.

Cheers, see you in the beer garden after the walking tours.

Jenny Erb is an emerging new media and sculpture artist from Windsor Ont. She is currently studying entertainment technology at St. Clair College Windsor, after studying for two years at the Beal Art program in London, Ont.

Jenny’s artwork focuses on the interaction between light and movement. She uses technology to collaborate with musicians and integrated media artists, and has participated in group art exhibits in London, Stratford and Toronto.

Inside the Cabinet of Queeriosities

by Julia Castrogiovanni, Production Assistant

As a production intern at The Works Art and Design Festival, I am intimately involved in the process of bringing art to the public. For this reason, the question of what art is able to be displayed in a public sphere and why is of particular interest to me. Deciding whether or not a piece is “good” is a nearly impossible task since art is so subjective. However, the tendency of comparing “art” to “craft” may provide some insight into the distinction of how images function within the context of visual culture. First of all, the differentiation of art and craft has a lot to do with the creator, viewer and critic who feel compelled to label such works. It can be argued that the line between art and craft is very fluid, as Ronnie Watt states: “when a crafted work loses its everydayness to become something extraordinary in our perception of what it is and can represent outside of its physical form, it can assume the properties of being art.”

With this in mind, this year’s exhibit entitled “Cabinet of Queeriosities” (a multi-artist show curated by Leila Armstrong) located on Churchill Square does an outstanding job of show-casing the blurring of art and craft to bring us something extraordinary. The effective use of traditional materials, such as textile, wood and ceramic in combination with the content of the show is visually stunning, but also prompts important conversations between the art and viewer. “Cabinet of Queeriosities” is an attraction not to be missed.

Julia Castrogiovanni is a visual artist from London, ON, whose practice encompasses drawing, painting, print-making, ceramics and fibre art. She is specifically interested in exploring feminist issues through the use of traditional media and presenting it in a contemporary context. She is a two-time Imadon Chalk Festival winner (2009, 2011). In 2014, she designed and installed a permanent exhibition at Longwoods Conservation Area in Mt. Brydges, Ontario.

2016 is a Year for Design and Experimentation

by Fren Mah, Design Intern


This year we revamped the festival guide and gave it a fresh layout and new look. The primary goal behind this year’s festival guide is creating a more user friendly and engaging guide for 2016. Designing a festival guide is not easy because of the large number of exhibition sites and partner galleries that are included in each year’s festival, in addition to images, text and print advertisements. Despite the challenges, I think that we successfully met our goals.

Instead of using four columns as we had in previous years, the 2016 guide includes five columns for a more clear reading. In addition, we chose to top align all of the images of the artwork for a cleaner and contemporary gallery aesthetic. The gallery style is more aesthetically pleasing and I hope that the spreads feel more welcoming to our readers than ever before.

As a way of encouraging The Work’s patrons to visit all of the 29 festival sites throughout downtown, we included a new user friendly map. The map is supplemented by a checklist of exhibitions to be sure you catch all the festival sites.

To get your copy visit:


Fren Mah is an emerging artist and designer from Edmonton, AB. Fren believes that Art and design should inspire transformation and understanding of the modern society. He is interested in creating dialogue and questioning environmental, political and socio-economic issues in the world. Another passion of Mah’s is science and the natural world. He often gathers inspiration from nature, and combines it with urban themes and modernity.

Fren is currently interested in working in printmaking, painting, and graphic design.  To view more of his work, please visit

Ceci n’est pas une fable de Lafontaine

par: Patricia Roy-Michaud, Assistante à la production

Lorsque nous visitons une exposition, nous adoptons inconsciemment un parcours et un rythme qui n’appartiennent qu’à nous. Certains s’avancerons vers les œuvres pour mieux reculer, faire un pas sur le côté, réfléchir un moment, plus s’avancer à nouveau pour lire démarche artistique. D’autres zigzagueront d’un pas flâneur aux travers des œuvres s’arrêtant un cours instant pour mieux repartir.

Dans les années 1980, les chercheurs Véron et Levasseur observent le comportement des visiteurs lors de l’exposition photographique « Les vacances en France » au Centre Pompidou. De leur recherche, ils retiennent quatre types de visites que j’expose brièvement ici.

La fourmi : Celle-ci prend son temps et s’évertue à visiter l’ensemble de l’exposition. Elle a tendance à longer les murs effectuant de nombreux arrêts.

Le papillon : Il sait ce qu’il est venu chercher et va zigzaguer d’un mur à l’autre afin de combler ses attentes. Son parcours est assez long et parsemé d’arrêts.

La sauterelle : Elle passe généralement peu de temps dans une exposition et s’y aventure en s’arrêtant uniquement devant ce qui attire son attention.

Le poisson : Celui-ci s’arrête peu voire jamais. Il avance dans l’exposition regardant de loin les œuvres sans s’intéresser aux détails. Généralement, le poisson circule au centre de la pièce ignorant les limites de l’exposition.

Que vous soyez fourmi, papillon, sauterelle ou poisson, je vous invite à venir visiter les nombreuses expositions gratuites qu’offre The Work Art and Design Festival.

Patricia Roy-Michaud est une étudiante à la maîtrise en muséologie à l’Université de Montréal depuis septembre 2015. Précédemment, cette jeune québécoise a complété un baccalauréat en archéologie à l’Université Laval à Québec. Au cours de son parcours académiques, elle a eut l’occasion de participer à des fouilles archéologiques au Québec et en France. En 2014, elle a réalisé un semestre à Lyon où elle a pu approfondir ses connaissances en études classiques et en épigraphie. En intégrant la maîtrise en muséologie, Patricia souhaite promouvoir le patrimoine culturel auprès de la population.

Patricia Roy-Michaud is a master’s student in museology at the University of Montreal. Originally from Quebec city, Patricia completed a bachelors degree in archeology at Laval University in 2015. She has participated in numerous archaeological excavations in Quebec city and in France. In the winter of 2014, she completed a semester in Lyon where she deepened her knowledge of classical studies and epigraphy.

Avid globetrotter, Patricia enjoys travelling and learning new cultures. After her studies, she intends to promote cultural heritage with the integration of new technologies.

Artsneak in Action

by Susan Winters, Volunteer Coordinator

As part of The Works volunteer recruitment effort, the team set up a table at Night Market Edmonton this past Friday and the event was a huge success. We managed to rope in quite a few volunteers.

However, the highlight of the evening was when a young man stumbled up to one of our posters and read it aloud (a little cockeyed):

“Artsneak…  to disguise art in everyday experiences. Two. When a performance artist is hidden in a crowd.”

Taking advantage of the moment to tell him about the festival and our volunteer opportunities, I handed him a handbill with our volunteer information thinking the subject had evolved.

“I am a graffiti artist,” He said.

“Perfect, one of the exhibits this year involves a graffiti free-wall. You should come and see it,” I said.

“Let me show you. What’s your name?”

“I’m Susan,” I said. He pulled out a pen and wrote my name in his cultivated graffiti script on the bottom left corner of the handbill.  

“You can keep it,” He said, offering me the handbill I just gave him.

“Very nice,” I told him.

“Yea, how’s that for an artsneak!” He laughed off into the night before I had a chance to retort.

Artsneak in the form of a marked handbill returned to me. Yes, good artsneak, friend. I hope to see you this festival.

Susan Winters, born in Dauphin, Manitoba, is a screenwriter, poet, and recent graduate from the University of Victoria.

In 2014 Susan won Best Screenplay through the Reel Shorts Film Festival with the script, Little Thailand, which she directed the following year. Her poetry has appeared in publications including, This Side of West (2016) and Canthius (2015). She placed second in (parenthetical)’s Blodwyn Memorial Prize and two of her poems were shortlisted for PRISM international’s Poetry Contest (2016).

Special Events: A Sneak Peak

by Marina Bryan, Marketing Assistant


Photo Credit: The Works Instagram @theworksfest, Roving Reception at City Hall 2014

I like to think of the special events at The Works as the bonus feature. In a recent conversation in the office, we discussed how this festival is pulled together mostly in just a couple of months, and when the festival finally comes to life it deserves a celebration. Of course, we want to share our excitement and celebrate with everyone who comes to the festival!

A lot of this excitement comes from our ability to finally show off the art that we have come to know so well, and The Works gives a unique opportunity to connect with art, artists, and our local community. The art and exhibits are free to explore on your own, but beyond that The Works offers a chance to try something new, start a discussion, and expand your perspective.

My job is to know everything that is going on and share it with the world so that everyone gets the best experience possible. With that in mind, here is a preview of what not to miss this year:


Exploring the exhibits and art is an inspiring experience, and for me, sparks ideas that I want to form into my own pieces. Even if you have no idea how to do that, workshops throughout the 13 days may help.

Every day from 11 to 2, fibre artists will give demonstrations on knitting, photorealistic cross stitching, felting, and more. Graffiti is Dialogue is another daily event that lets you participate in the creation of a graffiti wall as well as learning more about graffiti techniques and culture from an artist on site.

SNAP (The Society of Northern Alberta Printmakers) will be conducting hands on demos and workshops on screen-printing where you will be able to take home your own work.

Walk with The Works:

You can always take your guide and map and go on your own artistic adventure downtown, but for more information and insight, our enthusiastic volunteer tour guides lead tours every day at 2, 4, and 6 pm. Custom tours can also be booked for any groups that would like a private and personalized tour.

124th Street Gallery Walk:

The 124th Street Gallery Walk steps outside of the festival venues to showcase some of Edmonton’s best galleries. This coincides with The 124th Street Grand Market, so it makes for a great summer evening plan.

Roving Reception:

A special guided tour starts off with refreshments and discussion at The Winspear, then continues on to City Hall for an artist talk with the curator from That’s Not What I See:Narrating Identities. The reception then goes back through Churchill Square, finishing off with a drink in the patio.

These are just a sample of the many opportunities make connections with art and Edmonton’s artistic community, and redefine art for yourself! The full list and calendar of activities can be found in the guide or at

Marina Bryan is a student at the University of Alberta. She is in the process of completing a Bachelor of Commerce in the Cooperative Education program and is working towards combining her creative passions with a major in Marketing and a minor in Art and Design.  

As an artist she has experimented with painting, printmaking, and silversmithing. Her work often focuses on how the emotions of abandonment and loneliness are associated with objects that have been lost or left behind.

Talking about art

by Sharlene Engel, Marketing Assistant


One of the things I’ve learnt over the past weeks is that anyone can engage with visual art.  It’s not something for a select few or something you have to have certain jargon to understand.  Anyone is qualified to look at art and just start asking questions about it: how does it make me feel?  What do I like about it?  Why did the artist make it that way?  The words we use to talk about art are universal, and art can express things words cannot.  Art can create connections between people and ideas and can create space for new dialogues and conversations.

As a communications student, this fascinates and intrigues me.  What is it about art that speaks to us in this way?  How does it achieve this communication?   I don’t know if these questions have right answers.  For me, it’s enough to know that art is more than a painting or sculpture.  It’s something handmade with care and precision, something that contains a heart and soul of its own, something that can change a perspective or grow a new idea.  Art can inspire and entertain, it can challenge and connect.  It creates a unique experience simply by being.

With the festival coming in the near future, I can’t wait to see the thousands of different reactions to the exhibits and to participate in conversations about the thousands of different meanings.  I can’t wait to be presented with that opportunity every day of the festival and to help others share in the experience of art.  

Sharlene Engel is a writer from St. Albert, AB.  She studies communication at MacEwan University, where she will graduate in April of 2017.  Her words explore the values and ideas that transcend culture and our reciprocal obligation to acknowledge our common humanity. 

Sharlene works as an editor at MacEwan’s Earth Common Journal to advocate for sustainability, conservation, and climate change. This is her first year with The Works Art & Design Festival, where she can connect many different faucets of her skills, values, and beliefs.

A Note on Food and Giving

by Susan Winters, Volunteer Coordinator


 photo from:

This past weekend, my family and I sampled the edible delights of Indian Fusion, an Indian-Fijian restaurant located in the calm outskirts of downtown Edmonton. It’s an establishment that puts thought into every aspect of your meal. The dining room is small, yet seats several large families comfortably. The modest space also allows for Parkash or Chanchal’s warm greeting from behind the bar as you walk in. Subtle curiosities nestle in every corner and your eye has a surprising place to land all the time it wanders. My favorite items were the ornamental porcelain knobs adorning the tops of each chair.

           The food was amazing. The spice level (offered to us on a scale of one-to-five) matched our semi-adventurous expectations. The butter chicken stood out for hearty chicken, noticeable fresh tomato flavor and creaminess. Baby okra in the Bhindi Masala was cooked to the best of soft and firm. I could go on.

 There are two special reasons why Indian Fusion has found its way into The Works to Work blog:

 1.      Parkash’s dedication to his community ought not to be forgotten.

You might know Indian Fusion as “the restaurant that gives food to people who are down on their luck.” It’s true. On the back door of Indian Fusion, the sign reads, “Dear friends, if you are hungry and have no money to pay, just ring the bell below or come in for a free meal box/coffee anytime.”

I know many local businesses that rally for community, but Parkash’s message is especially powerful. The simple gesture of giving food blows away the dust. It is a direct connection that exceeds politics – the awful red tape of giving. 

2.      Indian Fusion is a sponsor for The Works volunteers!

At The Works, we depend on many local businesses to energize, recognize and appreciate our volunteers. I am humbled by this generosity. Gathering donations, I’m reminded that behind good businesses are good, motivated people and I can’t wait to see our volunteers devouring an Indian Fusion meal.

Susan Winters, born in Dauphin, Manitoba, is a screenwriter, poet, and recent graduate from the University of Victoria.

In 2014 Susan won Best Screenplay through the Reel Shorts Film Festival with the script, Little Thailand, which she directed the following year. Her poetry has appeared in publications including,This Side of West (2016) and Canthius (2015). She placed second in (parenthetical)’s Blodwyn Memorial Prize and two of her poems were shortlisted for PRISM international’s Poetry Contest (2016). 

My Works Family

By: Cheyenne LeGrande, Curatorial Intern

My experience at The Works has been very fulfilling so far.

I have learnt so much in such a small period of time. As we get closer to festival I am getting really excited to see the festival up and running. I am so thankful to be a part of The Works family. 

When I started I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea that I would meet so many awesome people and be able to grow and learn together as a group. We have had a couple installs already, and they have been going really well. It’s an incredible experience to arrive in an empty space and after a hard day of work, have the pleasure to see it transformed into the end product. Art has the ability to give spaces life. 

Through my experience at The Works I have already grown and learned so much from the connections I have been able to make.  Art and Connection is what The Works brought into my life, and I am truly thankful for this experience.

Cheyenne Rain LeGrande is an emerging young female indigenous Artist. She is interested in exploring the connection between her culture and her identity. Cheyenne’s creativity comes from the depth of her experience as a “Nehiyaw”(Cree) artist. With these influences, she strives to add a contemporary element to each piece. 

Cheyenne attended MacEwan University and completed her Fine Art Diploma in 2016. She will be entering her third year of studies at Emily Carr this fall. Cheyenne‘s work was included in the juried Grad show called “Artline”. She was also commissioned to do a painting for the Aboriginal Education Centre at MacEwan University. Cheyenne is very inspired by the indigenous way of being and knowing and looks forward to explore “Nisosihchikan” ( her creativity).

all the volunteers

By: Becca Stephens, Volunteer Assistant


The Works Art & Design Festival Facebook page, July 1, 2015 

At the start of this internship I had no idea what to expect.  What does “volunteer coordinator” entail? How many volunteers are there? Wait, am I recruiting ALL of the 130+ volunteers??! 

I was excited and more than a little nervous. I discovered about a week in, that the excitement and joy didn’t quite extend to all areas of my job. As an energetic and hands on person, I had little patience for filling in spread sheets, typing up emails and signing paperwork. But as soon we started interviewing volunteers, I knew I had the right job. 

There were people who had been volunteering with this festival longer than I’d been alive. No joke. There were young high school and junior high students who were excited and passionate about getting involved with the arts and the community. I met people who volunteer every single weekend. There is a single mom who works full time, is a mom full time and volunteers (and brings her kids with her) on her weekends and days off. I met an older gentleman who has been volunteering with us for over 20 years and many volunteers who volunteer for all sorts of other places as well.

Just the answers to the simple question “Do you have any previous volunteer experience?” always amaze me. The kind of people who are willing to give their time, effort and passion to a volunteer experience are beautiful and kind people. These are the kind of people I want to spend my time with and learn from. 

You too can sign up to volunteer at The Works, we’d love to have you!

Rebecca (Bexx) Stephens is an art student from the southern United States. She is currently studying at the University of Alberta, working towards a BFA in painting and printmaking. She will graduate in 2019 and then intends to pursue a BEd. Her art currently focuses on themes in nature and the environmental impacts of humans. In 2015 she completed her I.B. Art Diploma and was honoured to have a painting shown in The Works as part of the ‘Best of Edmonton Public Schools’ show. Becca was also awarded the Bob Maskel “Supporting Dreams” Scholarship.  

Aside from art, she spends her spare time reading, listening to music, swimming and long boarding.

2016 is in full swing at The Works

By: B.J. McCarville, Education Facilitator


June is here and with it all the anticipation and bustle of another approaching Works Art & Design Festival!

A new crop of Works to Work interns have sprung into action and they will be bringing us candid glimpses of life in the field as they go. Stay tuned to our blog for regular entries, now through festival (June 23-July 5, 2016), sharing first person perspectives on the incredible intern experience of putting together North America’s largest free outdoor visual arts festival!

Betty-Jo (B.J.) McCarville is an artist and educator from Charlottetown, PEI. Her artistic practice includes oil painting, performance, storytelling and installation. B.J. teaches art education at the University of PEI and has also directed education programs at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery. In 2012 and 2014 she was awarded PEI council for the arts creation grants for Emerging artists. Her work is included in the Charlottetown “Art in the City” collection as well as the Colart Collection of emerging Canadian artists in Montreal.