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.

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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

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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.

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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).

Christine FrostComment
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.

Christine FrostComment
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.

Christine FrostComment
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). 

Christine FrostComment