Posted by Stephanie Bailey, Education and Outreach Coordinator
The 28th annual Works Art & Design Festival (June 20 – July 2) is just around the corner! Today we had our official Media Launch, held at the Matrix Hotel in Downtown Edmonton. The room was abuzz with anticipation as The Works unveiled its Human Energy-themed Festival lineup to a room full of media representatives, artists, and community members.
Media Launch was our first chance to showcase some of the exciting events happening at this year’s Festival. Ben Sures, the Festival’s Stage Coordinator, introduced us to an exciting Works Street Stage schedule, which is jam-packed with musical acts, including everything from reggae to country. A couple of highlights include a performance by Judy Kang, who is an award-winning violinist who has toured with the likes of global pop sensation Lady Gaga; and “Works with Jazz,” which is a multi-day affair based on a one-of-a-kind cooperative program between The Works and The Edmonton Jazz Festival.
Terrance Houle then spoke about the exhibition, No Rhyme or Reason, which he will be curating in the main Festival tent throughout the course of the 13-day Festival. He describes the exhibition as a “potpourri” of performance, new media, and video works that deal with topics such as identity, gender, surveillance, history, sports, life/death, and the contact points between Aboriginal and Western cultures. Houle’s show is sure to be provocative, to say the least.
Amber Rooke, our Executive Artistic Director, then went on to offer teasers for some of the Festival’s many other “Human Energy” highlights. For instance, The Works will be hosting BGL’s Carrousel, a full-sized carousel made of crowd control barriers, fencing, and shopping carts, which will be taking “viewers” on a ride. BGL is an artist collective from Quebec, whose work has been described as insolent, critical, explosive, and as humorous as it is engaging. There is also Betty-Jo McCarville’s Storytelling Bicycles, which is an interactive audio installation. McCarville’s work invites patrons to ride bikes that power audio recordings on topics such as alternative energy sources, exercise, waste reduction, and the love of cycling.
I walked away from the Media Launch even more excited than I was going in! This year’s Festival promises to be a blast!
I can’t wait for June 20th!