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.