“Without the arts there is no colour in life," said Lac La Biche County Mayor Paul Reutov, during an interview following the 2022 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards.
Over the weekend, it was inspiring to watch artists from across the province who are established filmmakers, musicians, writers, dancers, visual artists and creatives be celebrated. From personal stories about creative expression to how people are moved to create for both themselves and others, it made me think more deeply about the mayor's quote.
Art really does add colour to life. From the music we listen to, the architecture around us, and the stories we share with one another - the list doesn't stop. We often walk through life and omit how much creativity is around us and how art can move us.
One of the Emerging Artists recipients, Perpetual Atife, presented a saxophone musical performance this past weekend that was both emotional and inspiring. The subtle tunes echoing from her lungs coupled with a harmonized piano set made me feel alive.
The past week also gave everyone a chance to be an artist.
In a small community, following two years of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the award events were a great kick-off to large scale events too. It brought hundreds of people together to not only see our community, but share their talents with us.
I don't think there could be a better way to support creatives in the community or light the spark for someone wanting to express themselves, than the awards week that just wrapped up.
For myself, I think this weekend inspired me to look for more opportunities to express myself. Sharing the stories of community members is one of the privileges I have. While the responsibility to portray other people's stories is an art form in itself, there are so many more ways I'd like to contribute.
Some days, it doesn’t feel like a job. Some days, it feels like a gift to cover the unique events hosted by locals in Lac La Biche. And this past weekend was a once in a lifetime privilege.
After a prestigious celebration of art that inspired attendees and artists alike, I can’t wait to see the art community grow. To see how much more the arts can add to this vibrant community will be very exciting to see.