festival of arts???

First of all, my apologies for any confusion caused by the notion of "festival of arts" being knocked about for August 8 - 10, the traditional weekend of interPLAY, our former signature festival that is in pause mode.

The term "festival of arts" is merely a placeholder, a temporary moniker to describe a collection of arts related activities, separate attractions being organized by various groups, all happening within the confines of Keyano Arts Centre.  It is not a formal name or organization, rather something to call our collective aspirations to have some arts happen on the weekend that for 19 summers past, had provided a treasure trove of plays, music, street performance and so much more.  We could have called it a "gaggle of arts" or "a bunch of arts stuff", but somehow, a "festival of arts" seemed to encompass the energy we were trying to create.

When we knew definitively that interPLAY would not be happening, several of us began talking about what we might do.  The Fort McMurray Filmmakers Association had boldly stepped out and announced they were going to go forward and evolve the interPLAY Film Festival to the Fort McMurray International Film Festival.  Could we add some energy to their efforts?

The vision was to activate the arts centre during those three days, without having a central organization, or loads of external funding.  By keeping things indoors, the idea of a cobbled together "festival of arts", to fill the gap in 2014, seemed plausible.  And while the vision of what we might do, shaped several months ago, hasn't fully come to fruition, there are some awesome things happening on the weekend formerly known as interPLAY.

The Fort McMurray International Film Festival will be joined by the DramaFORCE production of Disney's Aladdin Jr.  Keyano Theatre Company will be hosting auditions for their production of A Christmas Carol on all three days of the weekend. Based on the interest that show has generated, there will be dozens and dozens of people waiting for the opportunity to impress the director. While not confirmed, the Fort Mac Hand Crafted Market is exploring setting up on one of the days.  And thanks to support from Suncor Energy and Arts Council Wood Buffalo, the Illuminate Talent Search will be happening on the Saturday and Sunday of that weekend.  The dance competition will take place in the Recital Theatre with the music component set up in the cafeteria area.

It needs to be said, clearly and concisely, that this is not going to bear any resemblance, nor attempt to replicate interPLAY.  It is going to be a celebration of the arts, an opportunity for performers to share their talents.  It will also provide some excellent entertainment with films, musical theatre, music and dance.  The hope is that other things organically pop up as part of the effort.

I hope that clears things up.  The other piece to note is that the Illuminate Talent Search will happen TWICE this summer, once on August 9 and 10 at Keyano, and again on August 30 and 31 at Sustainival.  They are two separate and distinct opportunities, with $5,000 in prizes for each event.  Watch for a blog post specifically about Illuminate in the next couple of days.  In addition to links to register, it will provide some practical tips for being successful.  In the meantime, if you have specific questions, send an email to IlluminateYMM@gmail.com.


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