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SOAR festival trimmed down, but features We Are All Treaty People

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A trimmed down SOAR festival kicks off a busy weekend of dance, magic and music  at Casa, May 30 and 31.

W.I.T.S Play the SOAR festival this year. photo by Richard Amery
There have been a few changes for  the fourth year of the event, the biggest changes being there are only two cabaret nights this year and the professional development seminars which used to be part of  SOAR have been spread  throughout the year instead just for one weekend.
“It’s difficult for people to book off an entire weekend,” said Allied Arts Council communications manager Kelaine Devine.

“SOAR started  because of the Lt. Governor‘s celebrations in 2015 on the condition that there would be a legacy project. So that’s what this is,” added Allied Arts Council projects/membership coordinator Muffy McKay.

“It has evolved into what it is— two cabaret nights,” McKay continued, adding art exhibits at Casa continue to be part of SOAR.

“I always look forward to seeing what Darcy Logan has done,” added Devine noting a community Gif display showing on the screen outside CASA is part of SOAR.
 There will be dance, music and magic on both nights of SOAR.

Claire Lint and Sidney Murdoch will be performing a modern dance  number  “When Two Lines Meet” beginning at 7 p.m. on both nights, May 30 and 31.

The cabarets feature new magic show from local magicians. Ben Price’s new show Rabbit Stew is at the SOAR Cabaret, May 30. Jeff Newman Mentalism presents his new show Trickster, May 31.

 The music this year will be provided by Mercedes Fawns on May 30 and local alternative electronica band W.I.T.S , who have been prominent faces at various FLIPfest fundraisers throughout the year, on May 31.

Ben Price Magic returns to the SOAR festival. Photo by Richard Amery
 Devine noted the events are family friendly.

“All of these performers have performed at previous SOAR cabarets, though Ben Price’s “Rabbit Stew” contains some adult content.
 SOAR is designed for developing up and coming  artists.

“Some previous performers like Jeff Charlton wanted to come back, but couldn’t because he got a job in film. Griffin Cork wanted to come back too, but he got a job in Vancouver  on a TV show,” said Devine, adding she is pleased to see previous SOAR performers moving on to bigger things in the arts, as developing up and coming artists by giving them opportunities to perform is what SOAR is all about.
“It’s been stripped down this year, but we’ve kept the same format,” Devine said.

Tickets for the cabarets are available at Casa for $10 for each night.


 One of the reasons, there are only two cabaret nights instead of the usual three, is because the Allied Arts Council is hosting a special event, on June 1 at Southminster United Church. We Are All Treaty People is a collaboration between Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society and Quest Theatre. It tells the story of an indigenous girls and a non-indigenous girl who wonder if they can be friends  due to their different backgrounds when the trickster comes and  shares the ancestral history of  Southern Alberta. The Allied Arts Council is bringing this travelling show, featuring a familiar face, Genevieve Paré, a U of L graduate who has performed in many new West Theatre Theatre For Young People‘s productions.

Genevieve Paré (Centre)  returns to Lethbridge to as part of  We Are All Treaty People, June 1 at the Southminster United Church.  She previously performed for New West Theatre in the Hudson’s bay Epic, with Ian McFarlane and Ryan Reese. Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s a really important performance,” Devine said, noting because of the grant, admission is free, however you need tickets, which can be obtained through Eventbrite at http:/ Wearealltreatypeople as there is limited seating capacity.

 The show features musicians Curt Young and Al Alexandra Dawkins, Garrett C Smith  playing the Trickster plus Paré and Elizabeth Ferguson.
“Kris Demeanor wrote the music for the show, but he isn’t coming,” Devine said.

“They’re also doing a performance in the afternoon for schools. We’re busing in 800  school children for the show. There is a enough interest in it, we could have probably had three shows,” she continued.
“Art is the best way to learn. We’re really excited to bring this show to Lethbridge,” she said.
 A Version of this story appears in the may 23, 2018 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times/ Shopper

— by Richard Amery ,L.A Beat Editor

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