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Lethbridge OnScreen film festival to showcase local talent and Indigenous artists

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Major cities like Calgary and Toronto have film festivals, so why not Lethbridge? Lethbridge has a thriving arts scene including a vibrant film community, so some of our talent and a lot of First Nations talent will be part of  the Lethbridge On Screen Film Festival, running at the Movie Mill and Galt Museum, Sept. 23 and 30, which happily coincides with Arts Days, Alberta Arts and Culture Day and Truth and Reconciliation Day.


“There is something for everyone. There’s short films, animation, silent films and more. And for Truth and Reconciliation days all of the films will be from Indigenous artists,“ enthused film co-ordinator Tess Mitchell, who has been putting the festival together for the past three months.



“I’m really excited about it. I’ve been involved in in  films since I was 16 when I was tearing tickets and making popcorn. This festival is going to be really beautiful and really special,” said the Lethbridgian, adding she has been part if the film industry in Canada and the United Kingdom for 20 years including a stint working for the  Edinburgh Film festival.


“The film industry in Lethbridge and Alberta is growing rapidly, and this film festival will bring some incredible movies to the screen in Lethbridge for the first time. All the work for the Lethbridge OnScreen Film Festival is by underrepresented communities to make more space for their vital and powerful contribution to the film industry,” she said.


 Most of the over 20 contributions are newer films including Darlene Naponse’s “ Stellar” and Anthony  Shim’s feature “Riceboy Sleeps” which were part of the TIFF film festival in Toronto earlier this month, though some of the Indigenous films are from the 1960s.


Theatre Outré history explored in new Galt Museum exhibit

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Theatre Outré made history not only as Lethbridge’s first 2SLGBTQ theatre company but lasting 10 years. Now they are part of history with an exhibit opening today at The Galt Museum outlining their  history.

“ I don’t feel old enough to be considered part of history,” laughed Deonie Hudson, interim  artistic director for Theatre Outré, whose collection of suitcases full of props, costumes and paraphernalia for each show the company has done  was the source of  the items in the exhibition.


 Hudson, who has been part of Theatre Outré  for eight years, observed the exhibit is a good way to mark the end of an era.

“ It’s the beginning of the next chapter,” Hudson said.


 The exhibit features props, and costumes, plus interactive informational panel boards for every one of the theatre company’s shows they have performed  over their first 10 years.


Jay White head with a new  Galt Museum exhibit celebrating Theatre Outré's history. Photo by Richard Amery

Theatre Outré moved out of their downtown space after their tenth season ended.


“ Most local theatre companies don’t have their own spaces. So we’ll be doing more found theatre,” said Hudson, thanking the Owl Acoustic Lounge and Good Times for hosting some of their events.

 She noted they have already performed  a few productions in found  spaces, like under 10,000 Villages and has taken their shows on the road to as faraway as Ireland.


 Theatre Outré veteran Brett Dahl, who has performed in several Theatre Outré  show like “Like Orpheus” takes the helm of the company beginning in September.

Hudson hopes   the exhibit will inspire other artists to  step out of their comfort zone and  make art.


 Curator Jason Ranaghan was excited to put together this exhibition, starting work on it in January.


“I did  a lot of research. I wanted to celebrate the  history of  this queer theatre company,” he said at a press call.

“ I’ve been looking at Theatre Outré from the outside for several years,” he continued.


Come out and play with the Helen Schuler Nature Centre’s new play program

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It’s okay to play, in fact it is essential.


Coreen Putman is excited about the Nature pod Play at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre. Photo by Richard Amery

 So The Helen Schuler Nature Centre has started a new interactive play program “The Nature of Play,” to reach out to all ages.


“ It’s for the very young to grandparents,” said Helen Schuler Nature Centre manager Coreen Putman.


 The program featuring a variety of interactive displays designed to encourage mental, motion and object play.


Putman observed the exhibit opened a week ago and has met with enthusiastic response since opening last week.


“It is designed to prioritize the importance of play and how to prioritize play,” Putnam continued, adding it is  a culmination of work from community organization Lethbridge Play, which includes 20 community organizations which began in 2018.


Galt Museum welcomes powerful travelling exhibition about Japanese displacement in Second World War

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A new  travelling exhibit at the Galt Museum puts a human face on one of the more lamentable moments of Canadian history — the displacement of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War.

Tyler Stewart examines  the Broken Promises exhibit at the Galt Museum. Photo by Richard Amery


 The travelling exhibit Broken Promises, co-curated by the Nikkei National Museum and the Royal British Columbia Museum in partnership with Landscapes of Injustice, is at the Galt Museum until Sept. 3.

“ It’s been at some of the major museums in Canada over the past three years so it’s very cool we get to have it here,” said curator Tyler Stewart.


 The exhibit complements The Galt Museum’s existing permanent exhibit about the displacement, with artifacts and interactive displays featuring first hand accounts and old correspondence from some of the displaced and their families.

“ It’s a very powerful exhibit. It’s very detailed and well researched so it has allowed a deep dive into  some  of the individual stories of the people involved rather than an abstract concept,” Stewart said, adding Japanese Canadians  made a long standing contributions to the country before the Second World War.


“ Japanese Canadians are an important part of Southern Alberta history,” he continued, noting their property was confiscated  and either sent back to Japan or sent west, where many of them were driving force in agriculture production, particularly on sugar beet farms.

“These interactive exhibits tell the stories and experiences of the Japanese people,” he said.

“ There are a lot of different ways to engage with this exhibit,” he continued.


Galt Museum explore the Politics of sound through art and artifacts

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Sound is all around, but what it means is in the ear of the beholder.


 That is the concept behind the Galt Museum’s new exhibit Politics of Sound, which runs until May 7, 2023.


“Politics of Sound” is a combination of art from artists from Europe and the U.S. to Southern Alberta and artifacts from the Galt Museum.


Marjie Crop Eared Wolf with her contribution to Politics of Sound. Photo by RichardAmery

Galt Museum Curator Tyler Stewart expanded on a previous version of the exhibit focussing on Maskull Lassere’s sculptures blending musical instruments like trumpets and clarinets with bayonets and rifle scopes, to include a couple interactive exhibits by jamilah malika abu-bakare, Adam Basanta, Marjie Crop Eared Wolf, Maskull Lasserre, Benny Nemer and Jessica Thompson, plus  a few pieces from the Galt Museum archives.


 One of the interactive pieces is by local artist Marjie Crop Eared Wolf, who explores the loss of First Nations language because of residential schools. It features videos of Crop Eared Wolf speaking the language and three pictures featuring  Blackfoot words illustrated in red ink.

Marjie Crop Eared Wolf created her part of the exhibit through the experience of learning her traditional language.


“I was inspired by by my mother who is from the Blackfoot (Niitsi’powahsin) Nation, which is our name and my dad who is Secwepemctsín from Kamloops Shuswap area and dictionaries. There are two streams of leaning, oral, which is how First Nations learned their language and  written. There are three Blackfoot dictionaries I used,” she said, noting the red ink is a deliberate choice.


“When I was learning English, that is how my teachers marked wrong words on my tests and I appreciated that,” she said. The video component features Crop Eared Wolf learning traditional language with a close up of her lips forming the words.

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