How have we been creative during COVID-19?
artsPlace, in partnership with the Canmore Museum, Bow Valley Immigration Partnership, and Kristy Wolfe Photography, has collected submissions of art, photographs and stories created during the pandemic to showcase the many ways that this Bow Valley community has shown resilience through creativity. Seven months in the making, the purpose of this multimedia exhibition was to capture the voices of our community in a difficult year. More than 50 locals submitted around 100 pieces of artwork, photographs, poetry, and captivating stories.
Since the program launched in 2017, Indigenous Connections has led to a surge of First Nations programming at artsPlace – from captivating Indigenous works in film, theatre, visual arts, dancing and drumming, to cross-cultural learning programs in Stoney culture and cultural learning circles, to youth outreach in Morley through the Youth Arts Collective, to artist mentorship through the RISE Emerging Artist Program, and more.
Indigenous Connections programs are generously supported by Priscilla and Robert Janes, Ken Hughes, and two anonymous donors.
We are thrilled to collaborate with Right from the Start to offer artistic-infused mental health activities to school students. Our artist educators "visit" the classrooms virtually with pre-made worksheets that are fun, age-appropriate and bring creativity and mental wellness together through the arts. Each activity encourages creative thinking, artistic use of basic art supplies, and a deeper connection to self and feelings. The kids thrive with a way to engage, create, and connect.
Bow Valley musician Ellen Braun created the ballad "You're Gonna Be Okay" to help herself through a hard time. When the pandemic started, it seemed like the perfect song to share with her community. On April 1, 2020, in partnership with artsPlace and 106.5 Mountain FM, Ellen invited the community to sing the song as she played it live on the radio. Over 7,100 people participated. One year later, on April 1, 2021, we all needed to be reminded that "we're gonna be okay," and once again, our community found a way to be together through Ellen's song.
In celebration of the World Creativity and Innovation Day, artsPlace gave away 200 free Creative Kits for Bow Valley children in the spring of 2021. These kits included art supplies such as watercolour pencils, watercolour paper, stickers, a pencil case, coloured paper, origami, scissors and more. There was also an activity booklet which contained four fun activities prepared by local artists, and was accompanied by creative videos to help young learners and families maximize their Creative Kit fun. With these kits, you made so many amazing creations!
When COVID-19 began to drastically change our lives, artsPlace partnered with local organizations to support the most isolated members of our community. Together we brought arts, music, and joy to 175 seniors. In 2020, we hosted two live concerts by local artists outside the Bow River Senior Citizens Lodge; launched the Keep One, Gift One initiative, through which participants in artsPlace workshops hand-made beautiful creations and personal notes for local seniors; and delivered thoughtfully curated Creative Kits to seniors across the Bow Valley, which included art supplies, reading material, and handmade cards from local youth.
Learn more about our work in the community in our Stories!