Culture days sweep Morinville
By: Anna Borowiecki
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 06:00 am
The Tommy Banks Trio is one of the biggest shows the Morinville Community Cultural Centre is putting on this year and it’s just in time to celebrate Alberta Culture Days, September 27 to 29.
The Juno award winning Banks found fame as a jazz pianist, composer, recording artist, broadcaster and lately as a senator.
Now retired from the Senate, the musical virtuoso is devoted to showcasing his talents to fundraise for local causes and to entertain jazz fans. Joining Banks Saturday evening are long-time friends, bassist Cliff Minchau and drummer Tom Doran.
“He (Banks) is such a wonderful performer and such a gentleman. You have a warm feeling at this show. He really connects with the audience and for us it’s a great honour to have him in our building,” said Laurie Stalker, the community centre’s cultural services manager.
Officially launching the three-day arts festival on Friday evening is Paint the Town Red, an art gallery fundraiser for the Sturgeon Community Hospital. This is a ticketed event. Tickets are $35 each.
Swinging into Saturday, the festival uncorks an artist trading card workshop, music workshops, a series of on stage performances and Musée Morinville Museum’s displays of heritage and culture.
The afternoon artist trading card workshop, taught by Dolly Bowlen, has morphed into a global phenomena, explained Stalker.
“They’re miniature works of art sized like baseball cards. They are made by human hands and the key aspect is to trade them with other artists and friends. They started as a personal exchange, but with the Internet they have become very popular. There are galleries and exhibits dedicated to showing trading cards. They’re cool and fun to look at.”
Artists are free to take home their cards or leave them behind. Any cards left at the festival will be used to create an exhibit as a community legacy.
Morinville Onstage is probably the most popular vehicle for the community to strut their moves and grooves.
“This is an opportunity for Morinville residents to register and be on stage. Our tagline is ‘You provide the performance. We raise the curtain.’”
And finally, throughout Saturday afternoon, Banks and Allen Jacobson, Morinville’s community development coordinator and a musician in his own right, will lead three jazz workshops – a jazz big band, a piano master class and jazz combo/improvisation workshops. Jazz combo participants are also invited to perform Sunday, Sept. 29 at Morinville OnStage.
Children’s entertainer Fred Penner starts the day on Sunday with music and laughter at an 11 a.m. family concert.
“We have a good reputation for providing kids’ entertainment and we have a number of people who bought tickets because they loved him as kids and had good memories.”
Stalker introduced her offspring to the troubadour and appreciated that he never condescended to children.
“He sang what appealed to them and his songs didn’t always have a message. Some were just fun.”
The Morinville Library also brings inspiration to the festival with a window-painting contest, a blackout poetry contest and several LEGO stations.
“Culture is part of what makes Morinville. Morinville’s culture encompasses heritage, the arts and the activities people are involved in.”
For more information visit www.morinville.ca