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    Categories: Entertainment

Butterfly give-away

City of St. Albert cultural business and events manager Stephen Bourdeau is pictured with paper butterflies at St. Albert Place on Wednesday. The city will be removing the colourful display from St. Albert Place

Organizers for the International Children’s Festival of the Arts are dismantling the breathtaking Kollide project and giving away thousands of butterflies to the public.

“We are taking it all down on Tuesday and we’ll be laying it in the lobby. If people want to come down and grab a share they can,” said festival co-ordinator Stephen Bourdeau.

The give-away was conceived after arts and community groups inquired about obtaining some of the stunningly beautiful butterflies after the installation’s purpose was complete and it was disassembled.

Rather than chuck the butterflies in the landfill, Bourdeau’s team expanded the idea of giving away the striking insects to the public at large.

The St. Albert Place installation was conceived with idea of collecting 35,000 butterflies to celebrate the festival’s 35th anniversary. The butterfly, a symbol of transformation and renewal, is the festival’s standard-bearer.

“We asked for 35,000, but stopped counting at 52,000. We hit that on the Thursday of the festival and had to spend all our manpower getting the butterflies up,” said Bourdeau.

Artisans and crafters of all ages donated butterflies of every colour and texture. They shaped butterflies using a variety of materials including clay, metal, fabric, cardboard paper, coffee filters and gel.

The largest butterfly displays a wingspan of six feet.

“It way surpassed our expectations and it goes to show you the desire of people in the community to get involved in these kinds of projects.”

Staff will take apart the installation on Tuesday, Aug. 2 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The public is welcome to pick up individual butterflies or whole sections at the St. Albert Place lobby from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Anna Borowiecki: Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.