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    Categories: Arts & Culture

New arts festival on its way

Night of Artists is planning on moving closer to home after 16 years of being on the road, in a manner of speaking. In doing so, it will also hit home in a larger sense for an Edmonton health facility and a rather prominent St. Albert gardening centre.

“When I started doing these shows back in 1997, it was just strictly to bring the artwork to the public in a different way. There are so many people that haven’t taken a step into galleries yet,” founder Phil Alain remembered. He said that he has not only bolstered his own art career but that of hundreds of others as well, all while promoting the arts to a broader audience.

“I did my first show with just myself and my sister singing in the St. Albert Community Hall. It went from that little hall and it’s gone all the way across the country and back. Finally, I’m able to do a show back in St. Albert again. It’s a great return.”

Alain is talking about a new annual event called Straight from the Art, a four-day arts festival in support of the Lois Hole Hospital for Women. Appropriately enough, it is set to take place at the Enjoy Centre, the home of Hole’s, in the middle of next month.

For an event that grew up as such a local fixture, it always seemed strange that Night of Artists spent so much of its life outside of the city. Now in its middle teen years, NOA, as Alain often calls it, has hosted more than 150 arts events, helping to establish and further the careers of hundreds of artists of all stripes from sea to shining sea.

The evening party started off as a relatively smaller cultural happening but has since grown to become a feature ‘night’ on the larger community calendar. It’s more of an extravaganza that in the past has featured a massive art show, a fashion show, live music and entertainment not the least of which are live art performances (by Mural Mosaic partner Lewis Lavoie).

Night of Artists also spawned the NOA Magazine that will also see its ninth edition come out in May. That launch will be accompanied – as usual – by its own art show featuring live music.

“There are people that come just for the music but then they discover the art, or vice versa.”

Despite the quickly diminishing amount of time before the event kicks off, Alain admits that he is still tweaking and working out a lot of the details. Updates are anticipated within the coming weeks before Straight from the Art starts on March 14. He did say that he is working toward including similar facets of previous events like a fashion show and live entertainment.

“We’re going to try to incorporate all of the different angles of the arts, everything from music to visual art to movie presentations.”

Straight from the Art is set to take place from Thursday, March 14 to Sunday, March 17 at the Enjoy Centre. More details are to come in the next few weeks before the festival begins.

Preview

Night of Artists
Straight from the Art
Runs Thursday, March 14 to Sunday, March 17

Thursday, March 14
Opening Night Gala
Featuring an art auction
from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

Friday, March 15
Art Exhibit
from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Featuring live entertainment

Also on Friday
Pecha Kucha
from 6 to 10 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday
Art Exhibit
from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Featuring live entertainment

All events to be held at the Enjoy Centre, 101 Riel Drive.
For more details, visit www.nightofartists.com

Scott Hayes: Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.