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Social soiree makes good 'neighbour'hood

Neighbourhood yard party caps off the summer
3108 social DR17
Mark Pesklewis, right, stretches canvas on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, while preparing for an upcoming art event at his home in St. Albert. Artist Roger Beilley, left, and co-organiser Peter Mireault examine a water colou of Beilley's in the main gallery.


Braeside Social, an evening of wine tasting, visual art and music


– Author/artist Cynthia McLaren

– Musician Vissia

– Jeweler Ron Maunder

– Sculptor/artist Beverly Oliwa

– Sommelier Dan Roy

– Painter/artist Roger Belley

– Photographer Mark Pesklewis

Big Picture Photography and Gallery, 10 Sturgeon Rd.

Reception: Thursday, Sept. 5 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. with a wine tasting and pairing to follow till 9 p.m.

Tickets are $35 each and can be purchased by contacting Pesklewis at 780-699-3322 or Mireault at 780-239-7783

There might be no better way to cap off the summer and build up your neighbourhood at the same time than having a yard party. Mark Pesklewis intends to do it one better though with the upcoming Braeside Social that he is hosting at his house.

Described as an evening of wine tasting, visual art and music, the event also serves as a great way for him to connect with his neighbours and the community at large. It’s the same function that he has fostered over the years when he has hosted his Art on the Corner pop-up galleries at the same time as the St. Albert Farmers Market. His house is conveniently located on Sturgeon Road, a popular walking path for market patrons.

“I get people saying hi to me that I don't even remember meeting sometimes, because I've met so many people … it's like, ‘Oh, yeah, we're neighbours. We just live up on Belmont or whatever.’ I've just met endless people and now I'm going to meet more,” he enthused.

Pesklewis is a photographer with a major events planning side hobby, and now he is joined by Peter Mireault, another neighbour who he has met over the years. Mireault is an artisanal breadmaker in town but he’s putting the dough down for this social. Instead, he will be focusing his skills on designing a menu of perfect pairings for the South American-themed wine tasting that sommelier Dan Roy has prepared for the evening.

Other artistic presenters include author/artist Cynthia McLaren, jeweler Ron Maunder, sculptor/artist Beverly Oliwa, and live music will be performed by Vissia. Painter Roger Belley hasn’t lived in St. Albert for a few years now, but he’s returning with a selection of works on display just for this social.

In some ways, the event is all about the very few degrees of separation between all of the friendly, creative spirits and easy-going people who have connections to Old Braeside.

“The house that I live in is Roger Belley’s family house,” Mireault said.

“It’s a very small world. He went to school with the sommelier that's presenting: Dan Roy. Dan is godfather – they’re godparents, Dan and Dawne (Roy, his wife) to our second daughter. It's all about community and nobody makes it down the alley. If we see them, ‘How are you? What’s your name? Stop in…’” he elaborated. “It's a tremendous community.”

“It's just been fantastic that way. I love my neighbourhood,” Pesklewis said.

Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ecology and Environment Reporter at the Fitzhugh Newspaper since July 2022 under Local Journalism Initiative funding provided by News Media Canada.
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