Gala to celebrate life and culture

Morinville Councillor Paul Krauskopf examines a painting by St. Albert artist and registered nurse Karen Cassidy at the Celebrating Life and Culture Gala last year. the event is set for its second appearance in Morinville Saturday night . – Stephen Dafoe Photo

By Étienne Thevou

Sturgeon County – Oct. 1 is a date to mark on the calendar for those who enjoy fine wine, fine art and a fine opportunity to support the Sturgeon Community Hospital Foundation. After a successful first year that raised more than $7,000 for the hospital’s emergency department, local artists and organizers are working together once again to support the hospital while bringing Morinville a cultural evening they will remember.

Event Chair Noreen Radford said this year’s iteration is again a twofold event. “It’s allowing local artists, particularly student artists, to have an opportunity to showcase and sell their work,” she said. “The second part is a fundraiser for Sturgeon Community Hospital Foundation. Last year it was for the emergency department. This year it’s for digital operating rooms for non-invasive operations.”

Radford said she is extremely pleased with support for the event this year, both from those contributing financially and the artists themselves. Thirty local artists operating in a variety of artistic styles (including sculpture) are already booked to showcase their work during the gala to be held in the lower and upper floors of the Morinville Community Cultural Centre.
Visitors to the event will be able to speak directly to artists and purchase works that strike their fancy. Radford, who is a trustee with Greater St. Albert Catholic Regional Division, said she felt the ability for students to sell their art is incredibly important.

“They do assignments within school and there is an intrinsic reward for that,” she said. “But when they have the opportunity to step to the other level and be an entrepreneur, what a valuable, valuable thing that is for them.”
Radford said students who sold pieces at last year’s event were pleased that something they are doing for enjoyment had value to others. “It wasn’t so much the dollar value but that someone actually wanted to buy their work,” Radford said, noting the validation of their art could lead to their choosing an artistic career path.

In addition to art from a variety of local artists, the evening’s event will include a wine tasting and hor d’oeuvres, served by a theatre group from Morinville Community High School who are raising funds for a trip to New Orleans.

“There’s so many spin off good things happening about this,” Radford said of the event, noting the community partnerships will be further enhanced by musical performances from Wayne Peterson, Paul Smith and Rory Turner. “

Cost for the gala is $35 and includes wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are available at Vintage Petals, Hunters Print Shop and The Body Shop Fitness Facility.

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