By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – For the third consecutive year, Morinville and area residents will have an opportunity to attend a cultural gala that is not only full of life but helps to save lives as well. The Celebrating Life and Culture Gala, set to take place Sept. 29 at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre, is a dual purpose event: raising funds for the Sturgeon Community Hospital Foundation, and providing a showcase for local artists to display and sell their art.
Each year the event raises funds for a different initiative at the Sturgeon Community Hospital in St. Albert. This year’s funds are targeted towards portable dialysis machines and cardiac monitors.
Event Chair Noreen Radford said the art gala is not the only player in funding the foundation, but the event has raised a considerable amount for the cause in the past. “We are significant for a small town,” she said. “Last year we raised $12,000.”
For Radford there is a double joy in being able to support local artists alongside supporting health care. “It’s to give the opportunity for people who have never had a show or who are just starting,” she said of her desire to support the local arts community.
The event will be referred to as a Royal Affair this year, homage to Queen Elizabeth II’s jubilee. “We’d like to recognize the Queen because she’s been a supporter of different events in our country, so it’s nice,” Radford said. “Sixty years is a significant number.”
Radford said the event is currently seeking artists to display their work for show and sale. Artists working in any medium need only obtain an artist’s ticket at a cost of $10 and agree to donate 20 per cent of any sales to the cause.
Radford said last year she hoped to see some sculptor’s work but the event did not attract any. She would love to see some sculptors take part this year along with the visual artists.
Whatever the medium on display, she is certain participants in this year’s event will be impressed, particularly with the work of student artists. “There’s so much talent at the school,” Radford said. “I don’t think the community knows about the local talent. I think that is where they have the opportunity to see what these students are producing.”
Radford explained the program is open to student and adult artists and artists’ entries will be adjudicated for suitability and quantity.
Artists have until September 15 to register for the gala and can make contact through the event’s Facebook page or by phoning Noreen Radford at 780-939-3709.
The Celebrating Life and Culture Gala is also looking for business and private sponsorships. Gold, silver, bronze and friend sponsorship packages are available for financial contributions ranging from $100 to $1,000.
People can also support the fundraiser by simply attending. Tickets are available at Vintage Petals Tea House on the corner of 100 Avenue and 100 Street in Morinville.
“We’ve tried to keep the costs as low as possible so that people have the opportunity to view the artist’s work,” Radford said. “It’s $30 a ticket and that includes being able to see the most astounding work plus some wine tasting and fantastic hors d’oeuvres.”
The event runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 29.