Morinville to be painted red for Culture Days

Packed gala

by Ashley Janes

Paint the Town Red, the fifth annual Celebrating Life and Culture Gala, will start off the Alberta Culture Days celebrations in Morinville Sept. 26. Held at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre (MCCC), the event will exhibit a variety of artwork from local artists. All types of artwork submissions are encouraged including collographs, drawings, mixed media, paintings, photographs, sculpture, and almost anything else an artist could think of. Funds raised from the event will go to the Sturgeon Community Hospital Foundation (SCHF).

The Paint the Town Red theme was conceived last year when event organizers moved the gala to a Friday and encouraged attendees to wear red in an effort to demonstrate community support for the Canadian Military. The theme was a success, with most of the attendees showing up in red or shades of red and enjoying a performance from Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) 1st Battalion Drum Line. The event raised a net sum of $10,500.

Event Chairperson Dolly Bolen believes the gala brings people together, not only from Morinville but from neighbouring towns in Sturgeon County, St. Albert, Edmonton and Edmonton Garrison as well. “Our Military families make up a large population of the people who live in and around Morinville, so we want them to be part of our event,” she said, adding this year they are hoping to raise $12,000.

The gala will begin with a champagne reception and wine tasting, as well as hors d’oeuvres. Guests will be free to browse the artwork, socialize with friends and celebrate as a community. In the spirit of the evening, the PPCLI 3rd Battalion Drum Line will be there for an encore performance under florescent black light using fluorescent orange drumsticks. Bolen said the drum line paints a superb picture of military culture. “If anyone has not seen the PPCLI Drum Line in black light, it is something very special.”

Curators Tara Ricioppo and Karen Cassidy will jury all artist submissions. Ricioppo explained that the committee tries to show as much art as they can, but that space is limited so it has to be a juried show. “We have limited folks to five pieces that are ready to hang (unless it’s sculpture) and that have not been previously shown at a Celebrating Life & Culture Gala.”

Participating artists must purchase a ticket to the event and donate a minimum of 20 per cent of their art sales to the SCHF. Youth are encouraged to submit artwork, but they will not be able to attend the event and therefore need not purchase a ticket. For artist submission forms, e-mail Ricioppo at

The deadline for artists to register is Sept. 15, although Bolen said that the earlier, the better. “We really want to emphasize the art this year! We really would like to strive to provide an ‘art for everyone’ attitude and we have something very special planned for attendees which we will be unveiling at the Gala!”

Tickets are $35 per person and are on sale now at SCHF in St. Albert, Terrae Pines Golf and Country Club on Hwy 2, Highstreet Interiors, Home Hardware, and Pro-Level Looks Hair Salon. Businesses or individuals interested in sponsoring the Gala can contact Barb Hodge, SCHF Administration and Special Events at 780-418-7361 or Dolly Bolen, Event Chairperson at 780-572-2603.

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