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The L.A. Beat

Local artists wanted for City of Lethbridge mural program

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Downtown Lethbridge already has a lot of lovely murals decorating buildings downtown, but the City of Lethbridge is looking for more.

The Slice features one of several beautiful murals downtown. Photo by Richard Amery
The City of Lethbridge is looking for building owners and local artists to collaborate on beautifying the city with a new public art call.
“ It’s an opportunity for artists and building owners to collaborate on beautifying the city,” said City of Lethbridge Community Arts and Culture , Recreation and Culture manager Jillian Bracken.


 The city is willing to fund up to 10 works at $15,000 each.
 The City of Lethbridge and Heart of the City Committee announced the program earlier this week. It is something that they have been working on for quite a few years, but got delayed  by Covid 19.


“ It will be funded 100 per cent up to $15,000. It really is a great opportunity,” she continued.

 Applicants must be either the owner of a building in Lethbridge or a Lethbridge/Lethbridge area artist. Bracken said the city is willing to help pair artists and owners for the project.


 “ A mural is an artwork painted or applied directly on a wall. Murals help add vibrancy to our community by activating public spaces, promoting community expression, and deterring graffiti vandalism. EOIs can be submitted by either building owners seeking a mural on an exterior building wall, or by an artist who has received permission from a building owner to install a mural on an exterior building wall,” notes the art call online https://www.publicartlethbridge.ca/current-calls/
 It is designed as a pilot  project which will hopefully result in the development of a formal mural program.

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New West Theatre brings the carefree ’50s spirit with Live at the Drive in

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New West Theatre’s summer production of Live at the Drive in opened Aug. 12 at Exhibition Park. With Covid effectively cancelling all things related to  live entertainment, arts companies have been forced to adapt and change.

New West Theatre has decided to offer a drive in theatre experience at Exhibition Park. They went all out by broadcasting the show on a special radio station Katie Fellger performing in Live at the Drive In. photo by Richard Ameryand having a backdrop with ’50s styled popcorn and treats icons at the back of the small stage the city uses for special events like Canada Day and the Rotary Dragon Boat Festival. They had two video screens on each side of the stage and to go with the American Graffiti  era of ’50s and ’60s pop, enhancing that feel was a line up of hot rods along the fence looking over a good sized crowd of cars full of theatre fans, honking in appreciation for musical numbers and corny jokes.


In trying times it is nice to be able to embrace the familiar. And nothing is more familiar than New West Theatre. They’re always entertaining, cracking dad jokes, singing songs you know and smiling up a storm.


 They’re comforting, even when you’re parked in front of a light stand and a mini-van, trying not to rock a piss in your pants throughout a 90 minute show with no intermission, though porta potties are available on site.


But let’s face it, in times like these, who couldn’t use New West Theatre’s good cheer and Up with People attitude? Especially when listening to the news just makes you hate people in general.


All six cast members got to shine with Erica Hunt, Scott Carpenter, Katie Fellger, Rylan Kunkel, Kyle Gruninger and Kathy Zaborsky being their always entertaining selves. Keenan Pezderic and Scott Mezei provided most of the music with Zaborsky tickling the 88s. She also sang a beautiful “Where the Boys Are” as part of a Connie Francis medley.
 Rylan  Kunkel  also knocked off some sweet saxophone solos. They all sang hair raisingly gorgeous vocal melodies.
But it really seemed like the Katie Fellger show this time. One of new West Theatre’s newer cast members was everywhere, beaming off the screens, dancing, joking and singing beautiful melodies.


 The cast opens the show with an energetic version of Rock Around the Clock, though it is difficult to see who is singing what from a distance.
 The followed it up with one of medleys, the first one featuring the music of the Four Seasons including “Sherry” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry,”  and “ Walk Like A Man.” I believe it was Kyle Gruninger hitting the ear piercing falsetto notes as he does so well.

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Whoop Up Days art contest welcomes southern Alberta artists

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Whoop-Up days  is connecting with Southern Alberta’s thriving art community with the Whoop Up Days art contest.
“It’s a way for us to  connect to the local art community,”  Exhibition Park  Chief Operating Officer Mike Warkentin.

Mike Warkentin talking abut Whoop Up Days 2020. Photo by Richard Amery
“We want to showcase local talent, ” he continued.


 Artists living in the Lethbridge and district region, anywhere south of Calgary are welcome to submit   any original artwork in a poster or canvass 18x24 inches.


 No copyrighted characters are permitted, though artists are welcome  to incorporate the Exhibition Park and Whoop Up days logo. All posters become exclusive property of  Exhibition Park and may be used  for reproduction and promotional purposes.

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Whoop Up Days 2020 events focus on food and families

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Whoop Up Days has been a great way for the Lethbridge community  to wind up summer for the last 100 years.
 Unfortunately due to  Covid-19, all touring concerts have been cancelled, as well as touring midway events, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun at home with your families.

Mike Warkentin annoucnces  socially distanced programming for whoop Up Days 2020. Photo by Richard Amery
This year, Exhibition Park is celebrating Whoop up Days 2020 with food, which dominates the family-centric events  planned, Aug. 18-22.


“It’s exciting to talk about some good news for once, said Exhibition Park Chief Operating Officer Mike Warkentin, noting half of the proceeds of this years events will be donated the Farm Credit (FCC) Drive Away Program which supports  nine Southern Alberta Food banks including Interfaith Food Bank, Lethbridge Food Back, and foo banks in Bow Island, Pincher Creek, Taber, Coaldale, Picture Butte, Claresholm and Standoff.

“It’s been a challenging year since we announced the cancellation of Whoop-Up Days in April. But it‘s been just as challenging for families and community members,” Warkentin continued.


 Umami Shop downtown reached out to Exhibition Park shortly after  Whoop Up Days was officially cancelled in April.
 They are sponsoring a locally sourced pancake breakfast, Tuesday, Aug.18.
 Kits are available for pre orders online www.exhibitionpark.ca for $19.99.
 MP Rachel Harder is also hosting a  free drive through pancake breakfast, Aug. 18 from 7-10 a.m.. But you have to register at www.rachelharder.ca to take part.

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About L.A. Beat


L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

It is designed to support music, art, drama and other cultural endeavours in and around the city.

It will start out as an online presence and then evolve into a print edition which will be distributed at numerous locations in the city.

If you have an event you want L.A. Beat to promote, contact us by e-mail.editor@labeat.ca

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