The latest on local arts in Edmonton
Thursday, October 15, 2020 · By Emily Rendell-Watson

Thanks for checking out the Arts Roundup! Each week we bring together the latest on theatre, dance, music, visual arts, literary arts, and everything else from Edmonton's arts scene. Get it delivered to your inbox! Interested in sponsoring the Arts Roundup? Learn more about how you can support our efforts to chronicle the arts in Edmonton.

Canada’s first and only nonfiction festival runs October 15-25

As with many festivals this year that are adjusting to the new normal, LitFest Alberta kicks off today in a special online format. The first offerings are bright and early on Oct. 15 — Immersive Readings with authors like Michelle Parise and Vivek Shraya. 

According to LitFest, "some of our authors have recorded readings that you can download and enjoy on your own time." The readings are free and will be available for download throughout the festival. 

"It feels odd to not be putting authors in the same rooms with their readers as we usually do, but a pandemic doesn’t change our need for connection, our desire to share stories," Fawnda Mithrush, executive director of Litfest (and your usual Arts Roundup curator!) told Taproot Edmonton. 

James Raffan will host a masterclass on the challenges and opportunities in writing about the environment on Oct. 17. (LitFest/Eventbrite)

"We’re still hoping to provide that through digital means. And as we’re heading into winter, now is a great time to grow your reading list.”

Sprinkled throughout the festival are panels and masterclasses, like writing about the environment with James Raffan on Oct. 17. 

You can get more details and a full schedule on the LitFest website

Arts Roundup Cultivators

This roundup is made possible thanks to the support of our sponsors:

Edmonton Arts Council Arts Habitat Edmonton Alberta Podcast Network   

Sponsor the Arts Roundup to help us chronicle Edmonton's arts scene. Learn more.


  • The AMPIA awards were presented last week to honour the best of the province's film and television productions. Check out the winners here.
  • The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA)'s is under scrutiny for never including black artists in its Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art exhibition. "The gallery has promised to ensure Black artists are represented in the future and has postponed its 2022 Biennial to allow more time to consult with community members and BIPOC artists," writes CBC.
  • In other AGA news, it welcomes Melissa-Jo (MJ) Belcourt Moses as a new adjunct curator of Indigenous art.
  • The Edmonton Comedy Festival is full speed ahead. When asked about cancelling, festival producer Andrew Grose said: "The show must go on. If I was the organizer and not a comedian I might have given it some thought, but there is no way I could have done that.”
  • Nextfest has announced that Simone A. Medina Polo is the new festival producer.
  • Ociciwan Contemporary Arts Centre is a new arts centre in downtown Edmonton that focuses on supporting Indigenous artists.
  • Artists Gwynne McMaster and Andrew Blair have self-published a graphic novel called 'Good Afternoon.' It will be available soon digitally, at the Fort Saskatchewan public library and at the Glass Book Shop in Edmonton.
  • Celeigh Cardinal's new music video, "Song by the Supermoon," is out now.
  • Edmonton's Bad Buddy have released their newest single, “Hunters."
  • Singer-songwriter WALLISH has released a single called “The Last Time."
  • The film Very Present has been released on The Curve. "Filmed during the pandemic summer of 2020, Conor McNally finds similarities between his brother’s experience under house arrest a few years ago and an extended period of COVID lockdown. Despite one’s isolation, it seems possible to find a path towards happiness by being very present in body and mind during one’s daily activities," says a news release.
  • The Roxy Theatre has launched a fundraising campaign to raise the remaining $1.5 million needed to finish construction. The new theatre will be named for Lorne Cardinal.
  • Punctuate! Theatre has announced a brand new Playwrights Unit, bringing together playwrights from across the country for support and development.
  • Downtown Live, "a COVID-19 recovery initiative of the DBA to help increase visitation and vibrancy in the downtown area through the arts," has been extended to Feb. 28, 2021 thanks to the Heart + Soul Fund by EPCOR.
  • Eamon McGrath, who is originally from Edmonton, has released a novel called Here Goes Nothing about the world of touring musicians.
  • CBC wrote about the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra heading back inside. "It's that kind of happiness where you have a tear in your eye because there is sadness that the last six, seven months were not what we hoped for, but much greater, much greater happiness that we're back together," said chief conductor Alex Prior.
  • Edmonton-based artists created three Instagram murals for the Emerald Hills Centre in Sherwood Park.
  • Edmonton comedians Sean Lecomber, Brent Ayton, and Sterling Scott were the first to hit the stage when the Shell Theatre in Fort Saskatchewan reopened.
  • Richard Van Camp, Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt, and Marilyn Dumont top the respective fiction, nonfiction, and poetry bestseller lists in Edmonton from the Book Publishers Association of Alberta for the week ending Oct. 11. You can also see the bestselling books in Alberta for the week ending Oct. 4.

Jobs, calls and opportunities

  • Edmonton Arts Council's grant program for Equity and Access in the Arts is accepting applications until Oct. 15. 
  • Submissions for the 2021 Alberta Literary Awards are open until Dec. 31
  • Workshop West Playwrights Theatre is seeking script submissions from local playwrights for dramaturgical support and production consideration until Oct. 15. 
  • Telus Storyhive Community Channel is seeking creators to share video projects of any length. Alberta and B.C.-based creators are eligible to submit their work on an ongoing basis. 

The People's Agenda

What key issue do you want the candidates to talk about as they compete for votes in the 2021 municipal election, and why?

Share your thoughts to shape our coverage

Live events and exhibits

  • The 10th annual Edmonton Comedy Festival runs from Oct. 14-17, in the Backstage Theatre.  
  • Festival Place presents the Cafe Series featuring Christine Hanson, Rooster Davis, Mark Sterling and The Edmonton Pops Orchestra during October. 
  • Latitude 53 is displaying Mitchell Chalifoux's Pairs from Sept. 25-Dec. 19. The gallery is open by appointment.
  • Mitchell Art Gallery has a new exhibition called It’s About Time: Dancing Black in Canada 1900 – 1970 and Now that launched on Sept. 15. It "illuminates the largely undocumented dance history of Canada’s Black population before 1970" and will run until Dec. 5. A Conversation with Seika Boye, Braxton Garneau and Preston Pavlis will be happening on Oct. 21 and Living a Creative Life: Exploring Creative Career Development as BIPOC womxn and non-binary artists, is on Oct. 24
  • Playing with Fire: The Theo Fleury Story runs live at the Mayfield Dinner Theatre until Oct. 25
  • Rural Roots will be displayed at the Alberta Craft Gallery from Sept. 19-Oct. 31. It "examines the intricacies of the relationship between women working together through developing a collaborative series of ceramic works."
  • Teatro La Quindicina returns to the stage on Oct. 23, 30 and Nov. 6
  • The Arden Theatre will show the hit Fringe play The Flying Detective on Nov. 6. 
  • The Theatre Alberta Annual General Meeting will be online on Oct. 26 at 7pm.

Online events

  • Art From Here is a collaborative project between MAG, Latitude 53, Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective, and Snap Gallery. Each Wednesday, a new work or project is showcased, culminating in a virtual studio visit with the artist the following Tuesday. 
  • Amplify Festival runs Oct. 16-17 and features music, poetry, visual art, and more
  • BPAA is hosting the ongoing Alberta Reads Book Club. The September-October selection is Watershed by Doreen Vanderstoop. 
  • CKUA has a listing of streams of live concert performances.
  • Pandemic University is offering online writing classes for a variety of projects and formats.
  • YEG Streams has a selection of live-streamed visual art and music shows, updated frequently. 
  • Rapid Fire Theatre is offering weekly shows, workshops, and family improv classes on YouTube.
  • She, the River, a film by Rayanne Haines, will be screened online on Oct. 15
  • St. Albert Children's Theatre is running classes on Zoom for all age groups from mid-September to December.
  • Stonehouse Publishing is hosting a virtual launch party on Nov. 7
  • Telus World of Science Edmonton is hosting the LUMEN Kitchen Party, a virtual fundraising event on Oct. 16 with live performances from Brett Kissell, JJ Wilde, Mike Plume, and Andrew Grose.

Share Taproot

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. If you think others might find our work valuable, why not share it? Thanks!

Taproot Edmonton
Copyright © 2020 Taproot Publishing Inc., All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list