Organizers of the Two Story Café are looking to local artists for material as the annual arts festival prepares for its seventh year.
© Herald file photo
Spoken word artist John McDonald recites his piece Don Saleski Was A Good Tap Dancer at last year’s Two Story Café. This year’s event will take place on Friday, Sept. 27 and Saturday, Sept. 28 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Prince Albert Arts Centre.
The Indigenous Peoples Artist Collective, Prince Albert (IPAC) has invited aboriginal visual artists from the area to participate in an open call exhibition to kick off the event on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m.
The call-out to community artists is a reflection of this year’s unofficial theme.
“We haven’t written it down anywhere, but loosely, our theme this year is a return to community,” IPAC artistic director Michel Boutin said.
“The idea of a return to community is that we’re going to involve the community more in the programming,” he added. “Rather than just bringing a show and having people watch it, the community actually becomes the show. So this year the community, more than past years, is integral to what the show will be.”
The 2013 Two Story Café will take place at the P.A. Arts Centre on the evenings of Friday, Sept. 27 and Saturday, Sept. 28 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event is free of charge and includes coffee and refreshments.
By turning to community artists, the Two Story Café in a sense going back to its roots, since the festival evolved out of similar open exhibitions.
“When we first started we were doing aboriginal artist open call exhibitions,” Boutin said. “So this is kind of a recall in that respect.”
The open call exhibition will to some degree serve as a precursor to a future exhibition of northern art planned by Boutin in collaboration with the Mann Art Gallery.
The “return to community” theme of this year’s Two Story Café was also meant to evoke the spirit of Culture Days, the annual three-day volunteer undertaking that seeks to raise Canadians’ awareness of and engagement in cultural activities.
Rather than just bringing a show and having people watch it, the community actually becomes the show. Michel Boutin
Besides the open call exhibition and display of works by regional aboriginal artists such as Leah Dorian and Tim Moore, the first night of the Two Story Café will feature an open jam night.
Any and all musicians are welcome to join in on the jam, which is still seeking a host.
“It may end up being Harvey Knight, our sound guy, that hosts the jam,” Boutin said. “But we’re going to be trying to find a fiddle player to host the night.”
On Saturday, the Two Story Café will focus on spoken word and integrated performances by local artists Kevin Wesaquate and John McDonald. A traditional drum performance by Trevor Amyotte is scheduled to follow.
Boutin, who described Prince Albert as a traditional “hotbed for poetry,” noted that IPAC has considered trying to establish regular spoken word performance nights in the city.
“There are actually quite a few spoken word artists around in the community -- maybe moreso in Saskatoon, but they’re originally from here,” he said. “So it plays to reason that there’d be an audience for that sort of thing.”
Local artists interested in dropping off artwork for the open call exhibition are invited to stop by the Arts Centre between Wednesday, Sept. 25 and Friday, Sept. 27 at noon.