Prince Albert Arts Hall of Fame prepares opening gala

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Matt Gardner
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An official date has been set for the Prince Albert Arts Hall of Fame inaugural gala.

The inaugural gala for the Prince Albert Arts Hall of Fame will take place on the evening of Friday, Sept. 26 at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre.

The Prince Albert Arts Board will honour its first five Hall of Fame inductees -- who include Margo Fournier, John V. Hicks, Ed Rawlinson, Bernice Sayese and Annabel Taylor -- on the evening of Friday, Sept. 26.

Arts board chair Roxanne Dicke said the date was chosen to help connect the opening to SaskCulture Days, which takes place on the same weekend.

“It seems appropriate to launch an arts hall of fame during SaskCulture Days up here … so we thought that made tons of sense,” Dicke said.

While all five inductees are all being honoured posthumously, relatives and family representatives will be in attendance at the gala on their behalf.

“We’re really excited,” Dicke said. “We hope it’s going to be a fantastic celebration -- a night to celebrate.”

Along with the inauguration of the Arts Hall of Fame itself, organizers are also planning to attach another event in hopes of repeating a significant success from last year -- what Dicke referred to as an “arts free-for-all.”

“We had a bunch of arts organizations come for the day and network and connect and the doors were open to the public and we had many people come through,” she recalled.

“Some were selling things, some were just making the public aware of the different arts organizations that they could join or their kids could join. So it was a really successful event last year and we’re hoping to do that again.”

The P.A. Arts Hall of Fame grew out of discussions on how to acknowledge and commemorate individuals who have significantly contributed to the arts in Prince Albert and area.

While the subject had been discussed for years prior, it was the 10-year anniversary of the E.A. Rawlinson Centre that provided the impetus to make the Arts Hall of Fame a reality.

The arts board used three categories in choosing their first inductees -- a supporter of the arts, a builder of the arts or a contributing artist. The choices reflected a desire to provide a solid foundation for the hall of fame.

It seems appropriate to launch an arts hall of fame during SaskCulture Days. Roxanne Dicke

“For this first year, we wanted unanimous agreement of the arts board,” Dicke said.

“Another criteria was that they made a significant impact on the arts in Prince Albert … This first year we are awarding the first honours to those who have come before and left us the legacy on which to build.”

The hall of fame, however, will also extend beyond its physical location at the Rawlinson Centre to the online realm.

Organizers are planning to create a virtual hall of fame, which will offer biographical information, anecdotes and samples of the artists’ work.

“We’re going to try to make it very interactive so it can be accessed and we hope that schools in Prince Albert access it and we hope the public can go online and access it,” Dicke said.

“Our goal is to have that ready to be launched in September as well.”

Finally, the arts board is planning an associated “walk of fame” -- a guided tour through different areas of the city with connections to the inductees.

“Hopefully that will be coming near the (gala) event,” Dicke said.

During the period leading up to autumn, the arts board will be busy with a variety of tasks in preparation for the hall of fame -- building the website, designing the event, sending out invitations and creating public awareness.

Part of the motivation for the hall of fame, Dicke noted, was the need to increase local awareness of individuals who have contributed to the city’s art scene.

“Sometimes the people at home don’t always recognize the contributions of people at home,” she said. “It’s sometimes the people away that recognize that, or people outside your own hometown.

“So we felt it was really important to bring that forward and to get people thinking about all the great stuff that’s come out of Prince Albert.”

Organizations: Prince Albert Arts Board, Rawlinson Centre

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