This week Dr. Brian Fauteux provided his suggestions for another fun summer playlist. While last week’s playlist was filled with Canadian artists, the theme for this week is recently released music! Dr. Fauteux is a professor of popular music and media studies at the U of A, so it’s safe to say he’s pretty familiar with some awesome new releases!

Also, just in case you don’t have a spotify account here’s the same playlist on Youtube!

Seven of the top European furniture designers were recently featured in LE MILE magazine, as reported on by 2013 Master of Design grad, Michelle Heath.

VIPP – VIPP922, Large Shelf, Powder-coated aluminium, brushed steel, silicone rubber, 1000 x 230 x 183 mm, Denmark

LE MILE is an internationally published fashion, contemporary art and culture magazine who recruited Heath to write this in-depth profile piece on these compelling works of design.

It includes designers whose works are part of MoMA’s permanent collection, bedframes that “evoke a sense of weightlessness,” and other furniture made from biocomposite materials, rendering them completely recyclable.

TATKRAFT – ION Bed, Süleyman Mazanli , Unique hand welded piece, 1600 x 2000 x 300 mm, Germany

IITTALA – Leimu Lamp, Magnus Petersen, 380 x 250 mm, Finland

See Heath’s full article at the LE MILE website.

After graduating with her MDes in 2013, specializing in Industrial Design, Michelle Heath worked in an Edmonton architecture firm before moving to Bristol, England, to pursue editorial design and design writing. You can read more of Heath’s writings on art and design at her blog, Her design work can be seen at her website, 


*Photo by Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity

Beginning November 1, 2017, BFA Acting graduate Reneltta Arluk will become Director of Indigenous Arts at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Arluk’s predecessors to the position had each brought their own focus to the program, from dance to visual arts to even international relations with the New Zealand Maori. As a theatre artist herself, Arluk plans to bring the focus back to Indigenous theatre.

Her journey to this position is filled with global experience as an actor, playwright, poet, director and producer, committed to stories inspired by Indigenous language and culture. She founded Akpik Theatre in 2008, a Yellowknife based company that develops theatre, film and audio artwork based on Indigenous stories of the circumpolar north.

Arluk graduated from the University of Alberta BFA Acting program in 2005, also as the first Indigenous female graduate of the program. “The program opened a lot of doors for me,” she says. “I was able to audition for a lot of different theatres because I was well trained, and thankfully I got to work with a lot of different companies.”

Unlike many of the other BFA Acting students, Arluk didn’t have any experience with theatre until she was 19, not having access to the same opportunities.

“I’m from the Northwest Territories, I come from poverty, my mom’s a residential school survivor, so obviously this was deeply impacting — broken home, not much direction in my life… I never took drama, dance or singing. None of those opportunities were part of my landscape,” she recalls.

“What got me into theatre was me starting to explore ‘what is my culture? How can I impact my culture to help it move forward?’ I was attracted to the storytelling element — we always remember when a good story is told to us. So my desire to get into theatre was to make sure the stories I told, having to do with the north and my identity, were remembered in a really good way, and for a long time.”

Arluk in a 2005 U of A Studio Theatre production. (photo by Ed Ellis)

When asked about the subject of Canada 150, Reneltta answers candidly:

“It’s a struggle for me, because Canada 150 is basically celebrating colonialism — it’s like celebrating a partnership that was never a partnership. So a lot of Indigenous people who are my friends and co-workers are very conflicted about what this Canada 150 means.

“But I am taking part in two or three 150 projects, and the only way I can reconcile it is that this can’t be a one-off — these things I agreed to be part of cannot just be this one time. If you’re going to say this is Canada 150, let’s look at Canada 150 to the future, and let’s really have a discussion and a partnership and equality. Not just ‘let’s celebrate you this one time because we got a bunch of money to do that.'”

Arluk is hopeful for the future, praising companies like the National Arts Centre for launching an Indigeneous theatre program led by Kevin Loring, and now the Banff Centre for growing their own Indigenous arts program from a 6-month term to a full year, and providing Arluk with the boosted resources needed to properly represent her community.

“Now we need to get our emerging artists into the Banff Centre, and receive training and encouragement and mentorship so these spaces that have been created for them can now be filled by them. The path for us as Indigenous artists has never been clear. We need to make that path clearer for these emerging artists.”

To do this, Arluk plans to engage Indigenous master artists, exploring ways to support them while enabling them to share their knowledge with emerging artists.

As she prepares to take the reins at the Banff Centre and usher in an exciting year of Indigenous theatre, Arluk has been busy at Stratford, directing the world première of The Breathing Hole by former U of A playwright-in-residence, Colleen Murphy, set in the Arctic with an Inuit cast including 24 performers. In an interview with CBC, Arluk says “The thing with Stratford and other big theatres in Canada is that Indigenous people have never been able to be a part of those stages. So this is what makes it a really big deal — Stratford has not only brought in Inuit actors but they have brought in their first Inuit director, which is about breaking down the power structure.”

The Indigenous community clearly has a passionate and powerful champion in Arluk. If you’re in the area, don’t miss Arluk’s The Breathing Hole at Stratford (July 30 – September 22), and stay tuned for the exciting things she has in store for the Banff Centre.

Inspiration can come from the strangest places and, for Taran Plamondon’s composition project for the C’mon Festival, it came from bicycle bells. Taran, who is a recent U of A graduate, was approached two years ago by Kathryn Macintosh to compose a piece for the C’mon Festival. However, this compositional request was a little peculiar, coming with only two rules; keep it short and incorporate clips of bike bells.

Taran explained he had a lot of creative freedom with this project, which can be detrimental because you often have difficulty deciding where to start. However, Taran found writing music that complemented bike bells to be an effortless process. Taran’s initial step was to create a simple and lighthearted melody that would sound good both in canon and in contrast to the tune of “A Bicycle Built for Two.” He wanted the main melody to be uncomplicated so it would continually be complementary to the reoccurring chimes. Taran also structured his composition in rondo as a reference to the tendency of classical composers to use this style to frame symphony movements.

At this year’s festival Taran’s piece, titled “Tandem Bike Rondo,” was played for the second time and he couldn’t be more pleased! Over the last five years he has been fortunate enough to have his compositions played by the Contempo Ensemble U of A, the National Youth Orchestra brass and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He shares that each time he hears his creations come to life he learns a lot about what is more successful on paper than in real life.

Here’s a video of this year’s performance of “Tandem Bike Rondo.” Enjoy!


After carefully preparing their moulds, the masks have taken shape and the students from the U of A Clown Workshop began trying them out!

Stay tuned for more photos as these students bring their characters to life…!

The U of A Clown Workshop is led by Jan Henderson, one of Canada’s leading clown and mask teachers. For over 30 years she has helped people to get in touch with their most authentic, playful and creative aspect – their inner Wise Fool – and use it to enrich their personal and professional lives. Participants have included artists, business people, health care professionals, consultants and individuals of all disciplines in the private and public sectors. Learn more about Jan and her Clown Workshop at

Nothing says summer quite like an awesome playlist to listen to while on a road trip or lounging around in the sun! So, in search of some great music to share with everyone I asked Stephen Tchir, the Music Department’s Undergrad Adviser, for some suggestions. The playlist he put together for you consists entirely of Canadian musicians!

However, Stephen doesn’t only provide assistance to frazzled students, he’s also a member of the local band The Provincial Archive. So here’s some of their songs to add to this awesome Canadian playlist. Enjoy!




Kathryn Macintosh has been a member of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra for several years. Recently she has noticed their concerts rarely attract younger audience members since classical music is less popular with younger generations. However, she is passionate classical music will always have a message to share and therefore needs to remain relevant. In response to this lack of involvement Kathryn decided to add a new flare to classical music which resulted in the creation of the C’mon Festival!



In the past, this festival has broadened the definition of classical music, increasing the margins a little more each year. Throughout her experiences as a performer Kathryn has observed people love getting involved with performances. Therefore, every year the C’mon music festival strives to integrate as much audience participation as possible! This year will include a composition written by Alissa Cheung, a former U of A student, which includes an additional score for the audience! Each member will be given a pack of seeds which they will use to create music based on the instructional score provided. Together the audience and musicians will create a new and interactive performance of classical music that you won’t want to miss!



Another exciting feature of this upcoming festival is the addition of bicycles! On Sunday, several community members will be using their bike bells to participate in the performance of “Tandem Bike Rodeo” composed by recent U of A grad, Taran Plamondon. Kathryn is part of the year round bike commuter population and thought it would be fun to include a community outside the realm of music in this year’s festival.



When Kathryn considered the compositions they played last year she realized only one piece was written by a female composer. She explained that when you handle more traditional repertoire there’s a lack of women composers due to historical social boundaries. However, composing music is considerably more accessible for women in the present. On Saturday, the C’mon Festival will be showcasing more modern pieces written by a greater diversity of composers.


The C’mon Festival is dedicated to providing Edmonton with a classical music event that is novel and innovative. They aim to remind people classical music has not reached its expiry date and can be a wonderful tool for bringing people together. So, on July 7th to the 9th, we would be thrilled if you would join us at Studio 96 for a weekend of awesome music and interactivity. Also, just in case you weren’t already super excited about this intriguing event, the C’mon Festival will be pushing the boundaries of chamber music even further by performing a mashup of classical music and songs by Metallica!

Curious Arts got a backstage pass to see what the students of the annual U of A Clown Workshop were doing at the end of their first week.

We walked in to their classroom to see this:

This is one of the early steps for each student in finding their inner clown or Fool. This particular exercise involves closing one’s eyes while listening to an audible rhythm, and letting it guide you in shaping the clay.


Students are eventually allowed to open their eyes and finish shaping their mould. It will eventually have paper mache applied to it, creating the mask that will become part of their physical character.

The clay goes from an extremely abstract mass to a face, sometimes even that of an animal.


The workshop is led by Jan Henderson, one of Canada’s leading clown and mask teachers. For over 30 years, she has been helping people get in touch with their most authentic, playful and creative core self —their Inner Fool — and using it to enrich their personal and professional lives.

“The ultimate goal is for each person to find their inner personal clown or alter-ego Fool character,” she says. “It’s a mask technique to find it, so this is training in how to trust that a mask is an intuitive script. The only way to find out who it is, is by wearing it.”

Stay tuned for more fascinating behind-the-scenes photos of these students as they bring their characters to life…!

BFA 2017 graduate Wei Li has been named one of 15 finalists in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition. The winner will be announced on October 17 at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, and will receive a cash grand prize of $25,000.

Wei’s painting, Obsessiveness and Excitement, Never Growing Out of Them, is a 40″ by 60″ oil and acrylic on canvas.

“As an immigrant as well as an artist,” the China-raised Li writes, “I believe it is important to visually address the experience of living in this hybrid and dynamic society. The canvas itself functions as a vehicle to carry the painter’s moment of emotion, memory and energy, and the end result is often visually complex.”

The paintings by the winner and two honourable mentions will be added to RBC’s Art Collection along with the winners of the previous 18 competitions. RBC’s Art Collection features more than 4,500 works collected since 1929, including original works of art by historical and contemporary Canadian artists.

As part of the RBC Emerging Artists Project, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition’s goal is to invest in and nurture Canada’s next generation of visual artists, to provide a forum for artistic talent across the country and to create opportunities for success. In 2016, RBC supported over 2,000 artists, investing over $4.2 million in 149 organizations across Canada in a wide range of art genres.

Source: Canadian Art

Even though Summer Band has already begun they are always willing to accept new members. So here are some reasons why Summer Band would be an awesome summer activity!











1. It’s only a $20 fee for the whole summer.

2. The ensemble is full of passionate musicians who don’t want to put their instruments down during the summer.

3. The repertoire consists of popular music and well known composers. The conductors want to keep things fun and light so several of the pieces are from musicals or movies.

4. You get not 1, but 4 amazing conductors so you can experience different conducting styles. This year the conducting team includes Dr. Angela Schroeder, Graeme Peppink, Lidia Khaner and Lindsey Kemp.

5. They go on an awesome field trip in August to Red Deer for MusiCamp Alberta.











6. The conductors are understanding of summer schedules so as long as you let them know about the fantastic road trip you have planned there won’t be a problem.

7. Summer Band is meant to be fun and relaxed so you don’t have to go through the stress of auditioning to participate.

8. I stopped by for their first rehearsal and they already sound fantastic. Plus there’s a great variety of instruments!

9. They get to perform in Convocation Hall

10. Last but certainly not least, after rehearsal band members often stop by the Sherlock Holmes Pub to keep the fun going!






If you have any more questions feel free to contact either Angela Schroeder ( or Graeme Peppink (