Alberta Culture Days has been celebrating arts and culture across the province every September for the past decade. However, this year’s festival, which ran from Sept. 28-30, had more to celebrate as the Lodgepole Center at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) participated in the weekend’s festivities for the very first time.
The Center was created to act as a gathering space for students to participate in traditional ceremonies, workshops, sharing circles and other traditional activities. ACAD’s Indigenous coordinator Tina Kinnee-Brown said that Alberta Culture Days was a great opportunity for the Center to welcome all Calgarians.
“As we’re a fairly, relatively new space, anytime we can get members of the community in here is fabulous,” Kinnee-Brown said.
Throughout the Culture Days weekend, The Lodgepole Center hosted traditional smudging ceremonies, drum performances, drum-making demonstrations and traditional food sampling. Other locations throughout Alberta, including Calgary’s cSPACE King Edward, also held events throughout the weekend.
Chantal Chagnon, a Cree-Métis artist, activist and educator who was invited by The Lodgepole Center to perform and present, said that sharing her own knowledge with others is a passion of hers.
“I’m very blessed to not only share with Indigenous people, but non-Indigenous people,” Chagnon said. “I think that bridge of understanding is really what connects us.”
Calgary Journal videographer Kyra Bird was able to experience this year’s activities with Chagnon, including her traditional smudging ceremony and drum-making workshop.
- By Kyra Bird