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Arts festival in Didsbury celebrates 10 years this weekend

Memorial Complex and the Didsbury Museum will host Mountain View Arts Festival
MVT arts festival-7
Jim Wendel works on a chalk art piece in Didsbury during the 2019 Mountain View Arts Festival. File photo/MVP Staff

DIDSBURY - Back in 2011, even before there was an organization, a group of community minded leaders hosted an arts festival in Didsbury. Ten years later, and after an extremely difficult 18 months, volunteers, artists, and performers are excited to entertain you and your family once again.

It's time for the 10th edition of the Mountain View Arts Festival!

"We are just so pleased to be able to host a live event once again," says festival chair Kathleen Windsor. "Although the activities have moved from five or six locations to two this year, it is not a smaller event, in fact, it's bigger than ever!"

Those two locations include the curling rink and multi-purpose room at the Memorial Complex, and the Didsbury Museum.

There's still all the components you love seeing at the Mountain View Arts Festival. The Artisan Village of crafty vendors will be in the Curling Rink along with the 4th year for "Artists at Work".

"We have a wide variety of artists this year," says Merrilee Anthony, arts society president. "There's needle felting, paverpol, wood turning, stained glass, and painting at 'Artists at Work', and handmade crafts like jewellery, wood crafts, sun catchers and wire trees, slate painting and pewter work, all from Alberta artisans who have not shown at our Artisan Village before!"

There's a full lineup of music for everyone as well!

"We sourced some of the very best musicians and songwriters for this year's arts festival," says music coordinator Kevin Land. "We are very proud to have recording artists like The Travelling Mabels and Tim Hus, as well as some of CKFM's Star Search favourites, and local performer, Nikki Wozzo, who performed at the society's first rock concert back in 2012!

Plus, Olds native, LIZ (Elizabeth Christensen) is back for her 10th appearance at the arts festival!

The festival has expanded to include a couple of bands as well - the 2A Community Band opens the event on Sunday, and the North West Mounted Police Band will be at the museum on Sunday afternoon.

A local favourite is Didsbury's Kelly Kalden," adds Land, "who wrote a song with the residents at the Didsbury Continuing Care Centre, one that even Barbra Streisand shared on her Facebook page - and loved!"

Kalden and her mother will be performing at the museum on Saturday afternoon, and her daughter has her debut on the Youth Stage in the multi-purpose room on Saturday morning.

With family fun in mind, there will be a family dance on Saturday evening, so practise your best moves to the Chicken Dance and the Macarena - there'll be great prizes!!

Lots of hands-on activities as well.

"The Library has been part of the arts festival since the beginning," says Windsor, "and this year, you'll get to spin your own version of a children's tale using shadow puppets - and take home your filmed directing debut as well!"

Every year there has been a community collaborative art project where everyone gets involved.

"This year," adds Anthony, "we're providing the paint and everyone is invited to help create a river of rocks that will eventually flow at Memorial Park after the festival."

Add in face painting, caricature artist Mark Cromwell, and Victorian fashion - plus free shuttle service between venues on the Didsbury Lions Club Bus, and you've got a weekend ready for selfies and photo ops galore!

Plan to join in the fabulously festive fun, Sept. 11 and 12 in Didsbury.  Details at www.mountainviewartsfestival.ca or call 403-335-9445.