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Artwork and music collide at Encore Festival

 Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe

Bruce Koch works on a painting during last year's Encore Art Sale and Celebration of Creative Expression at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. (Lacombe Globe file photo)

Bruce Koch works on a painting during last year's Encore Art Sale and Celebration of Creative Expression at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. (Lacombe Globe file photo)

Lacombe’s premiere celebration of art is back for its 18th year.

The annual Encore Festival art sale and celebration will be held April 21-22 at the Lacombe Memorial Centre, promising to add a little more colour, vibrancy and brilliance to the community after the winter months.

Maureen MacKenzie, organizer and City of Lacombe Community Services Executive Assistant says the event is a crucial one for many artists, and provides area residents their first opportunity to see new works.

“For a lot of artists, this is the first art show of the year. It’s kind of their signature kick-off,” she said. “It’s really nice for everyone who has been at home. It’s a nice way to kick off spring.”

A total of 30 different booths featuring photographers, painters, sculptors and illustrators will be on display, as well as 50 pieces of student artwork, including a film project.

Demonstrations by pottery artist Arne Handley, who teaches as part of Red Deer College’s summer art series program, will happen at 2 p.m. on both days. Local textile artist Margaret Blank will also demonstrate mono printing on fabric on Friday at 3 p.m.

This year, MacKenzie says they’ve returned to the show’s roots and gone back to their original format and focus on art.

“One of the reasons we’ve done that is the trade show is the same weekend. Typically, whenever the trade show is on the same weekend, attendance is better and we thought we’d make it a nice, casual weekend for everyone so families could take in both events,” she said, adding it makes for a more child-friendly event as well.

While there will be plenty of visual artwork to take in, there will also be artists of the musical variety.

Sam Lundell will be one of the main attractions performing at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday, and from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday.

X-62 from Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton will also perform on Friday, bringing a unique blend of techno and pop not often heard in Lacombe.

“We’re really looking forward to those musicians because they’re new to the event,” said MacKenzie. “It should be cool to see what they come up.”

Joining them will be classical guitarist Melissa Loeppky who will perform from 12-2 p.m. on Saturday.

Wines, brews and appetizers will be served from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, and beverages again from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday.

The key to the event’s success, however, is the approximately 40 volunteers who give up their free time to take tickets, assist in the clean up, prepare and serve appetizers and more.

“We wouldn’t be able to do this even without them. They are absolutely critical,” she said. “Same thing with our sponsors. We have such wonderful sponsors that help us keep our costs down and continue to offer the show because it’s certainly not something taxpayers need to pay for.

“We’re really lucky in this community to have such great support for the event.”

Monies leftover from sponsorship are contributed to the Arts Endowment Fund, which will award several local artists towards the end of the month.

For more information, visit lacombetourism.com/Lacombe-regional-tourism-events/encore-festival or phone (403)782-1258. 

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