Winners of EIC’S Alberta Culture Days Event
Edmonton Intercultural Centre has been working hard to become more than just a facility manager for the old McCauley School in the last year. Since EIC’s foundation, it has mostly been the 10 tenant organizations spearheading the activities, events, and workshops in the building. Gathering restrictions due to the pandemic have limited most of the in-person activities in the building, but haven’t stopped the new administration team at the EIC to think of ways to bring the community together.
Earlier this fall, while the weather still permitted outdoor events, EIC served as an Alberta Culture Days Host Site for the first time in its five year history. Twenty-five local artists representing 21 different cultures got together (mostly outdoors) to give the old trash cans of the McCauley School a cultural makeover. After a safely distanced weekend of painting and networking, local artists of all ages took the cans home and brought back their finished projects at the end of the month for an exhibition.
The original location for the exhibition was planned at the Edmonton City Hall, but the continued closure of the space to the public in September resulted in a last-minute change. The cans were on display at the Kingsway Mall for almost two weeks. The multi-day event, called “Show Your Colours,” involved a competition component. Kingsway Mall visitors and many people who visited the EIC website got a chance to vote for their favourite designs.
In the end, more than 4,200 votes were cast, and a winning design was crowned. Young local artist Basak Unsal won the $1,000 winning prize with her design highlighting Turkish Culture. Crimean artist Maryna Prokhorenko won second place and $500. EIC will put up some of the trash cans up for auction this holiday season to raise funds which they hope to use as seed money for similar cultural events in the future, and also to provide small honoraria to all the artists who graciously donated their time and talent for this amazing event. If you are heading over to the EIC these days, make sure to ask for an art-walk map for the building so you can view the amazing artwork up close.
Sim Senol is the Executive Director of the Edmonton Intercultural Centre.