Students in Fine Arts 205 welcomed a unique speaker to their class on Monday, January 18th, as Minister of Culture and Community Spirit Lindsay Blackett spoke about supporting the arts in Alberta.
"It's no longer acceptable to have mediocrity," he said. "We have to start viewing our artists and artisans as Olympic athletes. We have some of the best artists in the world."
Blackett toured Alberta and found that small towns and large cities alike had thriving arts communities that nobody knew about because they weren't connected to one another. Blackett said that it is his responsibility to bring these communities together.
One way he tried to do this was by inviting more artists to Alberta Arts Day, which, in 2009, swelled to a three-day event instead of merely one. Alberta Arts Days is held on the third weekend of September at the Jubilee Auditorium and is free to the public.
Blackett says his department is innovating ways to provide venues for local artists and artisans, from offering financial aid to encouraging places like the Epcor Center to make some of their space communal for various artists to use.
Students in the class had the chance to ask the minister questions and provide feedback about his policies and plans. For more information about the Department of Culture and Community Spirit visit culture.alberta.ca.