Art Gallery of Alberta

Road Trip Refinery


Refinery late-night art party
Saturday, May 24, 2014

9 pm–2 am | 18+
$45/ $39 AGA Members
2 for 1 Ultra Members

Tickets are non-refundable. Any tickets purchased on or after Friday, May 16 will only be available for pick-up at Member & Guest Services or at the doors of the event. Electronic tickets are not provided for this event. Only valid AGA printed tickets will be accepted for admittance to the event.

Hit the open road with your AGA for Road Trip Refinery! Under the creative direction of Edmonton-based artist and illustrator Jill Stanton, Road Trip Refinery takes you off the beaten path with a nostalgic twist and some stellar roadside attractions along way!

Featuring work by local artists Nickelas “Smokey” Johnson, Laurel Westlund and Creative Director Jill Stanton, along with help from the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts Collective, Road Trip Refinery will have you singing along to your favourite driving song as you explore your AGA with a giant game of I-spy and quirky hands-on projects and activities. Plus, rock out to the tunes of DJ Renny Wilson and Zebra Pulse.

Party like you’re 90! Road Trip Refinery takes you on a drive down memory lane to celebrate 90 of years of art in Alberta…

Sponsored by


Road Trippin’ Playlist

Get stoked for Road Trip Refinery with our Road Trippin’ playlist by DJ Renny Wilson.

Dress Alberta Bound

Pop on your Ray Bans and be road trip ready with our Alberta Bound dress inspiration! Casual chic is in with socks and sandals, flowy sundresses, shorts and a lot of denim. So strap on a fanny pack, grab your camera and be prepared for adventure!


#yegweekend is a great project helping to promote Edmonton to the world and you could be a part of their next video! The #yegweekend folks will be touring model/blogger Chris John Millington through Edmonton’s awesome nightlife and your AGA’s Road Trip Refinery on May 24 will be one of their stops. A small crew will be filming between 10 pm-12 am in Manning Hall and the second level landing.

If you’re camera shy, fear not! Only a small portion of the event will be included in the video and there will be plenty to do on all three floors of the Gallery that won’t be filmed. Have any questions? Email or call us at 780.422.6223.

Refinery is not an AGA fundraising event. Refinery is one of the unique ways the AGA connects people, art and ideas through music, interactive projects and performances. To help support quality programming at future Refinery parties, please make a donation in addition to your ticket purchase.


Creative Director

Creative Director Statement

When I was a kid, long, winding car rides were my favourite thing. The windows of the vehicle were constantly-changing screens with an endless supply of new scenery and landscapes to serve as backdrops to my budding imagination. Outside the car, small dots on the horizon line ahead would magically become objects or animals or structures and then swish past and become memory. Visual scavenger hunts, whether with my sisters or just inside my own head, were exciting and numerous. From age seven, the best road trips were to Drumheller and the Badlands in southern Alberta, or up north via frozen highways to Cold Lake for ice fishing. Later, my mom would frequently pack me and my two younger sisters in the car, heading to one a of myriad small-town arenas hosting my sister’s hockey games, or to hunt down a famed Albertan landmark (the giant Easter egg of Vegreville or the giant phallic sausage of Mundare come to mind as standouts, but there are several others). I really lived for these trips.

The journeys themselves were just as interesting and formative to my young memory as the destinations. Through these trips, I found a strong kinship to Alberta and its individual landscapes. My memory and visual recall system also started to develop. Kids brains are funny, and my kid brains tended to skew imagery and hold onto seemingly mundane parts of experiences, only to manifest themselves later on in my subconscious image bank as kooky versions of reality (making for some great visuals to draw from for comics as an adult).

Here I present a version of a crazy Albertan road trip, filtered through the lens of kid’s brains, fever dreams, altered memory and comic books.


Jill Stanton is a Canadian illustrator based in Edmonton, Alberta. She holds a BFA in printmaking and drawing from the University of Alberta. Her work specializes in the weird and wacky. Stanton is currently dividing her time between numerous large-scale environmental works, as well as a comic book based on dream imagery and hallucinations, entitled Headspaces. With her background in printmaking, Stanton is currently working with the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts as the Print Shop Coordinator.




Paper Environments

Large-scale, comics-influenced, crazy paper installations featuring Albertan landscapes will infiltrate three floors of the Gallery. Six distinct environments from our province will be featured in their corresponding “geographical” area of the building.

Thank you to SNAP for generously supporting this project.

Eye Spy

Within the Paper Environments, many creatures, plants, objects, and narratives are waiting to be found! With up to 50 items on ‘the list,’ will you have what it takes to complete the challenge?

Back in the Car!

Nickelas “Smokey” Johnson is building a photo/video booth of sorts for all the party people. A two-seater box painted up as a car, the cut-out windows will expose a moving looped background like in old Fisher-Price toy TVs. Party goers will be invited to revisit road trips through Alberta seated in this plywood jalopy, capturing Instagram vids of these constructed memories as hand-drawn representations of small town attractions scroll by.

Post Cards

Just as you would pick up a post card from a small town you visit on a road trip, each of the landscapes from the Paper Environments will have a corresponding black-and-white illustrated postcard to take home or send afar. There will be colouring stations located throughout the Gallery that will be stocked with pencil crayons for you to personalize.

Zebra Pulse

Zebra Pulse will be playing two different sets during the evening. The first set will be a form of hypnotic post-post-rock that twists in every direction. The second set will be more chaotic and true to the classic Zebra Pulse form – warbled cassettes, machine gun drums and melodies chopped by the second.

DJ Renny Wilson

DJ Renny Wilson will be bringing us super golden hits and misses from the bygone era! He will be playing 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s – with almost no limitation on style.



Jill Stanton

Jill Stanton is a Canadian illustrator based in Edmonton, Alberta. She holds a BFA in printmaking and drawing from the University of Alberta. Her work specializes in the weird and wacky. Stanton is currently dividing her time between numerous large-scale environmental works, as well as a comic book based on dream imagery and hallucinations, entitled Headspaces. With her background in printmaking, Stanton is currently working with the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts as the Print Shop Coordinator.

Laurel Westlund

Laurel Westlund is an Edmonton-based artist who studied Printmaking and Classics at the University of Alberta (BA ’03). She currently draws inspiration from images created shortly after the invention of Gutenberg’s printing press, such as single-leaf woodcuts and emblematic imagery. Armed with a love of screen prints and hand-cut rubylith stencils, her work reflects mythology, ancient science & technology, sinister whimsy, and an appreciation of the absurd.

Nickelas ‘Smokey’ Johnson

Born in the wilds of northern Alberta, Nickelas “Smokey” Johnson makes things out of wood and paint and other found materials. He likes comics and history, adventuring and exploration, sci-fi and wooded areas.

The Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts

The Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts exists to: provide a supportive place where people with developmental disabilities can become practicing artists; promote the Centre’s collective of artists; provide opportunities for the exhibition of work by artists who face barriers, including the Centre’s artists’ collective, and; operate a public gallery and other outreach programs that connect artists and audiences.

DJ Renny Wilson

Edmontonian Renny Wilson has been providing dynamic and entertaining performances in the Edmonton music scene for nearly a decade. He is a recording artist, recording engineer, record producer, record store employee and record jockey (the word ‘record’ may as well be his middle name). As a musician, he pulls influence from all pop music, spanning the 20th century to today. As a producer/ engineer he has made records with Flagship Edmonton artists such as Jessica Jalbert, Michael Rault, Jom Comyn, Krang and Travis Bretzer. As a DJ, he can be found pulling from a vast collection of golden greats from the bygone era, delivering as many songs you know and love as songs you wished you’d known and would love to hear again.

Zebra Pulse

Zebra Pulse is an experimental improvisational band consisting of Parker Thiessen, Owen Strasky, Sean MacIntosh and Dave Schaefer. The combine samples, cassette manipulation, drum machine, bass guitar and drums to blend into a chaotic form of beat driven psychedelia.


About Refinery

Refinery is an ongoing series of late-night art parties themed around current AGA exhibitions featuring projects by artists, designers and performers from the local arts community. Refinery aims to provide audiences with access to art in its many diverse forms, media and manifestations.

Each Refinery is led by an independent Creative Director. Creative Directors are asked to develop programming for the evening and assist with the vision of this popular event. Past Refinery Creative Directors include: Fish Griwkowsky, Jessica Kennedy, Tim Rechner, fast & dirty Artist and Curatorial Collective, Kyle Armstrong, Colleen Brown and Kristine Nutting.

Images from previous installments of Refinery can be found on our Facebook page.

Catch up on our past Refinery programming:

Cloud Nine Refinery | February 15

Funhouse Refinery | November 16
The Rip-Roarin’ Refinery | June 1
Interface at Refinery | February 9

The Monstrous Baroque Refinery | November 17
The Automatiste Refinery | June 23
Sewing the Heartland | March 24

Explorers of the North and the Monsters Who Killed Them | November 19
Refinery Factory Party | June 4
Shapeshift at Refinery | March 24

Edward Burtynsky: OIL | November 20
The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons | July 10
AGA Refinery | February 6


Refinery: Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions about Refinery? We have answers!


What does my ticket get me?

Each ticket includes exhibition access, installations, performance, all activities and light food.

When do tickets go on sale?

Tickets generally go on sale for AGA Members 4 weeks prior to the event for AGA Members. Public tickets are available about 2 weeks before the event.

How much are Refinery tickets?

Refinery tickets are $39 for AGA Members, 2 for 1 for Ultra Members and $45 for non-members.

How do I purchase my ticket?

You can purchase your ticket online, by phone: 780.392.2500 or at the Member and Guest Services desk at the Art Gallery of Alberta (#2 Sir Winston Churchill Square).

Do I get a tax receipt?

Tax receipts can not be given, because Refinery is not a fundraiser.

Can I refund my tickets?

Refinery tickets are non-refundable.

Can I give my ticket away to someone else?

Yes, you may give your ticket away to someone else to use.

Do I need a physical ticket to get in?

Only printed AGA tickets will be accepted. Please note, the email you receive after purchasing your tickets online is only a confirmation and receipt.

Are tickets available at the door?

Tickets are not available for purchase at the doors of the event.

Getting Ready

What do I need to bring to get in?

You will need your printed ticket(s) and government issued ID to enter.

Is there a coat check?

Coat check is provided in the winter months and costs $2 (cash only).

Can I bring a bag with me?

Small bags, such as purses, are allowed. Larger bags, such as backpacks, are not allowed and must be checked at coat check. All bags are subject to a bag check upon arrival.

Is there a dress code? Do I have to dress in theme?

Your AGA provides dress inspiration/ guidelines that correlates to each Refinery’s theme. You are encouraged to dress up, but will not be turned away based on your outfit.

Should I eat before arriving?

We provide appetizer-type food during the event. We do suggest to eat dinner before arriving!


What time do doors open?

Doors open at 9 pm.

Can I arrive late?

You may arrive at any time during the night. We suggest showing up earlier to ensure you are able to participate in all of the activities and take in all of the performances, exhibitions and installations.

How many people attend Refinery?

Approximately 750 people attend Refinery.

Are bags/ purses checked?

Purses or small bags are allowed in the event. Larger bags like backpacks must be checked at coat check. All bags are subject to a bag check upon arrival.

Do food and drinks cost money?

Food is complimentary. Drinks tickets can be purchased the night of the event.

Do I need cash?

Only cash is accepted for drink tickets and coat check.

Is there an ATM on site?

There is an ATM on site.

Will there be a line to see exhibitions or go on the terrace?

All of our spaces have a maximum capacity, and because of this, there may be line ups to get in to certain spaces. To ensure your safety and the protection of the art we must limit the capacity in each AGA space.

What is there to do at Refinery?

Each Refinery offers programming; including art making projects, themed installations, musical performances, exhibition access and more!

Is there music or dancing?

Each event features music, usually a DJ or live performances, that correlate to the specific Refinery theme. Dancing is always encouraged!

Are the exhibitions open?

Exhibitions are open until 1 am. We suggest showing up early to ensure you can see all of the current exhibitions.

Will there be a last call?

Last call is at 1 am.

After the party

Is there parking or transit near by?

The AGA does not have parking, but there are various parkades located around the square. You may also access the AGA via Churchill Station on the LRT.

Where can I get a cab?

You can call a cab to pick you up at your AGA or cabs can usually be found near The Westin, Jasper Avenue and the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald.

Is there a lost and found?

We have a lost and found bin for every Refinery. Please call 780.392.2500 if you have lost a belonging at Refinery.

What time does Refinery end?

Last call is at 1 am and the event ends at 2 am.