Art Gallery of Alberta

Funhouse Refinery



Refinery late-night art party
Saturday, November 16, 2013

9 pm–2 am | 18+

Your Refinery tickets will be mailed to you. We no longer provide electronic tickets for this event. Only valid AGA printed tickets will be accepted for admittance to the event.

Step right up and enter the Funhouse, your AGA’s latest installment of our popular Refinery late-night art party! Inspired by the exhibition The Intellection of Lady Spider House and under the creative direction of Edmonton performance artist Kristine Nutting, Funhouse Refinery asks you to leave your expectations at the door and be prepared for what’s inside…

This is not the funhouse of the past—instead of tired-out tricks, stir your senses with performances and installations that stretch the realms of reality. Be amazed by The World’s Smallest Circus Show. Marvel at the menacingly musical stylings of The Lad Mags. Dare to peek at a bizarre and verboten world in a video installation created by Anna Binta Diallo. Experience an out-of-this-world sound performance by Kamil Krulis. Get lost as you venture through Geoffrey Farmer’s labyrinthine haunted house-themed exhibition, The Intellection of Lady Spider House. Take part in fanciful and fantastic hands-on projects and activities, nibble on tantalizing treats and dance the night away to choice tunes by DJ Sheri Barclay.

Before you enter the Funhouse, be sure you are dressed to play your part! Garb yourself in the guise of the glittery performer or the posh spectator out for a night on the town—but wait, who’s who? Like trick mirrors that stretch and distort, what you see may not be what you get. Visit our Pinterest page for costume inspiration.

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


Funhouse Refinery

An amusement facility in which patrons can have a number of unusual and, hopefully, amusing experiences, both physical and psychological. Unlike thrill rides, it is a participatory attraction. It can be thought of as a slightly insane, even sadistic, eerie obstacle course, or as a place where people can briefly experience the unknown…

I invite you to enter this temporary world of the other. The old-time thrill of the carnival funhouse and the innocence required to experience its pleasure are no longer possible. The travelling sideshows have been done; the entertainment of the good old days is readily replaced by the momentary fix of six second Vine screenings and a random mouse click. Our desire to return to the Paris of the 20s or the New York of the 50s is fuelled by a pervasive sense of nostalgia. In Old Greek, the phrase nostalgia means to suffer (algia) an impossible return (nostos).

The funhouse is replete with nostalgia: our nostalgia for the carnival holds within it the impulse to return to a better time—a period of innocence where the magician’s cheap tricks were willingly believed, or, at the very least, we could be entertained by something as simple as our senses. Funhouse Refinery is an invitation to be dislocated from the boredom of your own expectations with an evening of moving installations, performances and video projections that offer a pill of either perversion or pleasure. Oh, and of course there will be cotton-candy, glamour and booze.


Kristine Nutting is an Edmonton-based independent performance artist. Recently, Nutting completed her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts in Berlin, Germany at the Transart Institute. She writes, produces and performs large-scale theatre shows – typically with a minimum cast size of 8, and up to 17 or more performers – that ultimately tour using non-conventional spaces across Canada. Nutting’s most recent success was writing, creating, producing, performing and touring PIG, which was a 17-person show. Her work is regarded as entertaining, grotesque and meta-theatrical – a storytelling vehicle which is pre-occupied with culture, class and the aesthetic form of theatre itself. Nutting has worked regularly with Mile Zero Dance, and performed with art-rock metal band Brontoscorpio for three years. Nutting won the Edmonton Artists Trust Fund in 2010/11. Her new film is slated to go into the early production stage in spring 2014, and her latest theatre show, Of Love and Wheat: A Gothic Opera is scheduled to premiere at Work Shop West in September 2014.


Intimate Experiences Forbidden Places

Video installation by Anna Binta Diallo
Step right up! Dare to take a peek into an intimate, forbidden and bizarre world of the strange. You are invited to observe a series of moving postcards, but be forewarned—you are about to embark on a ride into unfamiliar territory. This is a funhouse within the Funhouse.

The Lad Mags

Concert by The Lad Mags
Experience the sounds of the Lad Mags as they transmit spooky, garage-soul harmonies, somehow pulled from an invented history where Motown begat psychedelia. Snappy and tuneful, yes, but also full of looser menace. They tend to howl, more canine than cat.

Featuring a video projection by Fish Griwkowsky
Filmed as a response to the A-side/B-side format of the Lad Mags’ first 7”, Something’s Wrong (You Don’t Love Me / Lover) is a call and response video work where the band touchlessly kills everyone they walk by, then meets them in a Technicolor afterlife aftergrad party, based on a famous bash hosted by Ken Kesey of the Merry Pranksters, where Allen Ginsberg, the Hell’s Angels and Hunter S. Thompson all collided in a forest. The video was produced after winning a grant from Public Records and Telus.

Record Player

Sound performance by Kamil Krulis

Witness the extraordinary as Kamil Krulis aims to stretch the boundaries of the white cube environment in Record Player. Playing 45” records on the floor, Krulis will provide a certain shamanic delivery that will include dancing, cowboy boots, a cape and finger puppets.

The World’s Shortest Circus Show

There is a circus that is notorious for being so paltry it is almost immaterial. The World’s Smallest Circus Show is barely a circus; it is almost a non-event, except the smell of its potential lingers like dirt in a gold prospector’s pan. The performers have come to a bad end. They are the other folks. The ones you have heard about. You know the ones—the trailer trash, the ‘nobody loved me’s,’ the talented rejects that can be charming, but have no real worldly skills. Yes, they are the modern farmers mining away at a useless profession: the old art of entertainment. They are all here; ready to perform—to alleviate your boredom for just a few trifling minutes. It is a circus like all the others: there will be a bike, a dance routine, some poorly trained animals and a cake.

The Intellection of Lady Spider House

Enter at your own risk…

The Intellection of Lady Spider House, an exhibition created by internationally renowned artist Geoffrey Farmer, will have you questioning your own senses as you try to figure out: which way is which? This haunted house-themed exhibition is a labyrinthine installation where one misstep could have you going in the wrong direction.

In order for party-goers to get the best experience of the maze-like set up, entry to this exhibition will be based on timed tickets available the night of and on a first come, first served basis.

And More…

The Funhouse Refinery will feature fantastical hands-on projects, whimsical activities and carny-inspired treats stationed throughout the building. All of the exhibitions will be open late for your viewing pleasure, and our DJ will have you stomping your feet all night long.


Contributing Artists

Patrick Arès-Pilon

Directeur de Le Tivoli, Patrick Arès-Pilon aime se promener dans rues en contemplant la beauté innée du bruit, de la lumière et du movement entre les espaces present. Amant du film Patrick s’intéresse à sa preservation, à sa disintegration et à sa projection tout en explorant une esthétique synesthétique.

DJ Sheri Barclay

Sheri Barclay has a decade of djing under her belt at dive bars, weddings, clothing stores and college radio stations worldwide with specific expertise crossing all genres to deliver the hits straight to the party, to the heart of the party. She is also well known for her Make It Not Suck graffiti bomb series as well as her current project the art & craft supply vintage and consignment shop Garage Sale Party.

Piet Defraeye

Piet Defraeye is a theatre scholar and director. He teaches in the Drama Dept., University of Alberta and does mainly comparative research in contemporary performance. His main focus is on European and Quebec theatre. His most recent creative credits include an international tour of Evelyne de la Chenelière’s Bashir Lazhar, and The Voice in the Closet for StageLab Festival.

Anna Binta Diallo

Born in Dakar, Senegal, Anna Binta Diallo grew up in Saint-Boniface, the Francophone community in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After completing a double major in painting/design for her BFA at the University of Manitoba’s School of Fine Arts, she obtained the Graduate Certificate ‘Digital Technologies in Art and Design Practices’ at Concordia University. (J.A. de Sève Entrance Fellowship) Diallo recently obtained her MFA in Creative Practice, specializing in video at the Transart Institute. In addition to her artistic practice, Diallo is a freelance graphic designer, a singer/music composer and a life enthusiast. She is currently based in Montreal.

Fish Griwkowsky

Fish Griwkowsky is a photographer, stereoscopist, filmmaker and culture activist whose images have appeared everywhere from Sundance to Corb Lund’s latest album cover to print publications around the globe. He was the first Creative Director of Refinery, won the most recent Mayor’s Awards Night trophy for support of the arts and is currently art critic of the Edmonton Journal.

Kamil Krulis

Kamil Krulis has been wreaking havoc on unsuspecting audiences since the late 80’s/. With an Alberta College of Art + Design education (sculpture), Krulis has been trying to redefine what, where and how art can be delivered to the viewer. He has shown in galleries, alternative spaces and gig venues, designed bars, dj’ed and performed. Krulis is like a free radical that refuses to limit his artistic practice to one medium. Many of his investigations take form in the manifestations of edgy bands that create new boundaries within the performance context of rock’n’roll.

The Lad Mags

The Lad Mags are four women and a garbage man drummer. Sounds are made by Amelia Aspen, Ashley Hollands, Candice Kelly, Dara Humniski, Joe Stagliano and an absolute tank of a Farfisa organ that sounds like an elk god giving birth, which adds ghosts to the whole underworld cavern feel.

The Lad Mags, by the way, refers to British boys’ magazines, a spark of punk in certain legends. It can mean whatever you like, though – it’s a pliable language.

Mia Van Leeuwen

Mia Van Leeuwen is a performance artist, director, writer, producer and the co-Artistic Director of out-of-line theatre (alongside Ian Mozdzen) – a wacky performance company based in Winnipeg, MB. The company has devised several experimental works including the twice nationally toured PeepShow (2004–2006), Jealous/Pervert (2006), VVITCH (2007), Le Mort (2009), Le Petit Mort (2011), Time 2B Fame Us (2011), and The Sandwich: Transforming Consciousness Bite By Bite (2012). Currently, she is pursuing her MFA in Theatre Practice at the University of Alberta. In January, Mia will be directing an Object Theatre work based on the 10th century script Sapientia by Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim. It will premiere at the 2014 Canoe Festival.

Jon Mick

Jon Mick makes the funnies. That’s really the best way to describe it. He dabbles in all sorts of mediums, whether it be stand up, sketch, improv or hosting a variety show, Mick works hard on making the uncomfortable comfortable, turning the miserable joyous and the bizarre mildly acceptable.

Kristine Nutting

Kristine Nutting is an Edmonton-based independent performance artist. Recently, Nutting completed her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts in Berlin, Germany at the Transart Institute. She writes, produces and performs large-scale theatre shows that ultimately tour using non-conventional spaces across Canada. Her work is regarded as entertaining, grotesque and meta-theatrical – a storytelling vehicle which is pre-occupied with culture, class and the aesthetic form of theatre itself.

Teen Jesus Barbie

Teen Jesus Barbie began her gender-bending performance art in the gay underbelly of Vancouver’s club scene. Her art exists as a means of self-exploration into the illusory world of projection and embodiment. Having worked alongside The House of Venus, Vancouver’s Women’s Coalition, Edmonton’s Mile Zero Dance, and, in the true telling of her life, The Coming Out Monologues for the University of Alberta’s first Pride Week festival, Teen Jesus Barbie is now excited to invite you into the private world of authentic being.

Ukrainian Male Chorus of Edmonton

Since 1984, the Ukrainian Male Chorus of Edmonton (UMCE) has pursued the objective of developing, promoting, and fostering a greater appreciation of the traditions of Ukrainian choral singing.

The UMCE’s first major performance was at Expo ’86 in Vancouver and was proud to represent Canada at the 1996 International Choral Festival in Missoula, Montana in the United States. The chorus toured Poland and Western Ukraine in 2002, and returned to Ukraine in 2011 for a concert tour. The choir also travelled to Australia in 2008, and has performed in all of the major cities in Canada.

Throughout its existence, the UMCE has hosted and performed at numerous events in the Edmonton area, and is comprised of approximately 308 singers. The choir’s repertoire includes Ukrainian folk, sacred and secular music, as well as a variety of works sung in English.

The choir has performed on four occasions with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in the past five years. To date, the choir has released four recordings.

In the summer of 2014, the UMCE will be participating in the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia and will continue their tour in Western Ukraine.

The founding director and current artistic director of the UMCE is Orest Soltykevych.

Jeannie Vandekerkhove

Jeannie Vandekerkhove is a dancer, performance artist, choreographer and teacher in the contemporary arts. Being classically trained in her youth, she furthered her studies at Arts Umbrella and Ballet British Columbia. Vandekerkhove has danced professionally in Edmonton, Montreal and Vancouver and has performed both nationally and internationally for a variety of renowned choreographers. She continues to hone new skills while developing her own choreographic voice, inspired by a variety of influences and human experiences, working both collaboratively and cross fusing art in multi-disciplinary creations. Her work has been presented in Banff, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and Vancouver.


Step right up, dress right up!

Garb yourself in the guise of the glittery performer or the posh spectator out for a night on the town—but wait, who’s who? Like trick mirrors that stretch and distort, what you see may not be what you get. Visit our Pinterest page for costume inspiration.


About Refinery

Refinery is a series of late-night art parties themed around current AGA exhibitions featuring projects by local 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 and Colleen Brown.


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

Catch up on our past Refinery programming:

The Rip-Roarin’ Refinery | June 1, 2013
Interface at Refinery | February 9, 2013

The Monstrous Baroque Refinery | November 17, 2012
The Automatiste Refinery | June 23, 2012
Sewing the Heartland | March 24, 2012

Explorers of the North and the Monsters Who Killed Them | November 19, 2011
Refinery Factory Party | June 4, 2011
Shapeshift at Refinery | March 24, 2011

Edward Burtynsky: OIL | November 20, 2010
The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons | July 10, 2010
AGA Refinery | February 6, 2010