Ballet Edmonton Program One in partnership with the Art Gallery of Alberta
A film by Adam Kidd
Choreography by Wen Wei Wang
Ballet Edmonton presents Program ONE. This digital site-specific creation is inspired by the visual art and architecture of the gallery itself. This collaboration highlights the beauty of the Art Gallery and its current art installations. It features live music by cellist Rhonda Metszies and bassist Michael Lent to underscore the movement and contribute to the larger artistic vision of the choreography by Ballet Edmonton Artistic Director Wen Wei Wang. This collaboration allowed a creative alliance between two arts organizations during the challenges of the pandemic. We are proud to be part of Edmonton’s robust arts environment
Ballet Edmonton is an ensemble company of eight company dancers under the leadership of Artistic Director Wen Wei Wang and Executive Director Sheri Somerville. Our mandate is to present original work by a variety of choreographic voices. We tell stories through contemporary ballet that reflect the artist we work with and the places and experiences they come from. Our repertoire is primarily Canadian, with new creations by nationally recognized choreographers and choreographers in the early years of their careers. Ballet Edmonton is committed to advancing the female choreographic voice as well as the work of diverse creators to ensure our artistic product reflects the world in which we live.
Past Screenings - 2021
The Terrestrial and the Universal
October 11, 2021 – January 2022
The Terrestrial and the Universal is a series of paired films that have been selected for their complementary or contrasting visuals, subjects, production techniques, or media. Many have abstract or non-linear narratives with hypnotic visuals and repeating rhythms that will draw you in. All images are courtesy of the artists.
A Slice of EIFF
September 17-October 10
The Edmonton International Film Festival (EIFF) is proud to partner with the Art Gallery of Alberta and present THREE (3) unique short film programs as part of their SIDEWALK CINEMA installation.
As an OSCAR-qualifying festival for short films in the LIVE ACTION and ANIMATION categories, audiences will be seeing a ’SLICE’ of short films programmed at this, the 35th EIFF! Our award winning SHORT in last year’s ANIMATION category went on to win the coveted golden statuette — OSCAR! “Edmonton gave us our OSCAR wings,” said the film’s directors (Will McCormack & Michael Govier) from their studio in Los Angeles. So pull up a chair and enjoy A SLICE OF EIFF at the AGA Sidewalk Cinema.
September 17 to 23 (FRI to THU)
ACT 1: The Set-Up
MOMENT 1: URBANUS
Director: Thomas E. Long | 5-mins. | USA
A reflective snapshot into our everyday industrial footprint and its legacy, with an evolving series of exposures phasing between spaces and building an ever-shifting collage.
Director: Mostafa Keshvari | 11-mins. | France | Drama
An Inuit boy lives on the last melting igloo due to global warming. He struggles to survive by fishing empty tuna cans and plastic bottles in the polluted North Pole.
Director: Tobin Del Cuore, Tyler Gilstrap | 10-mins. | USA
A wandering man seeks to reconcile with himself and his past.
Directors: Hugo Caby, Antoine Dupriez, Aubin Kubiak, Lucas Lermytte, Zoé Devise | 8-mins. | France | Animation
Two polar bears are driven into exile due to global warming. They will encounter brown bears along their journey, with whom they will try to cohabitate.
Director: Bryan Buckley | 8-mins. | USA | Documentary
Who is the definitive modern role model for mankind? Is it a politician? A writer? A scientist? We turned to twelve (12) remarkable children from around the world to get the answer.
OUT OF THE DARK: AKEEM
Directors: Sarah Klein & Tom Mason | 4-mins. | USA | Documentary/Animation
How do you fight an enemy you cannot see? This is the story of Akeem Rollins, known for his viral slam poetry piece “Suicide Note,” and how he faced the greatest challenge of his life and found strength he never knew he had.
Director: Joe Mateo | 11-mins. | USA | Animation
This film is available exclusively in-theatre. After an asteroid knocks his spaceship off course and he crash-lands on a desolate dwarf planet, a stranded horticulturist-astronaut’s chances for survival dwindle with each breath. But when an ethereal visitor arrives, the once-lonely traveler discovers the joy in building a new life and realizes the universe has delivered astonishing salvation.
September 24 to October 2 (FRI to SAT)
ACT 2: Rising Action
Director: Carlos Gómez-Mira Sagrado | 15-mins. | Spain | Animation
FLY is the story of a bird that has a deformed wing that prevents it from migrating. Abandoned by his flock, he sinks in despair. Everything changes the day Pio-Pio appears. This defenseless chick gives him joy and a sense of purpose in life. Until one day destiny makes him do things that he wouldn’t even do for himself, such as flying.
Director: Julian Domingues | 8-mins. | Edmonton | Drama
Shot in and around downtown Edmonton, this short film follows a lonely and mysterious man who sets out to complete an exchange. Things go awry, and we find out that not everything is as it seems...
Director: Erick Oh | 11-mins. | USA | Animation
A narrative poem brought to life and an ode to a grandfather's passing, this story follows the journey of a budding artist—and his tree of life—from beginning to end.
IF ANYTHING HAPPENS I LOVE YOU
Directors: Michael Govery and Will McCormack | 12-mins. | USA | Animation
2021 OSCAR winner for Best Animated Short! Follows two grieving parents as they struggle to confront the loss of their daughter, who was killed in a school shooting.
HUMANITY HAS NOT YET FAILED
Directors: Norma V. Toraya & Jared P. Scott | 7-mins. | USA | Documentary/Animation
Climate activist Greta Thunberg juxtaposes the absurdity of political inaction with the straightforward high-stakes of the climate emergency.
JUST FOR THE RECORD
Director: Vojin Vasovic | 7-mins. | Serbia | Animation
In an abandoned attic, dictaphone robot, REC, desperately tries to connect with the bird that stops on its window. Using his play button to say something, he finds himself shocked by the content and scares the bird away. He rushes to make her come back, to record over his "own voice" before his battery leaks.
October 3 to 10 (SUN to SUN)
ACT 3: The Climax
Director: Harmen Van Andel | 3-mins. | Edmonton | Comedy
Sid perseveres through adversity and the absurdity of societal norms. About the filmmaker: Harmen is a proud Edmontonian. He also produces and stars in HOPE, and is a talent to watch!
Directors: Colin Waugh & Byron Martin | 5-mins. | Edmonton | Comedy
A self-anointed world-class tobogganer gives a behind the scenes look at the life and lore of this radical fringe sport.
Director: Claire Dub | 3-mins. | Brooklyn/Edmonton | Comedy
On her one-year anniversary with Clark, Nell attempts to write a romantic poem. The task proves impossible... until Nell finds a way to tap into her true inspiration.
Director: Kyle Tiernan | 12-mins. | Edmonton | Drama
Set in 1944. In the midst of uncertainty and war, two lovers must endure with hope for their future.
Directors: Xstine Cook & Jesse Gouchey | 7-mins. | Calgary | Documentary
Cree artist Jesse Gouchey paints a large-scale frame-by-frame animation of a young man’s journey through the justice system, and his physical, mental, and spiritual struggle to return to his son. His journey is contrasted by a haunting poem by spoken word artist Mitcholos Touchie that speaks to the impacts of the colonial system.
Director: Annette Loiselle | 26-mins. | Edmonton | Documentary
So many stories in this time of stillness, of regeneration, of loss, of rewiring, of slowing down, of the unknown. Each of us has our circle of friends, family and colleagues that we move through. We understand their stories, live through their pain and joy. COVID COLLECTIONS cracks that open and brings new experiences to light; the people we don’t know or understand. COVID COLLECTIONS is dedicated to the lives of those we’ve lost during this time of upheaval.
Scarred Land: Works from the AGA Collection
August 3-September 16, 2021
These two videos look at landscapes that have been shaped or scarred by human development. Alana Bartol examines two places in Calgary where former oil refineries have been turned into public parks. Isabelle Hayeur is interested in sprawling suburban neighbourhoods throughout North America.
Alana Bartol’s work re-imagines dowsing as a technology for environmental remediation. In reading wild lands, the artist uses a custom-fabricated dowsing pendulum to conduct site readings at two contaminated sites in Mohkinstsis (Calgary): Inglewood Wildlands and Refinery Park. These two city parks are former oil refineries and have undergone, or are currently undergoing, environmental remediation. Dowsing involves asking questions and receiving “yes,” “no,” or “unclear” answers through the movement of the dowsing tool. In this work, the audience is left to contemplate what the sites are communicating to us.
Uprooted depicts suburban neighbourhoods in North America that are quotidian and ubiquitous: mass-produced, computer-designed housing developments that displace rural farmland and natural landscapes on the outskirts of every major urban area. The artwork offers long time-lapse shifts of one image transitioning to its outcome, creating a dystopic view of the permanence of such developments. This work is familiar and descriptive of suburban development in cities across Canada, including the areas in proximity to Montreal and the Laurentides region, the birthplace of the artist.
AGA Sidewalk Cinema Student Showcase
The AGA is thrilled to partner with MacEwan University and the University of Alberta to showcase a wide variety of student works from July 5 - August 2. Check this page each day for more descriptions of student work, and see below for past Sidewalk Cinema screenings.
Still from Harvesting Mandrake / Life for Another
Louisa Hammond: Harvesting Mandrake / Life for Another
Still from Seeds
Elise Furtoransky: Seeds
Still from Homesick
Jill Hollett: Homesick
Still from Untitled
Xuejing Wang: Untitled
Still from Untitled
Reuben Wilson: Untitled
Still from Click, Fish Born, Video Game
Jingyu Zhang: Click, Fish Born, Video Game
Still from jiā yóu
Kev Liang : jiā yóu
Still from Caribou Woman
Melaw Nakehk’o: Caribou Woman
Still from My Family Trauma (ABRIDGED)
Grace Papineau-Couture: My Family Trauma (ABRIDGED)
Still from Untitled
Hanna Dotzenroth: Untitled
Still from Overthink
Diane Hitchings: Overthink
Still from Untitled
Samantha McLeod: Untitled
Still from Plasmic
Jenna Hoffart: Plasmic
Still from cocoon
Ana Smith: cocoon, 2021
cocoon explores the senses and overstimulation. The mask muffles all my senses - my vision is blurred and filled with colorful spots and my ears are covered, interrupting my hearing. My touch, smell and spatial awareness are all filtered in small ways. The mask softens my experience of the world.
Still of Decay
Gracie Safranovich: Decay, 2020
Decay explores the circular process of life, death, decay, and regrowth through the character of a personified mushroom. The usually unsettling concept of decay is experienced through the harmless character of the mushroom person, who invites the viewers to experience and contemplate all aspects of life including the constant movement present in the process of decomposition. A process that is necessary for the continuation of all life.
This video was created as a way to express how time felt during the quarantine while I was also dealing with the death of my grandmother. The video showcases what I thought quarantine was going to be like, and what it ended up being in reality. I used food and learning how to cook as a way to distract myself from what was happening with my grandma, but also as a way to help my mom as she was dealing with the loss of her mother. The significance of bread comes into the video because it was a food I learned to make specifically for my grandmother, and I made a lot of it because it made her happy that I was learning how to cook. The video is a tribute to my grandma and the last few months I had with her that just so happened to be during a global pandemic.
Still from Ghosts of Home
Gwynne McMaster: Ghosts of Home, 2021
Ghosts of Home is a personal exploration of the mundane moments that make up my home, Fort Saskatchewan. Inspired by Contemporary Artist Stephanie Comilang’s video on home, Ghosts of Home is a representation of what home is to me, and how my perceptions of home will change over time as I grow and change. In each of these video works, through the use of animation and audio components, I address how home is not necessarily a physical space, but can also present itself through feelings, memories, and experiences.
When I think of home, I think of an old barn that used to stand along the highway leading to Fort Saskatchewan. For me, seeing this landmark as a child always signified that I was on my way home. While this barn is no longer there, it still is a ghostly figure in my mind. When I think of home, I think of the sound of the train passing by my house at night. I hear the train horn so often that it seems to blend into my everyday routine. Taking the time to listen to the mundane sounds of home allows me to appreciate these temporary moments that I will not have the ability to experience once I move away from the only home I have ever known.
Max Elwood: Hairball, 2021
For many of us, COVID-19 safety restrictions have brought about isolation, limiting the amount of time spent out and about in public space. For me, this isolated time has become an avenue for self-reflection of my experience with gender, as I rarely have to worry about people's perception of me. These experimental videos are an exploration into my gender as it pertains to the growth and shaving of my hair throughout the pandemic.
Still from How to Be Model Minority So You Aren’t Sus
Still from How to Be Model Minority So You Aren’t Sus
Isabella Camerino: How to Be Model Minority So You Aren’t Sus, 2020
This video work stems from the expectations I grew up with from both the Asian and Filipino community, as well as the Canadian or Western society I grew up in. I took my past experiences and created an instructional video to display and contrast the different expectations that I had and still have as a Filipino-Canadian.
Still from Sakina Bhaiji’s A New Day
Still from Sakina Bhaiji’s A New Day
Sakina Bhaiji: A New Day
This video contains subject matter on self care and mental health. This follows my self care routine and shows a visual representation of my current mood/energy through color.
Still from Thoughts on Walks by Dana Justine Belcourt
Still from Thoughts on Walks by Dana Justine Belcourt
Dana Justine Belcourt: Thoughts on Walks, 2021
Thoughts on Walks deals with themes of estrangement through a documentary style video. Throughout this project I would go on walks and document my thoughts and surroundings. These walks were part of how I coped with the isolation I felt due to the pandemic; I couldn’t go and see my friends so I would go on walks alone. Because of this, the piece primarily focused on themes of loneliness and isolation, while showing a grainy, zoomed in footage. This footage creates an atmosphere of nostalgia, as it mimics the poor video quality of home movies from childhood. In the video I document things I often notice; outfalls, telephone poles, artwork on the fences of schoolyards, and more. All the footage was shortened down to less than five seconds, and provides a snapshot of what these walks are like for me. The video is also captioned, with some of the captions duplicating to bring attention to a deeper meaning behind phrases.
The main themes of this piece boil down to isolation, loneliness, nostalgia, and a sense of escaped youth. Another theme is an underlying tone of hostility, heightened by the “intermission” which asks the viewer if they are paying attention. It is formatted into small vignettes so one can only grasp a little bit of what I’m thinking at a time, and is in silence so one can either pay attention to the thoughts or imagery- not both.
MacEwan On Screen 2020/2021 highlights a selection of some of the best screen-based work from first and second year students of MacEwan University’s Fine Art program from 2020/2021, featuring work in animation, performance, narrative and experimental video. Reflecting an inevitable preoccupation with themes surrounding the pandemic, these works contemplate life and death, loneliness and isolation, culture and family, introspection and identity, mental health and self care. The work’s timeliness makes it relatable, and the screening exposes a level of thoughtfulness that gives us a glimpse at the power that a post-pandemic generation of artists is going to pack through their work.
Dana Justine Belcourt - Thoughts on Walks
Sakina Bhaiji - A New Day
Isabella Camerino - How to Be Model Minority So You Aren’t Sus
Max Elwood - Hairball
Gwynne McMaster - Ghosts of Home
Maddison Post - I Learned How to Make Bread During this Thing
Gracie Safranovich - Decay
Ana Smith - cocoon
The University of Alberta's show reel is a selection of works created by undergraduate students as part of Media Arts projects in the 2020/21 academic year in the Art & Design Dept at the University of Alberta. The University of Alberta is in amiskwacîwâskahikan. We are deeply thankful to have been able to create this show reel on Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people.
The show reel includes works by a range of students from introductory to intermediate to advanced Media Arts studies. Students are working across drawn animation, stop motion, video and performance to create a diverse portfolio of time-based work. The works made by the students in the show reel address a broad range of topics including the experience of isolation during COVID-19 pandemic, identity and the environment.
Bailey Lohman - Untitled
Jenna Hoffart - Plasmic
Samantha McLeod - Untitled
Cassidy Auger - Transformation: Growth, Withering, but not Static
Karlee Mong - #newnotification
Hanna Dotzenroth - Untitled
Eli Young - Untitled
Alicia Campbell - Untitled
Melaw Nakehk’o - Caribou Woman
Jill Kresic - Relatable
Jill Hollett - Homesick
Xuejing Wang - Untitled
Ena Mander - Their Dance
Isabelle Chene - Au Nom du Ceil
Elise Furtoransky - Seeds
Louisa Hammond - Harvesting Mandrake / Life for Another
Kev Liang - jiā yóu
Grace Papineau-Couture - My Family Trauma (ABRIDGED)
Gina Pasaran - hammock (in my dreams)
Lindsey Bond - sewing yarrow flowers
Jingyu Zhang - Click, Fish Born, Video Game
Reuben Wilson - Untitled
Diane Hitchings - Overthink
12 Days of Sidewalk Cinema
The jury was very excited to select the inaugural program for the Art Gallery of Alberta’s new Sidewalk Cinema. From over 100 submissions, the jury chose 12 works. We were impressed by the diversity of submissions that came from many art communities in and around the Province. Wanting to represent that diversity, the jury selected a range of artistic approaches, from animation to spoken word, from mini-documentaries to short narrative films. Many of the works selected are reflections of the artists’ identities, which speak to both personal and collective experiences. We are interested in the dynamics of presenting these personal experiences in a public venue and want to celebrate the personal on the public stage of the Sidewalk Cinema.
Starting June 16, we will be featuring one film per day for 12 days. See the schedule below:
June 16 - Cobra Collins, Hop Along Hang On
June 18 - Patricia Anne Duquette, Ancestral Tree
June 19 - Nasra Adem, Shea
June 20 - Tank Standing Buffalo, RKLSS
June 21 - Madeline LeBlanc, All That I Know
June 22 - Cedar T, Cedar's Video Diary
June 23 - Nauzanin Knight, Shades of Worth
June 24 - Stephanie Jonsson, Sweetie
June 25 - Ryland Fortie, Guardian
June 26 - Jamie-Lee Girodat, Facing the Metronome
June 27 - Simon and Vinson Chan, Garbage Boi
Sidewalk Cinema is supported by the EPCOR Heart + Soul Fund.
About Sidewalk Cinema
The AGA Sidewalk Cinema is an initiative launched as part of the City of Edmonton’s 2021 Downtown Spark project, a series of exhibits and experiences that are free, take place outdoors and are safe to enjoy as they allow for physical distancing and small groups. Mounted on the Northwest corner of the AGA building, the AGA Sidewalk Cinema is a street-level digital screen with audio, that is visible from outside of the AGA building.
We are proud to be a part of the Downtown Spark project with AGA Sidewalk Cinema, make sure to check out all of the other great projects in downtown Edmonton!