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Strathearn Art Walk celebrates 10 years

Strathearn Art Walk started with 12 artists and two galleries in the neighbourhood surrounding Strathearn drive, and organizers ‘begging’ artists and the community to walk down the street from  one gallery to the next. Now,  there’s no more need to sway community members, as more than 30 thousand people attend each year. In fact, on September 10th and 11th, Art Walk celebrated 10 years of local art, business, music, and uniting the community.

To celebrate the anniversary, organizers held a two-day program which included more performance arts than previous years—two days of music, a fashion show and Bollywood dances and designs from a graphic designer.

“We [also] partnered with Town Square Brewing. So we had our own beer this year…it’s all from Edmonton local people. So no, none of the big chain names, all local stuff,” said Jenny McAlister, Art Walk Director. 

Instead of admiring the art from a distance, attendees dusted off their paint brushes and joined in on communal murals. Alongside artists, Edmontonians painted a city view from Strathearn. “It’s one thing to see art once it’s done, but it’s another thing to kind of come and get to be a part of making it,” she said. Dogs also sniffed their way to the Pawcasso art station and took a paw at dog-friendly art. 

The festival also has comparably low vendor fees, which McCalister claims lead to a variety of art pieces being displayed and more opportunities. We can have an artist that’s never sold anything before that can afford a spot, which isn’t always the case at other shows.” 

But, McAlister stresses that these activities really boil down to community.

“So one thing that we really make solid efforts on, a big part of why we do this is to build community,” she said. McAlister, who is also a registered psychologist, hopes that because of the event, people got out of the house, turned off their phones and connected with old neighbours or with someone new. 

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