Canadian Festivals Mecca, Edmonton, Alberta, Hosts The Works Art & Design Festival, June 25-July 7

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Canada’s Festival City welcomes The Works Art & Design Festival, the largest free art festival in Canada, highlighting Edmonton’s arts and culture community with 500 artists on display

Edmonton, Alberta once again rises to the occasion to host one of the most unique Canadian festivals around, The Works Art & Design Festival. The 2010 theme for the Edmonton based festival, its 25th anniversary year, is creating positive change on Earth. This visual arts extravaganza is the largest free art festival of its kind in Canada and features an astonishing 500 artists exhibiting their creative works on sites throughout Edmonton.

“There is nothing else like The Works in North America,” says Dawn Saunders Dahl, The Works’ director of programs and marketing. Dahl moved to Festival City from Red Deer to be more involved in The Works, as she is an artist and enthusiastic former Works participant.

Linking the Earth theme with visual artistry, artists like Michael Markowsky will be painting the Canadian festival’s entry gates with an Earth and moon design. “The moon idea is based on my long term goal to be the first artist on the moon,” says Markowsky, who focuses his paintings on new ways to see the world’s landscapes. Markowsky is excited to create his Earth and moon painting outside, throughout the entire Festival, all while interacting with the public.    

The Edmonton arts and culture community welcomes to The Works artist Natali Rodrigues, bringing her unique touchable glass art to the Hotel Macdonald. “With glass you can touch it and hold it,” Rodrigues comments, urging visitors to interact and feel the glass sculptures. “A lot of my colours are influenced by growing up in Edmonton,” adds Rodrigues. “Particularly when the sun’s about to set and the sky goes that deep, beautiful blue.”

Chris Flodberg, another artist showing new ways to view the world, paints unusually large scale works. “I like the theatrical aspect of large art,” says Flodberg, who is particularly excited that The Works brings his creations out of galleries and straight to the public.

The Edmonton festival also features a Canadian Aboriginal Artists Program. This year artist participants will focus their works on environmental and political issues facing Aboriginal society.

There are over 30 exhibits throughout downtown Edmonton, from Sir Winston Churchill Square to City Hall, to the Hotel Macdonald, the Stanley A. Milner Library, and many other venues. “It’s like a treasure hunt,” enthuses Dahl. Most of the art action for The Works happens within Edmonton’s Art District, clustered around Sir Winston Churchill Square. This distinctly “artsy” area includes the Alberta Art Gallery, the Citadel Theatre, with some of the most provocative and entertaining theatre productions in the city and the Winspear Centre, home of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

The Works Art & Design Festival runs June 15 – July 7, 2010 in Edmonton, Alberta at various venues. For more information on this Canadian festival, visit or visit for travel planning information.

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Jenifer Christenson
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