A child's painting of humming birds
Created at a children's workshop at Inn From The Cold | Photo: Courtesy of TMC

This is My City Festival

Art from the margins explores what it means to be human

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free
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An interdisciplinary festival of art from the margins, This is My City Art Festival returns for the fifth consecutive year to shine the light on an important and powerful theme.

Featuring visual art exhibits, film screenings, music, and workshops, programming for 2017 explores Being Human: On a Small Planet. Formed in 2010, This is My City Art Society (TMC) works with agencies that support the homeless, those at risk of homelessness, and other marginalized citizens. Using art as a vehicle to facilitate inclusive dialogue among people from all walks of life, the festival reminds us that the creative voice of every citizen has value.

Being Human: On a Small Planet evolved over the fall of 2016 as I found the world news increasingly complex and divisive,” says Festival Curator Sally Truss, in a statement. “I was reminded that since the very beginning, TMC artist-mentors have celebrated not the differences, but the shared values and shared interests of both our program participants and our public audience.”

Intrigued? Then you need to check out the amazing programming being offered for 2017. Here are our picks for this year’s festival:

Water for Riley: Design Exhibit

April 3 – 28, 2017
Louise Riley Library (1904 14th Ave. NW)

Featuring innovative and playful student designs for the Water for Riley public drinking fountain competition, this exhibit includes the jury’s final decision.

Making Courage: Screening of Documentaries

April 5, 2017, 7:00 – 9:00pm
John Dutton Theatre, Calgary Public Library (616 Macleod Trail SE)

A film screening and book launch, participants of WP Puppet Theatre’s workshop series View from the Inside: Courage Journey share their stories on the challenges and celebrations of being human. The evening also includes a collection of TMC video shorts highlighting the writing of participants at the Calgary Drop-In Centre, Alpha House, and The Women’s Centre of Calgary. You can even meet the artists at the reception.

Being Human & Healing Ointment

April 6 – 27, 2017
Loft 112 (112, 535 8th Ave. SE)

Don’t miss these two visual arts exhibits being presented during the festival. An extension of the TMC show at the Central Library, Being Human: An Exhibit is curated by TMC artist mentors Eveline Kolijn and Patricia Lortie. And Healing Ointment: Stories are the Salve of our Times is a puppet infused art exhibit inspired by, and in response to, WP Puppet Theatre’s View from the Inside: Courage Journey. An opening reception is slated at 7:00pm on April 6.

Song Circle: Singing Social Justice

April 6, 2017, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Central Library, Calgary Public Library (616 Macleod Trail SE)

Add your voice and join TMC artist-mentor Sally and friends in this song circle. All are welcome to join this celebration in song.

Self Portrait: Drop-in Workshop

April 8, 2017, 10:30am – 1:00pm
Central Library, Calgary Public Library (616 Macleod Trail SE)
Free, family-friendly

Drop by and join WP Puppet Workshop to make a self-portrait puppet using a wooden spoon and other creative bits and pieces.

An Artful Community: Pop-Up Activity

April 8, 2017, 1:30 – 3:30pm
Louise Riley Library (1904 14th Ave. NW)

One of three pop-ups in this series, join TMC artist-mentor Bill and add your own designs to a colourful wooden mosaic in the making.

Flood Stories Edition 2: Book Launch

April 11, 2017, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4th St. SW)
Free to attend, all proceeds from book sales to support festival programming

Celebrate the launch of the second edition of Flood Stories, a collection of writing and images from the 2013 flood created by program participants from Alpha House, the Calgary Drop-In Centre, Inn From the Cold, and the Alex.

This is My City Festival runs April 3 to 27, 2017. Head to thisismycitycalgary.ca for full festival details. All programs are free of charge and all are welcome. Donations are gratefully accepted.