Annual festival taking on market feel
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 08:18 am
Artistic talent hidden behind closed doors is coming out into the open this weekend.
Crafters and artists of varying abilities from across the foothills will display their creations, from wood crafts and jewelry to photography and paintings, at the Turner Valley Country Market in the Royalite Millennium Park Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Well-known artists in the Black Diamond and Turner Valley communities often have their work displayed in galleries, but the public doesn’t always have an opportunity to talk to the artists themselves about their work, said Town of Turner Valley Program and Community Events coordinator Hazel Martin.
This weekend they will have such an opportunity.
“Their artwork is just up on a wall in an area, whereas this way the event attendees can actually meet the artist, have a chance to talk to the artist and a chance for the artist to say where they get their inspirations from, where the painting was painted or the setting they’ve used,” she said. “The biggest thing is you have an opportunity to actually meet the artist and to talk to them and to learn something about their work.”
The other benefit to the market-style event is its unique setting, said Martin.
“A lot of people really enjoy being a part of it to be able to show their work, especially in a park setting,” she said. “It’s not so confined. You are outdoors. It just gives a different type of ambiance as opposed to going to a gallery.”
Martin said finding artists to display work at the country market wasn’t difficult. Most live in Black Diamond and Turner Valley, with a few coming from Okotoks and Calgary, she said.
“There is a lot of talent here in these two towns,” she said. “We only touch the surface. It’s a way to promote our artists and the art community here.”
This year’s event, formerly called the Turner Valley Festival of the Arts and Turner Valley Art in the Park, is moving toward a more market feel, said Martin.
“We’ve changed it because it’s more of a market-type atmosphere than an arts festival,” she said. “What we’re hoping to do is branch out to also include local food producers.”
Martin said the event’s market format fits in with the Town’s Economic Development Plan, approved by council last year, to revitalize downtown with a variety of features, including a town square with a memorial tree stand, outdoor restaurant, sunken plaza, splash park, farmers’ market, community hall and parking. A decision has not been made when the work will begin.
“We want to start building on this so maybe in time we have a market coordinator and maybe start holding markets on more of a regular basis,” she said. “We have to start with baby steps. That’s why we’ve changed it to more of a market so people are starting to think in that sense.”
Martin said Royalite Millennium Park is the perfect location to host the country market as it’s in view of motorists passing through on Highway 22.
“There is a lot of traffic coming through Turner Valley so when you have activity happening at the park people stop,” she said. “The park is such a central location. We get a lot of folks traveling through town, go to the Millarville Farmers’ Market and come to town to see what’s happening.”
New this year is the market is held in conjunction with the High Country SPCA’s Turner Valley Dog Days.
“We thought let’s make it a bigger event to draw more people to it,” she said. “You can come and check out the arts and crafts and enjoy some of the entertainment with the agility dogs and family type activities that will be taking place to make it more of a fuller day.”
For more information about the Turner Valley Country Market go to www.turnervalley.ca