Pictured here are Harold Ries (1920-1986) and Marguerite Harper (Ries) (1919-2017) in a photo taken south of Castor. As organizers of the ‘By the Light of the Harvest Moon’ event point out, the image represents how early musical endeavour and interest in the arts was explored in the Battle River region. photo submitted

Celebration of creativity and community coming to Castor

‘By the Light of the Harvest Moon’ event set for Sept. 14th at Castor Community Hall

By the Light of the Harvest Moon Long Table Dinner – a celebration of creativity and community – runs in Castor on Sept. 14 at the Castor Community Hall.

It’s just one part of a focus on the visual, literary, musical and culinary arts, with the overall series of events being held in honour of the Lieutenant Governor Arts Awards of Alberta (LGAAA).

Through September, the Battle River Group and associated working group have co-ordinated a month-long calendar of activities around the area that interpret and celebrate the cultures, peoples and places of the region.

“We really want to emphasize how wonderful things spring from rural areas,” explained one of the event’s organizers, Ardelle Ries, who is also associate professor/director of music with the University of Alberta’s Augustana faculty in Camrose.

As noted in a release, over the last century, the Stettler/Castor/Coronation Hwy. 12 corridor within the Battle region has spawned a diverse assortment of talented artists who will be showcased at ‘By the Light of the Harvest Moon’.

“Through the decades, there has been a tremendous amount of creative work that has gone through that region be it from a musical perspective, the visual arts, or literary arts. I think it’s kind of ‘unsung’,” she said. “Of course, I’m connected also to the Prairie Farm Project in that my cousin Richard Griebel has really created an ethos of what it means to be connected to the land. That is an artistic expression in itself. It’s putting the ‘culture’ into agriculture.”

The Prairie Farm Project, composed of Red Tail Farms, Lazy T Ranch and Lady’s Hat Farm are renowned for their advocacy and dynamic farm to fork connection throughout the province hosting farm tours and long table dinners as well as supplying high quality products to customers throughout the province.

The Prairie Farm Project is also related to the Balzac Craft Brewing Company which will be serving at the upcoming dinner as well.

Meanwhile, according to a release, the literary arts will be represented by Rosemary Griebel, an award-winning poet connected to the Alberta prairie landscape and author of Yes.

“Edward Ries also carries on a century-old family tradition of poetry recitation, bringing epic poems to life through dramatic interpretation and dynamic delivery.”

The visual arts will be represented by a number of established painters from the Battle River region including Pat Lang, curator of the Castor Art Gallery (Castor) and Audrey Pfannmuller, curator of Candler Art Gallery (Camrose) who will display their works alongside Rita Renschler (Ries).

There will also be works of sculpture featured by the late Paul Sapergia.

Photos of the Battle River region will also commemorate and showcase the outstanding work and vision of Dan Wood and Herb Zinger.

Of course, the Stettler/Castor/Coronation Hwy. 12 communities are also proud of a musical tradition which was established in the early 1900s.

Specifically, ‘By the Light of the Harvest Moon’ will feature serenades by the voices of Alexandra Brigley, Karen Fawcett, Anthony Holland, Angela Nyberg and Rhonda Sylvester as well as performances by solo and collaborative pianists Dr. Roger Admiral and Veronica Weber (Griebel).

Tickets for ‘By the Light of the Harvest Moon’ are $65 and can be purchased through Kathleen Charpentier by calling 403-882-3935 or online through Eventbrite at www.eventbrite.com.

“I really believe that it’s so important to celebrate what has come from (the region) and to also provide awareness, too. I believe that many people aren’t really aware of what the impact of these individuals has been from those communities – a legacy that has extended far and wide from what they have done.

“We want to let people know that this region is so rich in so many ways. It’s all about awareness and celebration.”

Detailed online information about all of the various events being held locally can be found at the LGAAA web site with more general information also found at www.battleriverarts.ca.

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