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Help Jasper become Cultureville

Cultureville celebrates the vibrant culture in communities across Alberta. The two winning communities are the ones that stand out above the other entries for their contributions to culture.

The winners of the competition will be featured on CBC Radio One and CBC Television during Alberta Arts Days in September. 

Now that the judging has been narrowed down to the six communities, the competition will shift into a public voting period. While voting has not yet opened, it will be up to Jasper residents and visitors to see Jasper take the top slot. Jasper was beaten out by High River, Alta., last year, because that community had over 50 Arts Days activities planned for September 2010. 

“Jasper came in second place last year, not bad for year one,” said Marianne Garrah, co-ordinator at the Jasper Habitat for the Arts. 

This year Jasper may not have 50 events, but the ones that are being planned will certainly make it the town to beat. 

“I don’t think it’s about the number of events as much as it’s about how you bring the community together around and into the events,” Garrah said. 

This year’s Arts Days will be a huge celebration of community, that will bring together the businesses, schools, seniors, library, the many arts clubs and societies in Jasper, the municipality and the province, Garrah said. There will be a massive variety of different art mediums to indulge in, and there should be something for everyone. 

“We took all demographics and talents into consideration,” Garrah said. 

A challenge that Jasper faces is the busy summer tourist season. Garrah said she is pleased with the amount of involvement with so many people pitching in time regardless of other commitments. 

“As a small community we have that close knit connection that makes this kind of event easy, but as a busy tourist community we also have that time restraint on individuals as we all seem to work increased hours in the summer,” she said. “It’s great to see the interest rising in getting involved in Arts Days as it is just over a month away – now that people can see some down time from possibly working two jobs.”

Garrah said that Jasper should be a shoo-in, because the bigger population may not be there, but the community members make a huge effort in the arts.

“The arts above all are an industry that reflects the community through individual expression or group expression in the case of theatre or dance,” Garrah said. “That’s why Jasper deserves to be Cultureville and compares with any Alberta community regardless of size. It’s all about quality and community for Jasper to be Cultureville – not quantity.”

Keep an eye out for the voting period to open online at www.cbc.ca/alberta/cultureville. More information on the events planned for this year’s Arts Days can be found at albertaartspeak.wordpress.com/arts-with-altitude

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