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Rotary Arts Festival marks a dozen years

The workshop is being run by Jeremy Derksen, the former outdoor adventure editor for Vue Weekly.

The Yellowhead Rotary Arts Festival is held across the Yellowhead region, in Jasper, Hinton, Edson and Grand Cache.

Most of the events are being held in Edson or Hinton, but this year Jasper is getting a special treat.

It will host a number of high school bands from across the region, all of whom will be performing on April 17 in the Jasper Junior/Senior High School gym beginning at 9 a.m. that morning.

“Our high school is really going to be the place to be on April 17,” said Marianne Garrah, of the Creative Campus in Jasper, noting that people are welcome to come by and listen.

Traditionally, an adjudicator would come to Jasper just to see the local bands, so the musicians wouldn’t have to travel to another community. But this year, all of the bands will be together in Jasper with the adjudicator.

“The key to the festival is to build relationships and partnerships and to showcase and share and make noise and usually we don’t get to see what the other communities are doing,” said Garrah.

Thinking back on her own experiences in a high school band, Garrah said there is a lot to be gained from sharing and learning from other young musicians.

“Most youth groups thrive on seeing where they are in the bigger picture, so this gives them an opportunity to cross compare with the schools down the road. 

“I was in a high school band and I remember the relationships that you build from these kinds of events, they last forever.”

There are two other events being held in Jasper. On April 14 at the Brushfire Gallery, there will be an art demonstration using some of the new art supplies that are available these days. That demonstration is being organized in partnership with More Than Mail, Jasper’s local art supplier. 

The other event is a reading of Robert W. Service’s poem The Cremation of Sam McGee by Grade 4 students from Jasper Elementary School. That will take place at 10 a.m. on April 17 in a location that has not yet been announced.

Outside of Jasper, there are many other events that cover a wide variety of art, from film to photography, to speech, to painting.

In Hinton, there are a number of workshops, including beginner strings, beginner DSLR photography, and advanced DSLR. In Edson there is a basic digital photography workshop and a creative writing workshop, again with Jeremy Derksen.

For a full event schedule, visit

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