BY RYAN WELLICOME
This year’s Lacombe Culture & Harvest Festival is ramping up to be the best and longest display of Lacombe’s diverse art, culture and agricultural heritage.
The festival, usually coinciding with Alberta Culture Days, will run over the last two weekends in September (Sept. 22nd-25th and Sept. 30th – Oct. 2nd) instead of just one, offering ample opportunity for a wide range of festival-goers.
“It’s another opportunity to showcase the community,” said organizer Angelique Hand.
“The bulk of our programming is free which means it is totally inclusive for the whole community, families and otherwise, and it falls in line with Alberta Culture Days. It is an opportunity to get represented on a provincial and even national level.”
Alberta Culture Days and Canadian Culture Days runs from Sept. 30th to Oct. 2nd alongside the Culture & Harvest Festival’s second weekend.
According to Hand, the festival normally sees high attendance and receives generally positive feedback – chiefly regarding it’s low or absent price tag.
“That’s huge for families,” she said. “It can be difficult now to take a whole family out and do events. Everything costs quite a lot.”
Due to some of the feedback Lacombe Regional Tourism received following last year’s festival, a new emphasis has been put on guest participation. “Everyone loves watching but (guests) wanted some more hands-on stuff,” she said. “Thats why the Dancer’s Edge and the Round Dancers have opened it up to have some fun and teach some introductory dance moves. They are opening it up for you to get up and try.”
Because of the festival’s expansion to run over two weekends, it will also coincide with the second annual Alberta Beer Week. “With that expansion that has allowed us to work with Blindman Brewing,” said Hand.
The local brewer will be celebrating it’s one year anniversary during the week-long celebration of the province’s craft brewers.
Alberta Beer Week begins with the Alberta Fall Craft Beer Festival at Willow Park Wine and Spirits in Calgary and finishes with the Edmonton International Beerfest. More information about Alberta Beer Week can be found at www.albertabrewers.ca.
During this year’s Culture & Harvest Festival, a photography exhibit is being held for anyone wishing to display their photographic art. Hand explained that holding a photo contest, as was done last year, is not ideal because as an artistic medium, photography is very subject.
“We have found that a competition is too hard, especially with art. It’s in the eye of the beholder,” she said. “We didn’t want to put our partners who help put it on in the position of having to justify why one was picked and another wasn’t. We decided this year,to make it a showcase of photography.”
Those wishing to participate, can submit a framed photograph and it will be displayed in the exhibit. With the photograph participants can also leave an email in the case someone wishes to purchase a print.
“It’s a bit of an opportunity for the artist to showcase their work and to sell them potentially,” said Hand.
She also hinted that Lacombe Regional Tourism is always looking for photos of the area to purchase for marketing and promotional material.
For more information regarding events, the photo exhibit and organizer contact information visit www.lacombetourism.com.