The Mayor's Celebration of the Arts

A senator, a break dancer, and a poet laureate walk into a bar….

Last night was the annual Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, one of my favourite events of the year. The program featured dozens of supremely talented Edmontonians doing what they love. I can hardly think of a better way to spend a Monday night.

Highlights of the evening for me were the performances by Joe Nolan and Mary Pinkoski, Edmonton’s Poet Laureate. I was proud to see nominations for Ahmed Knowmadic, a Somali-Canadian poet, and Chaka Zinyemba, for his visual arts and mbira music.

 tommybanks.jpgI was thrilled to be able to hang out with the great Tommy Banks, a former senator and one of Edmonton's legendary artistic talents. Tommy embodies what I love about Edmonton’s arts scene - not only are there amazing talents who are creating world-class art, but the same people are actively engaged in issues affecting their communities. Chaka and Ahmed are great examples of the younger generation taking up that responsibility, while bringing the passion of their art to their communities. 

The night closed off with an awesome performance by local rock band, The Wet Secrets. I may be a little sleepy this morning, but their performance was definitely worth the wait. I can’t wait to see all the talent at next year’s celebration. Congratulations to the Mayor and to the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton for a job well done.