Recap: GalaGuru 2010

Last night was the 2nd Annual GalaGuru, “an event that celebrates the co-mingling of the creative arts and technology.” Hosted by Guru Digital Arts College at the fantastic Latitude 53, the party was very well-attended and was lots of fun! The style was “Mad Men / Stray Cats rockabilly” and while there was some discussion as to what that meant, some people just looked amazing.

The festivities got underway at 6pm, with most people arriving closer to the start of the “program” at 7pm. Guru’s Owen Brierley shared some news on Guru Digital Arts College and congratulated the school’s most recent grads. In 2008, they had 14 students. Last year, they had 28. And this year, they are aiming for 56! It’s great to see them growing here in Edmonton.

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The Be Arthurs, Edmonton’s official ukulele cover band, rocked out for most of the evening. Hip hop artist Steb Sly was also on hand to keep the party lively. There were computers setup around the space (which many people used to check Twitter) and in the “viewing room” attendees were treated to ZoomJer’s creepy basement videos as well as screenings of some the Guru students’ most recent work. Of course, there was also good food and local drinks!

The Be Arthurs

I was really happy that Guru decided to support Twestival this year, meaning we could have one bigger event rather than two smaller ones. The money raised last night will go to Concern Worldwide, an organization that provides education for the world’s poorest children. In addition to whatever online donations were made, we managed to raise $293 last night. Thanks everyone!

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In his opening remarks, Owen did a good job of highlighting Edmonton’s various creative communities and how they are increasingly getting connected. Last night was proof of that – lots of people told me they had never been to Latitude 53 before, and that they didn’t know too much about Guru. It’s always a good thing when local people meet one another!

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Thanks to Guru for hosting such a great event – can’t wait until the next one! You can see a few more photos here.

Recap: artsScene Edmonton Summer Party

Last night was the artsScene Edmonton “Jekyll & Hyde” Summer Party. The unique event was held at two venues – first the “Jekyll” part at Latitude 53’s rooftop patio, then the “Hyde” part at Prohibition. I had never been to Latitude 53 before, so it was a great opportunity to check out the space. The crowd was a bit smaller than anticipated, but everyone had a great time chatting, drinking, and listening to the musical stylings of Keri Lynn Zwicker and Jay Sparrow.

At around 9pm, the crowd started to migrate to Prohibition where Peter Sagar, Roland Pemberton III, and The Cake Eaters performed. It seems that many people skipped the first part of the evening and went straight to Prohibition, because the place was packed. Ken Bautista, Chair of artsScene Alberta, mentioned that they did the two venue style event in Calgary with locations directly across the street from one another. I think that would have worked better here too.

One of the interesting things they did during the event was walk around with an iPhone survey using software by local firm TouchMetric. The results were displayed on an LCD screen at Prohibition, which was pretty neat.

You can see my photos from the evening here. Hopefully they’ll soon have much better photos (and video too) on the website.

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In addition to the socializing, there was some news about upcoming artsScene events. The first is called boardLink:

boardLink is a live event that introduces and connect young professionals (ages 18-40) with local arts boards through a unique speed-networking format. boardLink creates opportunities for young people to be more actively involved in the leadership and development of Edmonton’s arts and culture scene.

Event partners include Emerging Business Leaders, InterVivos, Junior Chamber International Edmonton, and The Citadel Theatre. The first boardLink event will happen about a month from now:

WHAT: boardLink
WHEN: September 28, 2009 at 6:30pm
WHERE: Shoctor Lobby, The Citadel Theatre

Tickets are $15 – check the website for more information.

The second event we learned about is actually a series of events – the Behind the Scenes Series, featuring five of Edmonton’s major arts organizations.

At each Behind the Scenes event, young professionals (ages 18-40) discover the performing and visual arts in our community through exclusive talks with artists and artistic directors, stage and gallery tours, and opportunities to attend performances and exhibitions with follow artsSceners.

Here the the dates for each organization:

October 19, 2009 – Edmonton Opera: Featuring Rigoletto
November 9, 2009 – The Citadel Theatre: Featuring Rock ‘N’ Roll
January 18, 2010 – Edmonton Symphony Orchestra: Featuring Late Night Beethoven
April 8, 2010 – Alberta Ballet: Featuring Songs of a Wayfarer and The Seven Deadly Sins
May 20, 2010 – Art Gallery of Alberta: Discover the inner workings of the new AGA and see a new exhibition come to life

You can get tickets for an individual event for $19, or passes to all five for $79. Again, check the website for more information.

artsScene is starting to make some really cool things happen for young professionals in Edmonton. Stay tuned to their blog and Twitter for updates!