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AIRdirondack chairs to be unveiled at Empty Bowls Festival

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 10:13 am

The eighth annual Empty Bowls Arts Festival is happening this Saturday, June 21, at Nose Creek Park and the 12 original works of art on Adirondack chairs for the AIRdirondack Art Project will be unveiled at the event. The Empty Bowls Festival is a celebration of local talent, raises awareness of local hunger issues and raises funds for the Airdrie Food Bank.
The eighth annual Empty Bowls Arts Festival is happening this Saturday, June 21, at Nose Creek Park and the 12 original works of art on Adirondack chairs for the AIRdirondack Art Project will be unveiled at the event. The Empty Bowls Festival is a celebration of local talent, raises awareness of local hunger issues and raises funds for the Airdrie Food Bank.
Submitted/ For Rocky View Publishing

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Back for its eight year, the Empty Bowls Arts Festival will be at Nose Creek Park on June 21 from 10:50 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the event will give Airdronians their first chance to see this years AIRdirondack Art Project submissions.

“This year, the chairs are providing so much excitement based on the different styles and techniques – there is definitely something for everyone,” said AIRdirondack Project Co-ordinator Sherry Shaw-Froggatt in a press release.

The Ravenswood AIRdirondack Art Project is an annual fundraiser for the Creative Airdrie Society where the painted chairs are auctioned off at gala event held at McAuthurs Fine Furniture.

Following the Empty Bowls Arts Festival the 12 chairs will be delivered to locations throughout Airdrie to be on display for the summer months.

For tickets to the gala, visit 2014airdirondackgala.eventbrite.ca

The main focus of the Empty Bowls Arts Festival is the Airdrie Food Bank as the annual festival raises money for the food bank while at the same time promoting the local arts and increasing awareness about local hunger issues.

“I sure would like to make $15,000,” said Lori McRitchie, executive director for the food bank. “It all goes towards our programs. It goes directly to feeding people.”

McRitchie said the food bank is seeing an increase in demand right now and a decrease in donations so every dollar helps.

However, she added this event is not just about raising needed funds but is also about celebrating the local arts and increasing awareness.

“It’s a fundraiser but it’s mostly an awareness raiser for local hunger,” said Christina Waldner, special events co-ordinator with the Airdrie Food Bank.

The free event will include live performance throughout the day from some area artists. This year the festival has partnered with SLAM (Supporting Local Area Musicians) in Airdrie to provide the entertainment.

Performers include: Airdrie’s own Terry Thoresen, Cochranite Kaitee Dal Pra, singer/songwriter Angus Wilson, Rob Dawson, Dylan Lock and closing out the day will be rock band STORM.

The Children’s Area will also be packed with activities starting with Ryan the Magician from 11 a.m. to noon and again from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Artsy Fartsy Faces Body Art and More will be on hand to turn kids into colourful works of art with face painting from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition there will be a fire truck appearance, fingernail painting, balloon animals, a photo booth, story readings, crafts, sidewalk chalk and a bubble station.

Of course a main part of the festival is the hand-painted bowls by local artists and VIP’s that can be purchased for a suggested donation of $20.

Some of the exceptional bowls and glass plates from artists such as Airdrie’s own Shawnee Hoffman will be available at the silent auction where residents can bid on them along with art pieces that have been donated by area artists.

A wide variety of art including photography, reclaimed treasures, paintings, pottery, woodcarvings, jewelry, cigar box guitars and graffti-like murals will also be available for purchase throughout the day.

Of course, the festival will once again be serving up free soup with a selection of 20 soups from area restaurants.

“I was writing the types (of soup) out and trying not to drool,” Waldner said, adding there are returning restaurants like Smitty’s and some new ones like Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub from CrossIron Mills mall.

McRitchie and Waldner both stressed you don’t need to purchase a bowl to enjoy the free soup.

Last year’s festival was significantly impacted by the flooding situation and quickly changed gears from a celebration to emergency relief.

The retooled festival in 2013 saw organizers serving soup to visitors and accepting donations for emergency relief. The event pulled in $7,500 in food donations and $5,000 in cash.

“Last year turned into an emergency situation so we’re hoping we won’t get flooded again this year,” Waldner said.

That seems unlikely as the weather forecast for Saturday looks like nothing but sunshine.

“It’s just a great time to get out and support both the food bank and the arts,” Waldner said.

For more information visit, emptybowlsairdrie.com


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