County of Wetaskiwin names one to arts committee

County of Wetaskiwin names one to arts committee

Dale Woitt will attend committee for 2019 Lt. Gov. General of Alberta Arts Awards

The County of Wetaskiwin will look closer at the Sept., 2019 Lt. Gov. General of Alberta Arts Awards after a presentation June 8 by a former mayor of the City of Wetaskiwin.

Former mayor Bill Elliot attended county council’s regular meeting on behalf of the Battle River Group to describe the Sept., 2019 Lt. Gov. General of Alberta Arts Awards. He noted these provincial awards began in 2003 after a number of people decided Alberta needed arts awards. There are cash awards every year with different categories but the awards tended to stay in urban Alberta noted Elliot.

“In the past this has always gone to the big cities,” said Elliot. He said he would love to see a month-long celebration surrounding these awards, with events from all kinds of different stakeholders during September, 2019. The culmination would be an event at the end of Sept., 2019 in Maskwacis.

Elliot suggested the County of Wetaskiwin could earmark any event in Sept. 2019 as part of the celebration. “Anything that celebrates culture,” said Elliot, suggesting a dance, music festival or feast.

Elliot said organizers of the event have recruited lots of municipalities, businesses, organizations and people to participate. The next meeting for the group is scheduled for August.

Councilor Terry Van de Kraats asked how the Battle River Group got the awards out of the big city.

Elliot responded that the Battle River Group went to a meeting in Banff and made a presentation that was accepted. The Battle River Group event is part of reconciliation efforts.

He also noted that if the county decided to include an event in the arts month, please let him know as soon as possible so it can be included on calendars.

He noted he was also planning on visiting the City of Wetaskiwin and Town of Millet councils.

After Elliot left the meeting, councilors discussed the item. The agenda memo noted, “At the May 1st, 2018 Council General meeting, Council discussed a request from Mr. Bill Elliot, former City of Wetaskiwin Mayor, for the County to appoint a Council member to represent the County on a working group in preparation for the September 2019 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards (LGAAA) in the Battle River Region. At that time Council tabled appointing a representative and extended an invitation for Mr. B. Elliot to attend before Council to provide additional information regarding the appointment.

“The focus of the Working Group is to convey an understanding of what the Battle River region to offer and the Awards are an innovative way to celebrate the arts, cultural activities and historical sites within the County.”

Councilor Van de Kraats supported the idea. He said it sounds like a great way to get involved and the county should support it.

Councilor Dale Woitt volunteer to fill the steering committee spot, and Van de Kraats volunteered as alternate.