Thank you Lethbridge for a celebration to remember!

2015 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artists, Ronnie Burkett, Frances Ginzer, and Peter von Tiesenhausen were feted in style as Lethbridge hosted one of the most energized gala celebrations ever.

The Soar Festival for emerging artists kicked off the week and will become an annual event. Celebration day, June 6, began with entertainment on special buses that transported guests to a VIP reception at City Hall. Guests were greeted by imaginative stilt walkers and statue performers, extraordinary food by LA Chefs, ice sculptures by the Lethbridge College Culinary Services, and the chance to roll up their “funky formal” sleeves and add a brush stroke or two to a community painting.

Guests were then guided to the Yates theatre and welcomed by pianist Jesse Plessis before the curtains opened to Mitera Boreas, a new performance piece by Jeremy Mason, Camille Pavlenko and Cari Russel Mason.

Master of Ceremonies, Simon Mallett, 2008 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Recipient and Calgary-based theatre maker and artistic director, kept the show flowing and showed considerable stand up comic talent. 2014 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist recipients Nuela Charles and Transit kept the audience clapping and singing, while choreographer Troy Emery Twigg presented a profound performance of They Shoot Buffalo, Don’t They?

Video vignettes of the 2015 Distinguished Artists by CTV’s Danny Baldassarre were interspersed throughout the show, which culminated with the presentation of medals and awards to the artists by Phil Ponting, chair of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation, after introductions by 2013 Distinguished Artist Aritha van Herk.

Buses waited outside the theatre to whisk guests to the Lethbridge Lodge for a sumptuous banquet and later to CASA, the Lethbridge Arts Centre, for an energetic after party complete with klezmer music, belly dancers and a poutine food truck.

A huge bouquet to Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman and Lethbridge Allied Arts Council Executive Director Suzanne Lint and her team for a celebration to remember!