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July 2017

WAMF a multi-generational event.

Photo by Allison Electra Sherrer.

Talented musicians performed throughout the day.

Photo by Dorothy Monteith.

Taekwon-do one of many extra exhibitions of the day.

Photo by Dorothy Monteith.

Many wonderful artisans displayed their work.

Photo by Dorothy Monteith.

Wetaskiwin Art & Music Festival 2017

Susan Kokas - WAMF

June 24, 2017


Saturday, June 24th 2017 set a new standard and the bar high for an inaugural event hosted at the beautiful and local By The Lake Park in Wetaskiwin.


The Wetaskiwin Arts and Music Festival was a huge success and Mother Nature cooperated the whole day. The park gates were open at dawn and by 7:30 am the local food vendors, artists, and musicians were already getting set up for the 9:30 am opening, which included a smudging ceremony by Elder Roy Lewis to respect the land of Treaty Six that we are gracious to have the ability to live upon. This was attended by a large number of folks and many who have never seen or been to a smudging.  Shortly thereafter a bagpiper could be heard echoing across the lake as she walked the paths and started the day's music, dance, and art.


From 10:00 am to 11:00 pm, the variety of music from two stages kept the guests entertained with every genre of music including; Bert Horvey, one of our own city councilors, a special treat from some renowned local ladies who played to the lunch crowd as a stringed trio, to talented, young high school lady Mackenzie Fisher-Bach who mesmerized the multi-generational and multi-cultural crowd with her natural bluesy vocals. A few long-time and well-known local singers and equally talented instrumentalists took the stages, reminding us of the many familiar and seasoned artists we have right here at home. Included in that number was indigenous musicians and Heavy Feather, Jason Wildcat and Justin Littlechild who did not fail to deliver their unique sounds and original songs.


The balcony of the BTLP Hall became a stage as well as musicians and artists taking a place alongside the lake front or along the paths. Many took full advantage of the weather to stroll along and take in the sites and sounds and flavors of the locals. The second stage took on a theme of its own bringing a diverse brand of new talent to the east side of the park and DJ's kept the music flowing and folks tapping toes and rocking in their lawn chairs. It kept the guests moving and grooving and with the park full of artisans that brought their own touch of talent and ingenuity, it never got repetitive or old.  It was a party of light and color and stone, full of paint and beads, paper and ink and lines, and flowing works of art and creativity. Painters, photographers, sketchers, beaders, natural art, fabric arts, quilting, use of rocks and furniture and wood, and feathers and on and on, gave their best in show and it paid off with many purchases by the valued guests.


There were also some added arts in the park (arts in motion) as Refresh Wellness Center provided a Yoga Class on the green grass by the lake front, as did Bee Hear Kids Yoga Class, and let's not forget Wetaskiwin Taekwon-do who did three demonstrations (Martial Arts) that was very entertaining as they were into precision and form. They entertained and educated the crowd and kept us focused on the many talented and dedicated youth in our community. Local authors and writers brought their books out to show and invited anyone who had a dream of writing a novel an opportunity to meet a few local accomplished authors.  The Oshoro Friendship Society also came out to participate and get involved in teaching how to do Origami and dressing in their native attire.


The day ended  perfectly with a large group of folks sitting in lawn chairs and under umbrellas on the grassy slop taking in the local headliner band of the day... Red Canoe.


This First Annual Festival was a huge success in every category; art, music and food.  It was what the Wetaskiwin Arts and Music Festival Society dreamed and with the hard work of the committee and the artists, musicians, volunteers, and many city departments, it was a spectacular event and everyone was asking if we are doing it again next year.




This is the final issue of  CREATIVE Connections AB

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Ken Matthias - CCAB -

July 1, 2017


Canada celebrating its 150th birthday translated into a significant number of events hosted all over the North Central Alberta Region.


It literally was a potpourri of choice for residents, not wanting for something to do but being forced to make decisions on what events to take in and where.


Each community had pancake breakfasts, parades, sporting events, music concerts, and concluded with fireworks. Depending on which community you viewed this wrap up event, it began under clear skies with a backdrop of an approaching storm in the west. Spetacular firework explosions were viewed against lightning laced clouds approaching.


Leduc hosted the 5K Foamfest drawing thousands of participants and spectators to the dirty fun event that crosses the nation. Simoultaneously, Provincial B, C, and D fastball tournaments covered the ball diamonds of Leeds Park in Leduc.


It was a great day celebrating the birth of the greatest nation in the world!

Dirty Clean Finish. Photo by Ken Matthias.
Starting Clean. Photo by Ken Matthias.
Team Spirit. Photo by Ken Matthias.
Finishing Strong. Photo by Ken Matthias.
Parades and Candy. Photo by Ken Matthias.
Leduc Canada 150 Parade. Photo by Ken Matthias.
Leduc Canada 150 Parade. Photo by Ken Matthias.
Gateway Family Church Float. Photo by Ken Matthias.

Creative Connections AB Editors Desk March

Editor's Desk

Ken Matthias - CCAB -


A New Chapter


Where to start? Perhaps it is best to start by speaking about the end, at least for me. Come mid-August, I will be assuming a new position pastoring a small church in the Kootenays of British Columbia (part of my other, other life… performing and visual art loving editor, electrician, and also, a minister).


I have never considered change to be an end. I have described it as either simply building a new room on an existing house or added another layer to a foundation. Instead of loss, I have gained wonderful memories, new friends, and personally have had my creativity rejuvenated in new and exciting ways. As I have been enriched by exposure to the widely diverse and talented artistic community of North Central Alberta, so I hope CREATIVE Connections AB (CCAb) has been a valuable contribution to help promote, connect, and knit that community together.


At the least, I hope it has produced a prototype that others can use or copy to see the work continue. A platform has been established and proven to be viable; the question will be who will take up the gauntlet that is being laid down? I have mulled this question over in my head multiple times, even amongst the many preparations needed to transition our lives from having been rooted in Wetaskiwin for ten years to taking on a whole new adventure and chapter in our family’s life.


The trick is to find the right individual or group of individuals who have the time, passion, and skillset. I considered maintaining the site remotely with a group of selected local individuals who would provide the material for me to build the monthly issues, but that would stretch me too thin and be unfair to the people and work I am being called to in BC. As CREATIVE Connections AB is a ‘product’ of my actual business Kenetic Creative, CREATIVE Connections Ab ( could be taken over as a separate entity and possibly set up as a non-profit? There would be some cost to this, but it would allow the established name and presence of to continue. Alternatively, the concept could be rebirthed under a completely new name.


Regardless of exactly how, my recommendation would be for a group of people to come together who could share the load and provide the variety of skills required to make the site bigger and more effective than I ever could on my own.


At the end of the day, North Central Alberta needs something like this. It is fairly unique in it’s scope and vision. Its potential is significant. The groundwork that has been laid down is solid and many have begun to see what CCAb is capable of and already have become a part of it. I am open to discussion and ideas regarding the future of CCAb or something like it. Please contact me.


I have so enjoyed being a part of you all. I especially want to thank Warren Fairhurst (Warren’s Music, Wetaskiwin) for being a tremendous support and encouragement, both to me and to the arts community in general, Jane Cherry of the Camrose Arts Society (a leader and visionary for the Camrose Arts Community, and someone who helped me find my inner steampunk 🙂 , and Darla Lemay of Stageworks Academy of the Performing Arts for letting me go loose with my camera during their many amazing events.


Though this will be the final issue of CCAb under my direction, it is my hope that soon it will be rebirthed under new leadership or under a new name. I truly hope and pray (I do that) that the performing and visual arts of North Central Alberta continue to grow, and that they work together in connecting, promoting, and developing one another.


Ken Matthias

Perry Anderson

Submitted - CCAB


Perry Anderson was one of the artists participating in Wetaskiwin Arts and Music Festival held June 24, 2017 at by the lake park. Below is a submitted short biography of the talented artist:


Perry is a non-status Indian born in High Prairie Alberta.  Perry spent the majority of his childhood in Fort St John BC with frequent family visits to Driftpile First Nation, Grouard and Joussard in the Slave Lake region of Alberta.  As a young adult Perry moved to Red Deer where he worked as a chef and eventually a pipe fitter in the oil and gas industry.


Perry has always had a talent for photography, drawing and painting but did not develop his painting on hand carved wood until recently.  His art form was inspired by his interest in First Nation culture, wildlife and music.  Perry now resides near Battle Lake with his wife and is the proud father of a son and daughter who reside in the Edmonton area.

Perry Anderson - Warrior. Photo submitted.

The Smitties

“Back In Town” Reunion Concert

Submitted - CCAB -


The Smitties. Back In Town Reunion Concert.
The Smitties. Back In Town Reunion Concert. Photo submitted.

To help celebrate the 1960-1972 Wetaskiwin High School Reunion being held on August 18/19, The SMITTIES, along with “Breezy” Brian Gregg will be performing at The Manluk Theatre on Thursday August 17, 7 - 10 p.m.


The SMITTIES are Peter and Ralph Schmitz who started playing gigs in Wetaskiwin with just piano and drums while they were still in high school. From 1966-1970 they formed rock bands The Eighth Day, The Peasants and The Living End, playing in the Wetaskiwin area and other central Alberta towns.


Returning to town for the Reunion Weekend festivities, Peter and Ralph have organized this “one night stand” as an opportunity to raise funds for The Manluk Theatre and also so former classmates can see and hear them perform again !! Peter Williams Schmitz (keyboard/vocals) has been a full time professional musician since his days in Wetaskiwin, migrating to Edmonton and eventually Vancouver where he now resides. He’s performed with rock, country, jazz, blues and lounge bands and is currently known as “The Piano Man” in the Vancouver area. Ralph Schmitz (drums/vocals) played in various Edmonton bands after leaving Wetaskiwin and currently resides in Oshawa, Ontario. He continues his love of music by playing blues guitar and keeps his drumming chops up by jamming, gigging, recording and going to Vancouver to rehearse with Peter “Breezy” Brian Gregg (guitar/vocals) has been one of Edmonton’s best known blues guitarists since 1969 when his band opened for Led Zeppelin at their first Edmonton concert. He was Edmonton’s representative for the Memphis Blues Challenge in 2012.


Brian performs regularly in Edmonton venues and continues to write and record original music. Peter and Brian were both in The Shotgun Band in Edmonton in the 70’s so it was a natural fit to have Brian on board for this event. The SMITTIES will be returning to the music they started out playing all those years ago with a mix of early rock & roll and blues tunes from the 50’s and 60’s, The event is “Admission By Donation” with all proceeds to Manluk Theatre.


For further information, please contact:

Peter Williams


Phone: 604-535-9275