Verge arts festival fast approaching

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Local artists are ready to showcase their craft during a first-of-it’s-kind festival in Cold Lake.

The Cold Lake Entertainment Society is hosting the areas’s inaugral Verge Arts Festival at the Grande Parlour from Aug. 10 to 12. The “fringe-like festival” was designed to create a platform for all kinds of artists to showcase their talents.

Esther Quiambao, Cold Lake Entertainment Society president, explained that there isn’t too many festivals that have been sustainable in the community. The Verge Festival is based loosely on the Edmonton International Fringe Festival.

“If we can even get a piece of the Edmonton Fringe Festival in our community it will be amazing,” she said.

The Edmonton event runs for 10 days in August, and described fringing as jumping into an activity and creating your own adventure.

Executive director of the Grande Parlour, Craig Konechny, said that performers are coming from as far as Edmonton for the weekend. Everyone involved is interested in the event becoming an annual celebration for the area.

“It’s been a huge collaboration,” he expressed.

Community involvement was a big factor while planning the Verge Festival, and Konechny said it’s essential for the area to see the talent of local artists.

“There’s been a shift in rural communities for people to feel a part of something,” he explained. “There’s an arts movement happening right now, and community involvement is pivotal for the success of the arts.”

He noted supporting local events, such as the Verge Festival, gives artists confidence, and helps the health of a community as a whole.

Throughout the weekend, there will be theatre productions written and directed by local artists on the main stage in the Grande Parlour.

Some performances include Teresa Pettit’s “Inside”, Megan Bailey’s “Stalled”, Ronan Clay’s “Chief Executive Author”, and Matt Evans’ “Awkward Game Night.”

Solo and duo musical performances will occur on the Beantrees stage, the Back Alley wine and craft beer garden will have instrumental acts. The main stage will feature the main musical events in the evenings.

“The beer and wine garden will feature some options from local breweries,” explained Konechny.

Performers on the main stage include Zachary Moon, Gabriel and Andrew Hamel, Piper Rempel, Zach Edward, and Kristen Duhamel.

Community members can also explore a walk-through art gallery that will have visual art from paintings to photography.

To top it all off, Sunday will feature a children’s fair.

“It’s all about the kids,” Konechny explained. “There will be 12 different Disney characters performing, and all sorts of things going on.”

Quiambao couldn’t pick just one event that she was looking forward to most, and that there’s something for everybody to enjoy.

“There’s a lot of things going on, and I can’t really pick just one thing,” she said.

Tickets are available online at   www.grandeparlour.ca, and can be bought for individual days or for the whole weekend.

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