As a young man, Alex Janvier, Indian Group of Seven, travelled through Battle River areas during the 60s - leading art classes in many communities. It was during that time that he developed his affinity for the special colours and light qualities of this region. No ordinary artist, he could and can mix his colours from raw pigments to create the exact tones and hues he wants to use. Many of his students continue art in the communities of Battle River. Today, a number of art groups and shops can be found across the region. Still needed, though, is a serious art gallery for professional and amateur artists.
Where to begin examining and reporting on the rich cooking traditions of our region!? From Ukrainian peroghe to Norwegian lefse to German specialty sausages and Indigenous bannock (adapted from early Scottish explorers), it’s all here and delicious . . . spanning from the traditional farming food that kept Settlers alive to high-end cooking styles such as that of leading Metis chef, Shane Chartrand, and Gourmet food producer, Joanne Zinter. Joanne (with deep regional roots) is a pioneer in the development and production of specialty food products, having started her business some 30 years ago.
Informed by the music traditions of the cultural groups comprising the Battle River region, music - of all forms - abounds. You will find a rich heritage of Scandinavian choral and instrumental music ranging from the fiddle and accordian of folk music styles, to Mennonite and Hutterite vocal music having resonance from times of imprisonment centuries ago. Professional musicians hail from Castor to Westerose, Taking the central area by storm at Camrose, is the popular new SingAble Group under the direction of Dr. Ardelle Ries, Associate Professor of Music at Augustana Campus, University of Alberta.
Battle River Writing Centre began early in 2012. At that time, a group of aspiring writers realized that, taken together as a region, the well-published authors of our region were as numerous, prolific and noted as for any other part of Canada. Bolstered by this realization, as well as by the encouragement of noted Western Canada Author, Rudy Wiebe, they felt it was time to address place-based writing seriously. They began with one workshop which led to many others, and a monthly Writing Room which has met every third Friday of every month since January 2012. As of 2019, they are working on manuscripts two and three.
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