Monthly Archives: June 2016

Grasslands Documentary Premieres in Val Marie

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The premiere Val Marie screening of the documentary film Grasslands takes place at the Palais Royale Theatre (Val Marie community hall), on Centre Street in Val Marie, on Friday, July 8 at 8:00 p.m. with Gemini-award- winning filmmaker Ian Toews in attendance for a Q&A after the show. Tickets at the door are $6 adults and $5 students. This event is brought to you by 291 Film Company in partnership with Prairie Wind & Silver Sage and the Val Marie Hall.

Grasslands examines the unique natural habitat of the mixed-grass prairie through four seasons from the perspectives of the ranchers, conservationists, and aboriginal people who understand it best and live by preserving it. It is guided by a powerful metaphor / symbol: The re-discovered wallows of the re-introduced bison.

Some of those interviewed are faces you already know and  some may be new to you. This stunning new documentary, shot with an Arri Alexa, the state-of-the-art 4k camera, brings the sights and sounds of the wild prairie to the screen. Greater Sage-Grouse on the lek, bison moving in every season through miles of native grass, the full-length documentary was filmed primarily in Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park, but includes footage from other grasslands locations in Alberta, Montana, and North Dakota.

“I wanted to convey that prairie was an expansive, flowing mass of grasslands. And then show people what it is today and what is being done to preserve it,” said the filmmaker and producer Ian Toews.

The film has been broadcast on CITY and Oasis TV in Canada. Don’t miss this one-time opportunity to see it on the big screen in Val Marie

2016 Meet the Artists Exhibition Reception

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Artwork by local artists Sherri Grant and Madonna Hamel will be celebrated at a reception at Val Marie’s provincially recognized ecomuseum Prairie Wind & Silver Sage in Val Marie on Thursday, June 23 from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. Both artists will be present and everyone is welcome to meet and congratulate them and enjoy snacks and a cash bar and conversation.


Winter Dance by Sherri Grant (photograph)

In the Cloakroom Gallery at PWSS, Sherri Grant presents Amazing Sky, an exhibition of photographs printed on canvas and metal that suggest the magic of the prairie night sky and the glorious beauty it reveals. “I have spent many nights out under these prairie skies watching the mystery and the magic unfold, the darkness parting to reveal the heavens beyond, and sometimes capturing a moment that speaks to me, sometimes just a hint and it feels like there is more,” Grant says. “The coyotes may howl, or the geese honk, as the accompaniment to the dance of the skies. When the night sky explodes with color and movement it is absolutely awe-inspiring.”

Last Supper

The Making of the Last Harvest Supper by Madonna Hamel (mixed-media collage)

In the Museum Gallery, Madonna Hamel is showing My Mother’s Apron, a mixed-media installation of collages and apron artifacts that present stories of the women of Val Marie and the southwest as shown through this most familiar garment. The exhibition is a visual extravaganza of colour and stories, symbolizing a certain group or time in the rich history and traditions of the prairie. “It began as a simple exhibit of prairie women’s aprons meant to compliment the men’s cowboy hats already hanging in the ecomuseum,” says Hamel. “Thanks to all the women who have contributed to make this extended and expanding story come alive.”

Prairie Wind & Silver Sage works in partnership with the local community and Grasslands National Park of Canada to promote the conservation of native prairie landscapes, while inviting the exploration and appreciation of prairie culture and natural history. PWSS is open seven days a week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm until August 31, and then weekends until September 17. The exhibitions continue throughout this summer season.