Arts festival returning to Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage

All of Southern Alberta is invited to enjoy a summer afternoon of music, drama and art at the Coutts Centre Arts Festival on Sunday, July 24. Returning for a second summer, the University of Lethbridge Faculty of Fine Arts in partnership with the U of L Art Gallery, look forward to hosting another festival of fine arts fun.

“Following in the footsteps of a successful festival in 2015, we are excited to see returning guests and show off our talents to a new group of attendees on July 24,” says Dr. Edward Jurkowski, dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts. “I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to enjoy the stunning garden property that Jim Coutts donated to the University. His priceless gift allows us to broaden our reach into southern Alberta while highlighting the breadth of talent the Faculty of Fine Arts has to offer.”

The gates open at 11 a.m. with a performance by jamani music with Jodi Groenheide (BMus ‘11) on steel pan followed by the jazz stylings of the Groove Apostles, made up of alumni and current music students. Up next is music faculty member Dale Ketcheson playing classical guitar. Finally, the afternoon is topped off with a performance of Romeo and Juliet, presented by Lethbridge’s Shakespeare Performance Society at 2 p.m.

“We are delighted to have the Shakespeare Performance Society return to the Coutts Centre Arts Festival,” says Jurkowski. “The majority of the cast and crew have strong University of Lethbridge connections. The actors, director, stage manager, and so on are all our students, graduates and even some current faculty.”

The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society is excited to launch its fifth season of Shakespeare in the Park, and its third performance at the Coutts Centre. With the goal of bringing high-quality performances of Shakespeare’s plays to audiences in the Lethbridge region, Romeo and Juliet is sure to delight at the Coutts Centre Arts Festival, and during their 12 free evening performances at Galt Gardens in July and August.

Southern Alberta artists are also invited to utilize the beauty of the gardens to create their own masterpiece on site. Artists will be able to paint or draw in the gardens throughout the day; and family art activities will be available for aspiring artists to get creative.

“As one in a series of En Plein Air events taking place over the summer, the festival provides a unique opportunity for the public to watch artists in action,” says Jurkowski. “In December, an exhibition highlighting the works created by artists visiting the Coutts Centre will be installed at the Penny Gallery in the Dr. James Foster Penny Building.”

Admission to the Coutts Centre Arts Festival is by donation. Refreshments, provided by Lynnwood Ranch BBQ Truck, are on sale throughout the day. For directions to the Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage, near Nanton, visit: