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ACWB Invites You to a Virtual Artist in Residency Showcase

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Arts Council Wood Buffalo (ACWB) invites you to an Artist in Residence showcase on November 8, 2021 at 6 p.m. The free virtual event will feature Heather Morigeau, ACWB’s current Artist in Residence from Calgary, and Carla White, the group’s fall 2020 resident artist. The live-stream Q&A and conversation about their experiences being an Artist in Residency will be relayed via ACWB’s Facebook and YouTube.

Morigeau is also the first artist to be introduced for ACWB’s newly launched Suncor Indigenous Artist Program, under Artist in Residency – running from October 26 to November 17, 2021.

“This is our first time bringing an Indigenous artist into the community to share traditional knowledge, skills and materials to tell their contemporary story. Much like the Artist in Residency program, this stream follows the traditional residency model and is based on the same idea of creating art and engaging with the community through art,” explained Will Collins, Communications Manager, ACWB.

“Heather’s artistic practice is a contemporary expression of traditional Indigenous arts focusing on encapsulating Indigenous teachings as well as medicines. Heather will be teaching workshops in Fort McMurray and Anzac (in person), and in Fort Chipewyan (virtual). Workshops will cover Pine Needle Basket Weaving and Resin Casting.”

Already impressed with our region, Morigeau is delighted with local artistic opportunities.

“I learned about the Indigenous artist in residence opportunity in Wood Buffalo through the Calgary Arts Development newsletter. I had heard many things about this region but never had the chance to experience being this far north in person. I was excited about the opportunity to share the traditional Ktunaxa Nation art form of Pine Needle Baskets Weaving and my contemporary practice of Resin Casting. The art studio space, the Arts Council staff, the workshops and land of this region has all been a wonderful experience and I'm deeply honoured to have this opportunity. I could see Wood Buffalo becoming a desired destination for artists to attend their residencies,” she enthused.

Following the live-stream Q&A session, the premiere of Sparking Creativity, a short documentary about tragedy and the healing power of art featuring Carla White is on the agenda. Alberta born and raised, White has been a local resident for 30 years, and is a well-known name across various artistic circles.

“I started as a nurse and firefighter at Suncor in the early days, raised my family and then started my speaking and training business – focusing on human potential. Like I do many things, I stumbled into success when I became an artist, first writing my book, becoming a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul, and then taking my wellness-meets comedy schtick to the stage.”

Sparking Creativity! A short documentary on tragedy and the healing power of art is my collaboration with ACWB and M’Guphyn Media. There are some cameo appearances from other amazing local artists as well. It portrays the artistic practice experience during my tenure as the Artist in Residence in 2020,” White explained.

“I had reached out to ACWB for a consult because I had the idea to write a play about the 2016 wildfire experience, and was looking for partners and support. The idea was inspired by Come From Away (a Canadian musical inspired by the week after the 9/11 attacks when 38 planes had to land in the small town of Gander, NFLD) when I saw how the writers had taken a tragedy and turned it into a healing piece of artistic genius. I wanted to create a timeless theatre piece that shows the resilient spirit of the residents of Wood Buffalo. The documentary shows the process of starting with an idea to the creation of a play with a bit of an aha at the end of unexpected outcomes from the Artist in Residency program,” added White.

ACWB hosted White’s residency from August to December 2020. During this time she developed a script called Forged by Fire, which dramatizes the events, demographics and learnings from the 2016 wildfires.

“Carla wrote about her disaster experiences and how she healed through the arts, a theme which will also be covered during the Q&A session for this showcase,” continued Collins.

“Her residency was held in the midst of ever-changing COVID restrictions and quarantines, and it’s not lost on her that she went through this healing process in the middle of a global pandemic. Her residency culminated in a virtual stage reading of the final script, and she’s now working on getting the play produced in 2022,” he added.

Don’t forget to tune in. Visit to learn more about the Artist in Residency and Suncor Indigenous Artist Program, the benefits of the experience, how the program can build your profile, how to get involved, as well as more.


Kiran is a national award-winning communications specialist, freelance journalist, and social media consultant. She loves telling community stories, and is a strong advocate for inclusion, diversity, women’s rights, and multiculturalism. Got story ideas? Contact her via Twitter: @KiranMK0822.