Parts for the Arts returns as networking opportunity

Award-winning author and artist Aaron Paquette performs during the second annual Parts for the Arts at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre on Saturday. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Parts for the Arts will return to the EA Rawlinson Centre in June as the Prince Albert Arts Board returns to the format from 2020 where artists had an opportunity to network with each other and special guests from various art industries.

Organizers had that return in mind when they called this year’s Parts for the Arts event “Artworking”. Spokesperson Cara Stelmaschuk said the board wanted a name that highlighted both the artistic and networking aspects, especially since the 2021 event was more of an educational opportunity.

“This year we are going back to 2020,” she said. “(It’s) more circle the room, talk to the tables that have the information you might want or have a writer, someone from the music industry, someone from the visual arts industry. People can just come and go around the room and sit down and have a chat.”

Carol Greyeyes of Sask Arts Board, author John Brady McDonald, Andrea Martineau of Creative Saskatchewan, Judy McNaughton of Common Weal Community Arts and visual artist Michel Boutin have all confirmed their attendance so far. The board is still waiting on confirmations for a few others.

Stelmaschuk said artists enjoy chances to meet and learn from each other. She’s hopeful Parts for the Arts will carry on that tradition.

“It’s a good networking opportunity and I think the arts community that has come to these events in the past have appreciated the chance,” she said.

Stelmaschuk said bringing representatives from various arts group in is important because not everyone knows about their benefits. There are a variety of grants and other supports available, but Stelmaschuk said not every artist knows about them.

Even those who are aware might not know the details about deadlines or application forms.

“We have encouraged those organizations to bring some materials with them to share with people,” she explained. “That way people will know where to go and look and see what is coming up.”

Stelmaschuk said knowing these things can really bolster projects that are already in the works, especially for artists who are just starting off or looking to take the next step in their art career.

Having working artists like Boutin and McDonald will let people ask questions about how they work. Stelmaschuk said she told McDonald to expect questions on items such as the process of writing and finding a publisher.

“The questions will just be all over the board,” she explained. “It’s not that they have to prepare a whole presentation, but they do have to be ready to discuss their art and how they did it—not just the art itself but the processes getting it published.”

Stelmaschuk said the arts community in Prince Albert is strong and vibrant but it can be segmented in that everyone works by themselves. Having an event like Parts for the Arts helps bring everyone together. The singular arts pursuits like visual artists, sculpting and writing occasionally seclude themselves and this gives them an opportunity to network.

“We want to have this be the place that people come to meet and discuss their art and talk about what they have done and what they accomplished, not just with our presenters but with each other as well,” she said.

“The other arts, you kind of go off to your own corner and do your own thing and you are on your own. It’s kind of nice to have a group of people to talk to, discuss the commonalities and (see) what they did and (if) maybe that’s something you ought to try.”

Parts for the Arts will take place Saturday, June 18 at the EA Rawlinson Centre for the Arts, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. The event is entirely free to attend and there will also be live entertainment scheduled throughout the day, with snacks provided.