It seems to be that when new Co-Reps arrive, the weather lets loose! Just as Dawn was fighting the March Lion in Dauphin earlier this year, I've been spending a great deal of time shovelling out from under three -- count 'em! -- three snow-blows since November 2.
|My back yard - Nov. 3, 2013|
I shouldn't complain, though, as this is great weather for spending time in my studio -- and for dipping into some of the resources SAQA provides for Regional Reps.
Not the least of these are the resources SAQA makes available to all of its members. How about that spiffy new website, eh? I'll brag (just a bit) and tell you that I was on the first wee 'focus group'-type sub-committee that worked on what could/should/might go into the re-designed site. What a great job the final committee did to make our early vision possible!
If you haven't visited yet, I urge you to drop over; there's lots to see! You might take a particular look at these areas:
- Your SAQA Region -- for all that's happening on a regional level;
- Art Quilt Resources -- a wealth of information on where to find teachers, appraisers, photographers; on business development; on educational programs and collectors...and much, much more; and
- The Blog -- news and notes from the SAQA-sphere.
Taking over the Alberta Co-Rep position from Patti Morris means I have some pretty big shoes to fill. Living only an hour or so from Patti has given me an opportunity to get to know her a bit, and to help her out when our travelling exhibits were on display nearby -- such as "Meet the Best of the West" when it opened in Red Deer, and when it returns there at the end of next month.
When I was asked if I would consider being a WC Co-Rep, I'll admit I was terrified. Our Region -- B.C. through Manitoba -- comprises over 1.1 million square miles and is equivalent to approximately 29% of Canada's entire land mass! Alberta alone is about 211,000 square miles in area. No matter that most of our members are clustered in or around Calgary -- it's no surprise that, with our geography, we've never even attempted to get together in one place! And with weather like ours, travelling to far-flung communities is best reserved for the latter part of April through mid-September.
Nonetheless, I am hopeful that we'll be able to have at least one in-person Parlour Meeting in each of the next two years, and perhaps have some online conferences (webinars) in between. These possibilities have yet to be explored, but in this introduction, I am also throwing down a gauntlet!
To date our Alberta meetings have been fairly small and held (except for one) in Patti's home in Red Deer.
My home in Mirror is even smaller...and besides, it's still in Central Alberta.
So! I'm calling on the members in the larger centres of the province -- Calgary and Edmonton in particular but Lethbridge, Camrose, Canmore, and/or Medicine Hat are not exempt! -- to come up with potential venues for a May or June 2014 Parlour Meeting.
- It could be a one-day event, or a two-day event that includes some sort of learning experience -- which ideally would be provided by one (or more) of our own talented members...
- Perhaps the meeting could be tied in with the location of the Burgess Shale Project exhibit at that time (St. Albert the Great School, Calgary, April 9 - May 14; Millarville Community Library, May 21 - June 18; Beiseker Station Museum, June 25-July 23). It would be an opportunity to welcome people in those communities to meet some of the artists, perhaps in a mutually creative way...
- Logistics might include not only the venue but food and...perhaps some of us travelling from out of town will need to sleep over...
- It might mean a small committee (say 2-3 people) to put their heads together and organize it.
Anyone willing to step forward is welcome to e-mail me: email@example.com. Going into the holiday season (Hanukkah starts next week, and before long it will be Christmas), I don't expect to hear from (m)any of you right away. We'll revisit it in January...
On that note I'll close for now, with an invitation for you to get to know me better through my bio on the SAQA site -- and/or through a visit to my blog. I look forward to hearing from any and all members across this vast region, but especially from the Alberta cohort. This is your organization! Jill, Dawn and I are here to help you...but you'll get more out of your SAQA experience -- at every level -- if you're able to step forward and help us too.