Making #yegherstory since 2012
SkirtsAfire is a diverse and daring multidisciplinary arts festival that has been giving women a voice and artists a platform since 2012. With International Women’s Day falling on the opening day of the festival, the theme for 2018 is International Women, which is apropos in the way that women are currently coming together in such a large way around the globe.
How To SkirtsAfire: A Guide to Your Weekend of Adventure
- Schedules – Pick up a program and find out details for all the shows in the festival plus venue addresses and a schedule. Or grab a pocket guide with a schedule and venues that you can keep with you throughout the weekend. More digitally inclined? Use the interactive schedule on our website to get more info on all the events and artists in SkirtsAfire at skirtsafire.com/events/2018-03.
- Not sure what to see? Start with the A-Line Variety Show which kicks off the festival on International Women’s Day, March 8. The A-Line Variety Show brings 14 different acts together in one fun filled evening, with everything from singer-songwriters to spoken word poets to cabaret acts to drumming to opera to dance to a ukulele band. It’s an explosion of unique acts that kick off our jam-packed festival weekend with a small taste of what’s to come.
- Start with dinner: Friday and Saturday, you can begin your evening at 5:30pm at Otto Food and Drink. Enjoy a fabulous meal of locally sourced sausage, gourmet comfort foods, and craft beer while sitting at large community tables and taking in singer-songwriter Lindsey Walker. Then, drive a few minutes away or walk to the Nina Gallery on Friday to take in Words Unzipped, where eleven artists weave a story through spoken word, dance, and visual art. All your senses will come alive in this show that will move you to laughter, tears, and recognition. If it’s Saturday, then after dinner you can walk or drive to St. Faith’s Church (behind the Nina Gallery), where five choirs will send shivers down your spine and feature Maria Dunn in some of their songs accompanied by Shannon Johnson and Jeremiah McDade. The Women’s Choir Festival will be followed by a concert by the Maria Dunn Trio.
- Workshops – Saturday morning, do yoga amongst the Visual Art Exhibit in the Nina Gallery with live cello music, then walk across the street for a lesson in bellydancing, and finish back across the street at the Carrot Community Coffeehouse for coffee, snacks, and three singer-songwriters sharing the intimate stage. Afterwards, you can see a play in the Cabaret Theatre called Silenced which explores anxiety and depression in a clown show that is both funny and heartbreaking.
- Art and Literature – The Visual Art Exhibit in the Nina Gallery, The Wombs We Come From curated by Lana Whiskeyjack, is a visual reflection of diverse Edmonton women artists sharing their umbilical connections. One of those artists, MJ Belcourt Moses, will present her work in person as part of A Place for Prose in the Gallery on Saturday afternoon where prose writers will also read from their work and the audience participates in a Q&A after. Staged readings of new plays will also happen in the Nina Gallery on Saturday and Sunday in Peep Show! – pick a play, any play. You can also check out the six Skirt Design finalists that will be on display throughout the festival in the Cabaret Theatre.
- Dance the night away – You’ve got a busy weekend with driving kids around, birthday parties, family events, swimming lessons, visiting grandparents, and catching up on house cleaning. You can’t get out till late at night. No problem – treat yourself to our Friday or Saturday Night Dance Parties which get going at 10:00pm after The Romeo Initiative in the Cabaret Theatre. On Friday, you can catch blues artist Kimberley MacGregor with her full band and on Saturday Night, you can sweat on the dance floor with Amy van Keeken’s Rock and Roll Sing a Long, an interactive cover band featuring hits from the 50s, 60s, Motown, the 70s, 80s, disco and classic country. Lyrics are projected onto a screen for maximum audience participation.
- Between Shows – check out the film Sustainable Me in the front lounge of the Cabaret Theatre, watch for interpretive actors from 1918 working hard to get women the vote in Canada, warm up by our fire pit where you might catch a flamenco flash mob, and wander up and down Alberta Avenue to check out various coffee shops, bakeries, a Vietnamese eatery, and African grocery stores to name a few fabulous options.
- Accessible – You’ll find free parking everywhere, you can walk between all the venues which are all wheelchair accessible, and from March 8-11 all events are by donation.
Tickets for our MainStage play, The Romeo Initiative by Trina Davies, which runs March 1-11, are available now at https://www.tixonthesquare.ca/performances/4732 and guess what! Mommy Connections’ readers get 10% off our Mimosa Matinee event on March 4 with the code: mommyconnections. Enjoy a croissant and champagne/OJ with your ticket purchase!
Can’t wait to see you there!
**photo credits: BB Collective