Wood Buffalo Arts Council announces new Executive Director

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Wood Buffalo Arts Council announces new Executive Director

The Wood Buffalo Arts Council is welcoming a new face to their board.

Council Chair, Christine Burton announced this morning that Russell Thomas will be taking on the role of Interim Executive Director.

"The most important thing I think is his knowledge and his commitment to arts in this region. We could have brought in some high level consultant." explains Burton. "But generally what happens is they are from out of region, they don't know this community and they don't know the people and it takes them a year just to get up to speed. Here we have, right in our own backyard, the most qualified person to do this kind of work. It is incredibly exciting and we are very lucky to have him."

Thomas believes the future is bright for arts and culture community in our region.

"What role does culture play in giving us a sense of place a sense of belonging and getting to the soul of a place." says Russell, who is honored to take on the title of Executive Director. "Culture is what allows us to connect to where we live, to the people that we live with, where we come from and ultimately where we are going to. So I think that is imbedded in the municipal development plan. There is a political will that this is something that has to be supported."

Adding that they will be working to establish a vision for the council and working towards their goals in the coming months.

"There's two things that are most important in the short term. One is solidifying the governance structure. Right now we have an interim board but at the end of the day we need to have a permanent board. A boards that representative of various sectors that makes sense. So that's the first step." says Thomas. "The other thing that is important, because we are about to head into a time where we are building a bunch of stuff is putting forward a public art policy."

Thomas will assume the role of the Executive Director of the Arts Council of Wood Buffalo on May 20th.
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Re: Wood Buffalo Arts Council announces new Executive Director

Unread postby dolphin » Wed May 15, 2013 1:37 pm

Two council members on a board that is going to determine the public art policy?
Is this a conflict of interest? Do they have time to have full time jobs, be on council and be on this board?

I don't mean to be ungracious, these are just legitimate thoughts that I have. Can you really give time to this?

Otherwise congratulations and thank you for the hard work being done. I understand that this is a volunteer board, so thanks for the hard work to all board members. We need public art badly. The only art I can think of is the pink and purple dinosaur mural.
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Re: Wood Buffalo Arts Council announces new Executive Director

Unread postby jango » Wed May 15, 2013 4:44 pm

what exactly can Art do for this city? I'm curious
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Re: Wood Buffalo Arts Council announces new Executive Director

Unread postby Chickpea » Thu May 16, 2013 10:49 am

Have you ever before been in a city so void of art? I haven't. Even small town Sask has public art, murals on buildings etc.
Not having any art anywhere in this city makes it feel like it is all about work. :evil: We know it isn't but it still doesn't feel like a home to me without some art around. Art is meant to make you think in more abstract ways, question the norm, have a sense of wonder etc. Humans have always decorated for this reason and as a way to document history. Being so void of art might even make the difference in whether someone stays here for the long term, or moves their families here. The attrition/turnover of staff at these Oil Sands Sites is dangerous. We need to do everything possible to stop the attrition. Just my opinion.
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Re: Wood Buffalo Arts Council announces new Executive Director

Unread postby MacDaddy » Thu May 16, 2013 3:21 pm

What about the punk kids in my neighbourhood with their spray cans? Can we count that as art? If not, I'll go ahead with my plans to turn their spray cans into their own personal rectal foreign bodies. http://radiopaedia.org/articles/rectal-foreign-bodies
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