Elizabeth St. Improv is an exciting new name in the performing arts in the Foothills. Founded by Joseph Tubb and Brooke Ramsay, Elizabeth St. is bringing improv to the southern Alberta masses with their weekly Friday night jams and monthly shows.
With reviews on their Facebook page lauding Elizabeth St. as “[...] such a creative environment with a really wonderful group of people [...]” and “[...] You can’t fail and Joseph teaches you what, why and how the whole time [...]” it seems like they are on the right track.
In the non-profit, Joseph acts as Artistic Director and Lead Instructor as well as social media guru, bookkeeper and graphic designer. Brooke, a personal development coach and business consultant by trade, is happy to let Joseph handle the day-to-day as she puts her business development skills to work behind the scenes.
Joseph comes from, perhaps, an unexpected background in the applied sciences. With years in the oil and gas service industry under his belt, Joseph decided to turn his part-time passions into his full-time reality.
Joseph said, “I searched for a passion for a long time. I’ve done woodworking, fencing (the sword kind), taken Spanish and German classes, ran 10ks and gone to the gym 5 days a week. But I found something in improv that I didn’t find elsewhere. And our mission at Elizabeth St. reflects that.”
The mission, Joseph says, is reflected in the slogan to their social media campaign, Improv For Everyone.
“My favourite part is, this isn’t my improv community transplanted to Okotoks. We’ve developed a crew of Friday-night regulars who Brooke and I didn’t know. Many of whom aren’t performers. They come to blow off steam from their week, develop day-to-day skills and play!”
Elizabeth St. has drop-in classes and jams every Friday and an upcoming show on August 16, featuring the first performance by their regulars, dubbed the Street Team.
And what’s in store for Elizabeth St.? Joseph says their website launch will be this month while in September they’re launching their first intro class. Elizabeth St. is also bringing Improv For Everyone to life with Improv For Seniors, a program designed as an activity for seniors homes. https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethStImprov/
High River, Alberta photographer Rob Korotyszyn.
“A bit about me....I live in High River and have been pursuing photography for about 2 years.I'm drawn to photography for many reasons. It forces me to slow down and be present in the moment. I get to explore the world around me while also exploring who I am and what's important to me. And, hopefully, I can effectively connect with others to share a feeling or a scene.Currently I am focusing on as many styles of photography as I can and looking forward to continuing to learn and grow as an artist.” @robko.photography .
Okotoks, Alberta artist and art instructor Erica Neumann. Her passion for painting wildlife, boldness with her brush strokes and vibrant colours combined give each one of her animals a personality to remember.
Shawna Koski attended the “California Institute of the Arts,” majoring in Experimental Animation. She loves creating short films and is most fond of puppet stop-motion. Shawna was part of the Okotoks Arts Council for a number of years and worked tirelessly with the youth filmmaking contest called “Zooom” and conducted animation classes to inspire young, eager, filmmakers. Her other interests include writing, she illustrated a book along side writer Katie Fournell (from O.F.F.) called “Lydia’s Monster Under the Bed.” Shawna entered one of her films that was sponsored by the Okotoks Arts Council and it won best animation at the Okotoks Film Festival. She has just received a AFA grant to create a new stop-motion film. Way to go Shawna!
“I am a lover of all things stop-motion. In general I gravitate toward a tactile, textural style in my animated films that embrace the idiosyncrasies of art. I specialize in wire armature puppet stop-motion, but I also enjoy paper cut out animation as well. My other interests include vaudeville, jazz music, silent films, Jeeves and Wooster books, writing, pumpkins and chai lattes.” http://www.shawnakoski.com
I had a great deal of fun creating this film, and is my favorite one so far. I wanted to portray an ambiguous artistic space that represented the psyche of an individual. The character occupies this internal stage and performs without reservation, that is, until she messes up. I wanted to explore the sometimes self-conscious state in which people, especially artists, find themselves when they fail. This was a film generously funded by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
"Okatok" is based on an old Blackfoot legend about Napi and Big Rock, which offers an explanation about how a giant rock wound up in the middle of a prairie miles away from the mountains. This film was narrated in Blackfoot by my grandma, Pauline Dempsey.
“Janet Macpherson began studying ceramics at Sheridan College in 1999 while living in Toronto, Ontario. For six years she maintained a studio practice in Toronto, making functional ceramics, participating in exhibitions, and selling her work at various Toronto galleries.
In 2008 she began her MFA in ceramics at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where she explored a more figurative approach to ceramics. She has shown her new work extensively in exhibitions across Canada and the United States.
Janet held an artist-in-residence/faculty position at Sheridan College in the 2012 Fall Semester, and was an artist in residence at the Harboufront Centre in Toronto from 2011 - 2014. In 2013 she was the recipient of the Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics, given by Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo, Ontario, and in 2014 she was artist in residence at the Zentrum Fur Keramik in Berlin, Germany.
In 2016 Janet was commissioned by the Gardiner Museum of Ceremic Art in Toronto to create a solo exhibition that responded to Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation. The project consisted of four sculpture / audio installations and three video works by Toronto artist Renée Lear. A Canadian Bestiary opened February 2017.
Janet has work in the collection of the Gardiner Museum of Ceremic Art in Toronto, ON, and the Burlington Arts Centre in Burlington, ON. She lives and works in Hamilton, ON.
Janet would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.” Janet Macpherson
Kelowna, B.C. woodcarving artist Greg Trumbley.
“All of my sculptures are created using local wood from the Okanagan and
surrounding areas. I feel like I'm giving the trees a chance at a whole new life,
by creating and finding beauty in every piece. The ponderosa pine is an all
time favourite of the locals. Its got the nickname 'denim’ because of the
markings and the colour that the beetles create. The beetles are putting a
devastation on our pine trees, so i'm very thankful that i can create and
recycle the wood into a one of a kind piece of art.
All of my pieces are created starting with a chainsaw, even my bowls. I don't
own a lathe, so all the bowls can be different and have its own shape.” Greg Trumbley
Canada based artist Steven Spazuk uses candle soot to create his incredible works!
“Residing and working in Franklin, Quebec, Canada, Spazuk (B.A.) is a professional visual artist internationally known for his work with fire, a process called "fumage". His exceptional mastery of the technique of sculpting traces of soot combined with his passion for humanity and all life forms lead to the creation of unique and profound images. Since 2001, fire has ignited his passion and he has exhibited and performed in Montreal, Toronto, New York, Boston, Milan, Florence, Parma, York, Berlin, Osaka and Stavanger.”
Calgary, Alberta based artist Elena Bushan.I am a professional visual artist living and working in Calgary, Alberta.
”My work has featured in shows in Canada and Europe and can be found in many private collections. My interest in drawing and painting began in early childhood, and I was accepted into art school at age eight. I studied fine arts for more than 15 years in my country of birth, Moldova, before moving abroad. My painting style can best be described as imaginative realism, and I have a special passion for portrait and figurative painting. I work in various mediums, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, mixed media, charcoal, pastel, alcohol ink, clay, felting and digital art, and I am always exploring new ways to express my art.” Elena Bushan