May 18th, 2024

Tourism Lethbridge offering artistic views of the area

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on November 24, 2021.


Tourism Lethbridge has unveiled six travel posters created by local artists that are being sold at its visitors centre.
The posters are on display at the Tourism Lethbridge Visitors Centre at 2805 Scenic Drive South and are available for purchase at a price of $35 or $175 for all six.
The project was inspired by vintage travel posters, says Tourism Lethbridge marketing director Stephen Braund.
Tourism Lethbridge asked six artists who work in various media to design a poster that captured the essence of one attraction to them.
The posters are meant to be unique mementos for visitors to Lethbridge.
The artists involved included Bryce Many Fingers/Singer who created “What Sustains Us,” focusing on the Galt Museum. Many Fingers/Singer is a self-taught artist from the Blood Reserve whose artwork “aims to build an understanding of his culture and history as well as a relationship to the land,” says the Tourism Lethbridge website.
Leila Armstrong did her work focused on Fort Whoop-Up. She has an upcoming exhibition opening at Casa in January.
Jarom Scott, the Tourism Lethbridge visual communications specialist, created “Friendship Garden,” which reflects his interpretation of the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden.
Elizabeth Porter, who goes by the online handle of “snow bringer,” created “Down in the Alley” for the Helen Schuler Nature Centre.
Hali Heavy Shield, a multidisciplinary artist and educator, created Maansiksikaitsitapiitsinikssin” representing the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.
Cartoonist and art educator Eric Dyck, made “Coalbanks Veridis,” representing Lethbridge.
“This is a celebration about our city, our attractions and our artists,” said Braund at Tuesday’s unveiling of the posters.
“Tourism is vital to Lethbridge and our economy. It fills up hotel rooms, our restaurants, businesses but also all the supporting services and the people that they employ. So we’re lucky in Lethbridge to have a range of really unique attractions,” he said.
“Tourism is important; Lethbridge is a hub, we are a hub to four UNESCO world heritage sites,” including Waterton Lakes National Park, Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Head-Smashed-in-Buffalo Jump and Dinosaur Provincial Park, he said.
“With all of this potential, both in the city and around it, how do we celebrate this? Well, Lethbridge is also a hub to the arts. We have countless artists and makers working and living in the city” and also several arts facilities, he said.
“The potential for arts here is just unbelievable, we are a hub for the arts in Alberta. So we decided to harness this artistic hot bed to create unique keepsakes that celebrate our city and attractions.
“I think everyone has had the experience of visiting somewhere truly incredible, truly wonderful and unique only to find a souvenir that was made halfway around the world. We wanted to go the opposite direction of that and go hyper-local, he said.
In 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, Tourism Lethbridge launched its YQLocal campaign and decided to double down on it.
“We wanted to find local artists to design travel art posters for our local attractions which we could then share in our visitors centre right here in Lethbridge. We were inspired by vintage travel posters, back from a bygone era when it was art and not selfies that maybe motivated people to get out there exploring and I think the results speak for themselves, he said, calling the posters “spectacular.”
“They’re a wide range of styles from a wide range of artists,” Braund added.
He said it’s important not just to share beautiful art but art that visitors to Lethbridge are “immediately grabbed by what we have on offer for sale.”
Scott said “for this project, we weren’t looking for cohesive bodies stylistically. We have a unique mix of artists here in Lethbridge and we wanted to reflect that on the posters that were commissioned.
“Artists were selected based on artistic merit and we wanted to collaborate with artists whose work stands up both aesthetically and conceptually,” Scott added.

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