The Vault Cultural Collective celebrated their first anniversary in operation at their downtown location, as well as put on an event for the community to celebrate Alberta Culture Days on Sept. 17.
Carmen Erison, assistant director of library services, said the Strathmore Municipal Library has been working with the Vault, as well as several other local organizations, to put on cultural events throughout the month of September.
“This is part of our grant that we get from the Government of Alberta. Today (Sept. 17), we had a great collection of cultural events — we had a Scottish piper and drummer, we had indigenous drummers and dancers, and we had our square-dancing group do some wonderful demonstrations,” said Erison. “It has been a lovely day for this, there has been a great turnout and we are very pleased with this type of event. I would say it’s a success and we can’t wait to do it again next year.”
According to Erison, the Vault Cultural Collective has become a hub for cultural activity and displays in Strathmore.
“People want to see culture in this town, they want to be able to learn new things and learn about different cultures and such,” said Erison. “Being able to be here and witness this and learn a little bit more is what Alberta Culture Days is all about.”
The Strathmore Municipal Library applies annually to the provincial government for the Alberta Culture Days grant, which allows them to put on such programs.
Originally, the culture days event had been planned to take place in Kinsmen Park, but it was thought to be more appropriate to celebrate together with the anniversary of the Vault, so the events were held adjacent to the Vault building.
The plan going forward for the annual culture days event is to see it grow, despite the short timeline allotted to be able to plan an event.
“We only find out about the funding at the beginning of the summer, so we are working with whoever is left during summer vacations and such trying to throw this together,” said Erison. “I think given the fact that there are only a couple individuals who have really worked on getting this together, I think it came along really well.”
As for the Vault, though she couldn’t speak for them directly, Erison noted it has been an interesting year of growth and establishment for the gallery, and she looks forward to seeing where the collective goes in its second year.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times