Friday, 09 September 2011 08:49

Rosebud vying to be Alberta’s ‘Cultureville’

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By Jessi Gowan — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The picturesque hamlet of Rosebud is one of only six Alberta communities in the final round of CBC’s Cultureville 2011. The competition, held as part of CBC's 75th Anniversary celebrations as well as Alberta Art Days, is an opportunity to vote for the province's most culturally cool community.

“We wanted to do something that really celebrated the different cultures all over this province,” explained Steve Glassman, executive producer of Cultureville. “This contest gets people thinking about their own culture, and the culture in other great communities across Alberta.”

With close to 40 entries, narrowing the competition down to only six finalists was a difficult job. Glassman noted the entries which really caught the eyes of the judges were the vibrant, busy communities with a lot of cultural activity. Rosebud, with its active theatre community, definitely fit that criteria.

“Culture is so much of who we are in Rosebud,” noted Bob Davis, executive director for Rosebud Theatre. “Of the approximate population of about 100 people, about 70 to 80 of them are directly involved with the arts, or are working for businesses involved with the arts. It’s very consuming and all-encompassing of our population.”

While the region around Rosebud is agricultural, the hamlet itself is defined in a large part by the cultural activities at the school and the theatre. The Rosebud Theatre plays host to more than 40,000 people each year, offering over 200 performances annually. The community is also home to the Rosebud School of the Arts, a unique post-secondary training school for professional theatre artists. With two art galleries, three choirs, a folk music club, and an annual music festival, the community offers more than just theatre.

“We really just felt that Rosebud would be a good fit for the contest,” Davis explained. “We think this community is a great representation of rural Alberta, and we really wanted other people to know about our hamlet. We are honoured to just be nominated, and are hopeful the rest of Alberta can throw its support behind the littlest town in the competition. We are up against some tough competition.”

Winning the contest will not only provide the community with great bragging rights, but will also encourage tourists to visit Alberta’s new Cultureville.

“Exposure and awareness are the benefits of being a part of this,” said Davis. “We’ve seen lots of new Albertans over the last five or 10 years who might not know about us yet, and this might remind people who may have heard of us but haven’t really visited lately. For us, it’s about reaching out, making ourselves known to a wider audience.”

Rosebud is up against three communities from the 780 area code (Jasper, Camrose, and Peace River), and two others from the 403 (Red Deer and Tsuu T'ina Nation). Vignettes profiling each of the communities in the running are online at and The Calgary Eyeopener and Edmonton AM will also be running community profiles during their morning broadcasts.

The winning community will be announced on radio, online and on a special broadcast to be aired on CBC TV September 29 as part of Alberta Arts Days Celebrations. People can vote for their favourite community online from Sept. 6-16.

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