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Shenkman Arts Centre turns five!

By April Laramey on May 26, 2014

Despite her day job as a bureaucrat, A. Laramey is a writer who spends far too much time on the internet. You can find her on Facebook.

This year marks the 5th anniversary of the creation of the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans, and in the spirit of creativeness, arts and community, Shenkman is hosting a 5th anniversary celebration on May 31st .  And what a five years it’s been! The goal of the centre was “to create a home for arts and culture in east Ottawa,” says Karen Scott-Gagné, Marketing and Development Manager at the centre. “Moving [various] organization[s] under one roof with customized visual arts studios and state-of-the-art performance halls, has naturally lead to more people attending classes, shows and galleries, and has brought a lot of attention to what [Shenkman] offers.”

Going over the list of activities for the celebration I was blown away, wondering how anyone would manage to do and see all they wanted to.

“A good place to start is with the full listing of the events on our website,” says Scott-Gagné, “Come early and stay late.” And you’re going to have to.  The day is packed. The list includes Beau’s Shows – local musicians playing on the main stage, the Ottawa Stilt Union, a Tai Chi demonstration, silk screening, pottery demonstrations, face painting, an artisan market, food trucks, art exhibitions and far, far more. “Enjoy some breakfast with the family and sample the animation, creative arts activities, performances and foodie stage. By then you will have a pretty good sense of what’s on offer, what your favourite activities are.”

Scott-Gagné herself has a hard time choosing where to start, but when asked to choose which activity she was looking most forward to she finally settles on Beau Shows, a series of local performers -like Amanda Rheaume– headlining on the indoor main stage.  The Foodie Stage sounds amazing too.

So now that the first five years for Shenkman are over, what do the next five years hold for the arts centre? “This is a time to pause, reflect, and develop a strategic focus for the next five years.” Karen tells me.  “The past few years have afforded us the opportunity to measure, observe, listen, and collect critical data about the community we serve. We know there are always opportunities for growth, deeper ties in the community, greater engagement, and better programming.”

It’s hard to imagine better programming, but it’s definitely something to look forward to.

The Shenkman Arts Centre’s 5th Anniversary Celebration takes place May 31st from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Shenkman is located at 245 Centrum Boulevard. Admission is free.