Thompson’s Funeral Home may strike you as an unlikely venue for a cross-genre celebration of local creativity, but approximately 130 artists, fans and their friends came out for a night of dance, classical and contemporary music, rap, visual art and literary readings last week during the lead-up to the Blue Night culture crawl.
“Art Party is an all-inclusive party for everybody in the community,” Zaynab told the Star after the event, noting their unorthodox venue couldn’t have worked out better.
“It was their first time opening that space as a venue for anything other than a funeral, and it was really unique and beautiful. I would definitely do it there again.”
The night included performances from harpist Teyana Neufeld, who shared an intensely personal, newly written song as well as some of her older compositions. Selkirk College band Willow Talk, featuring Blair Ferguson wearing teardrop face-stickers and a bright orange wig, also played a raucous set.
Local writer and Selkirk creative writing instructor Leesa Dean read the title story from her upcoming collection of short fiction Waiting for the Cyclone. Mohammed said the audience was rapt during her performance.
“You could feel her passion. I looked around and everyone was focused in and engaged.”
Meanwhile, at the back of the room, Gavin (The Glass Man) Holland was showing off his colourful work, some of which has been created using found materials. The night included dance performances, multiple concerts from performers such as rapper Dazza, face-painting, snacks and community fun.
“We’re here to celebrate each other,” said Mohammed.