CANMORE – Paint will splatter and paintbrushes will fly as Creative Combat makes its return to artsPlace.
The highly anticipated evening returns on Saturday (Oct. 16) with 12 local artists having only 20 minutes to paint an original piece of artwork.
“It’s all about celebrating the arts,” said artsPlace fund development manager Becky Lipton Fournier. “There is something so magical about seeing something so beautiful being painted in just 20 minutes right in front of your eyes. You get to peak into the artists’ creative process.”
“It’s a really fun atmosphere. For those who attend in person, there is food and drinks, a DJ and, of course, the amazing artists.”
The annual event is entering its seventh year and it is artsPlace’s largest fundraiser. All proceeds from Creative Combat are used for art programming and workshops organized at artsPlace.
This year Creative Combat will be a hybrid event, combining both online and in-person attendance. Tickets are $80 per person for the small in-person audience or $20 per person for the couch party.
ArtsPlace will be participating in the province's new vaccine passport program, which means proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 rapid test result or medical exemption letter will be required to attend the event in person.
“We are participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program and we will also limit the number of people that can attend in person to ensure social distancing. We are going above and beyond to ensure the event will be safe for everyone,” said Lipton Fournier.
The online live streaming of Creative Combat allows for the possibility of more eyes on the competition, which Lipton Fournier is hopeful will lead to more funds raised through the silent auction. The silent auction returns to an online format and will feature all the paintings created during the event.
As the artists frantically paint in two 20-minute rounds, the audience will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite. The winner and runner-up from each round will then move on to a final 20-minute round where they will paint another original piece.
“The artists really feed off the energy of the audience, so we are very excited to have all the artists together in one space again this year,” said Lipton Fournier.
Armed with her paintbrushes, Chrissy Nickerson is eagerly awaiting the artistic battle. The Canmore-based artist has been involved in every iteration of Creative Combat.
“I believe I am the longest standing artist,” said Nickerson. “I look at Creative Combat as entertainment and my priority is to participate and have a good time. Over the years I have put a lot of effort into how am I going to entertain. That’s what keeps me coming back.”
Nickerson spends her summers away from the Bow Valley, so for her Creative Combat serves as a gateway back into the Canmore arts community.
“It’s a party, you get to see your friends. It’s a fun way to see your colleagues working. It’s a great event to support the arts in Canmore – something other than sports. It’s really great that we have this arts centre in Canmore and this is such a fun event to support the work they do.”
Unlike her fellow artists, Nickerson said she is not one to spend an extensive amount of time planning what she will paint; she worries more about entertaining the audience.
“I’m not a planner like that. I add and subtract with paint – the painting really leads the way when it’s done or not,” said Nickerson. “I do have a little surprise up my sleeve planned for this year.”
Lipton Fournier said this year there are some fan favourites returning to battle it out on the canvas, but also a large number of emerging artists. The 12 artists participating this year includes Katie Barron, Emily Beaudoin, Barb Fyvie, Julia Knowlden, Julie Lamoureux, Simmi Latiluppe, Pascale Ouellet, Jyn San Miguel, Kelly VanderBeek, Sam Welsh, Naomi Wiebe and Nickerson.There will also be a guest appearance by local special Olympics figure skater and artist Meg Ohsada.
Creative Combat will take place at artsPlace Saturday (Oct. 16), starting at 6 p.m. To support artsPlace on behalf of your favourite artist, visit artsplacecanmore.com/whats-on/festivals/creative-combat-7.0.