Current Learning Programs

Esker Foundation provides free public programming to encourage participation and to increase accessibility to contemporary art. Learning programs are created in response to, and in tandem with our current exhibitions. All are welcome to attend. Our programs are very popular, securing your spot by registering is strongly recommended. Programs often have wait lists: if you register and are unable to attend we ask that you please cancel in a timely manner.  Scroll down to view all of our current and upcoming programs.

 

 

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Saturday, October 14th, 1-9/18/17 2:30pm > Closing Reception for Making Treaty 7: Finding Common Ground

Tamara Lee-Anne Cardinal, Sykes Powderface, Cindy Provost, and Michèle Stanners

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Join the artists of the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society’s Common Ground Dinner Series as we celebrate the closing of their Project Space exhibition. Speak directly with the artists about their experiences participating in the Dinner Series, how it influenced their work in the exhibition, and their ongoing practice. Become a part of the conversation of what “making treaty” really means.

The event will feature remarks from Tamara Lee-Anne Cardinal, Sykes Powderface, Cindy Provost, and Michèle Stanners.

The reception will be held at the Esker Foundation’s Project Space on the main level of the Atlantic Avenue Art Block Building. This building is fully accessible and all are welcome to attend. Refreshments and snacks from Sidewalk Citizen will be served.

Registration recommended.

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Thursday, October 19th, 7-9/18/17 8pm > Animal Geographies

Dr. Shelley Alexander

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With decades-long research on wild canids (including coyotes, wolves, and African painted dogs) as an entry point in this talk, Dr. Alexander will explore human-animal relationships, with the goal of elucidating the ecological, ethical, social, and cultural pressures shaping these engagements. The emotional lives and expressions of morality and justice amongst social carnivores will also be explored.

Registration recommended.

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Friday, October 27th, 7-10/6/17 8pm > Resilience: Feral Spaces and Transition Zones

Veronica Verkley

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Join Yukon sculptor and filmmaker Veronica Verkley as she discusses the process and ideas behind her Project Space installation, Second Nature: FERAL. This animation details changes in our environment that are usually imperceptible unless they are seen as a time lapse. The shape of the land fluctuates, species eat, reproduce, and die, ecosystems falter and improvise. Second Nature: FERAL focuses on these unseen rhythms. Even as things fall apart, out of destruction comes renewal. Life is resilient. Following the talk, join us to celebrate the opening of Second Nature: FERAL, refreshments will be served with snacks provided by Sidewalk Citizen.

Registration recommended.

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Saturday, October 28th, 10am-9/18/17 5pm > Stop Motion Animation Workshop

Veronica Verkley

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Inspired by Veronica Verkley’s stop motion animation Second Nature: FERAL, on exhibition in the Project Space until 21 January, this workshop will show participants how to create their own ‘animate-able’ needle-felted animal (real or imagined) with an internal, poseable wire armature. As time allows, we will also shoot a short animation sequence with the puppets. Participants must be over the age of 16. All materials will be provided.

Registration essential.

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Thursday, November 2nd, 7-9/19/17 8:30pm > Esker Film Series: ‘All of Me’ (Llévate mis amores)

Dir. Arturo González Villaseñor

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Hundreds of thousands of people attempt to cross from Mexico into the United States by train each year and are exposed to many dangers along their journey. Since 1995, a group of Mexican women in the village of La Patrona, known as “Las Patronas,” prepare water and food packages to toss to people aboard the train as it rushes by. Amid chaos and turmoil, Las Patronas give hope and offer love. 

Dir. Arturo González Villaseñor, 2014, 90 mins. Spanish with English subtitles.
Registration essential.

We are excited to partner with local bakery, Sidewalk Citizen who will be providing complimentary treats, inspired by and accompanying every screening this fall.

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Saturday, November 4th, 1-9/18/17 3pm > PLACEHOLDER: It’s your turn to talk! with d.talks

d.talks

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Join d.talks, presenting in partnership with Esker Foundation, for PLACEHOLDER: It’s your turn to talk! This is an unconventional book club where we present the theme of the afternoon and you bring your own book, poem, or object that you feel best articulates the theme. This is an opportunity for Calgarians to critically discuss and identify how our city and citizens affect and are impacted by local and global themes borne out in the work of Esker’s current exhibiting artists. Let’s form a new narrative in Calgary together! The theme of this PLACEHOLDER will be ‘Borders.’
 
Registration essential.

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Friday, November 10th, 7-9/18/17 8:30pm > r/Evolution: Exhibition Talk

Mary Anne Barkhouse and Jennifer Rudder

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Join artist Mary Anne Barkhouse and guest curator Jennifer Rudder as they address historical and contemporary notions around land from a Western and Indigenous point of view. Engage in a discussion about the role of the animal and avian inhabitants of Le rêve aux loups as guides to our evolving world.

Registration recommended.

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Saturday, November 11th, 1-9/18/17 6pm > Evolution and Play Sculpture Workshop

Mary Anne Barkhouse

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Drawing inspiration from the diverse cultural histories and evolutionary purpose of objects of play, participants in the workshop will create a figurative sculpture from materials such as fabric, wood, foam, and oven-hardened clay. After a brief overview of the exhibition and how the artist references these precedents in her own installations, participants will design and fabricate their own creations based on personal narratives. Participants must be over the age of 16. All materials will be provided.

Registration essential.

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Thursday, November 16th, 7-9/18/17 7:20pm > Esker Film Series: ‘Living with Coyote’

Dir. Priya Shelly

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Living with Coyote, a short documentary, follows generational sheepherders and urban biologists in the American West who share a common concern: coyote presence. With rural coyotes predating on lambs in the Rocky Mountain ranges and urban coyotes feasting on garbage, small pets, and fruit trees in suburban/urban areas, killing the problem coyote seems like a great quick fix. Contrary to this belief, there is no simple solution. Living with Coyote delves into the complexities of keeping our wild neighbours on the land that we share and raises awareness on the importance of human responsibility and stewardship.

Dir. Priya Shelly, DP. Shaka Brookes, 2015, 19 mins.

Registration essential.

We are excited to partner with local bakery, Sidewalk Citizen who will be providing complimentary treats, inspired by and accompanying every screening this fall.

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Thursday, November 16th, 7:30-9/18/17 8:15pm > Esker Film Series: ‘Living with Wildlife’

Dir. Leanne Allison

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The Bow Valley of Alberta is the busiest place in the world where people and grizzly bears still coexist. The documentary Living with Wildlife tells the hopeful story of how communities in the Bow Valley have come together over the past 20 years in order to coexist with grizzly bears and other wildlife. The film also takes a realistic look at the challenges and constant pressures wildlife face.

Filmmaker and director Leanne Allison will join us following the screening to answer questions and discuss the film.
 
Dir. Leanne Allison, 2017, 23 mins.

Registration essential.

We are excited to partner with local bakery, Sidewalk Citizen who will be providing complimentary treats, inspired by and accompanying every screening this fall. 
 

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Thursday, November 23rd, 7-9/18/17 7:40pm > Esker Film Series: ‘The Fence (La Barda)’

Dir. Rory Kennedy

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In October 2006, the U.S. government decided to build a 700-mile fence along its troubled 2000-mile-plus border with Mexico. Three years, 19 construction companies, 350 engineers, thousands of construction workers, tens of thousands of tons of metal and $3 billion later, was it all worth it? The Fence (La Barda) investigates the impact of the project, revealing how its stated goals – containing illegal immigration, cracking down on drug trafficking and protecting America from terrorists – have given way to unforeseen consequences.
 
Dir. Rory Kennedy, 2010, 36 mins.
Registration essential.
 
We are excited to partner with local bakery, Sidewalk Citizen who will be providing complimentary treats, inspired by and accompanying every screening this fall.
 

Register

Saturday, November 25th, 10am-9/18/17 5pm > Introduction to Oil Painting

Douglas Williamson

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Oil painting is a centuries-old tradition and nothing compares to the luminosity that is created by mastering this media. In this workshop, Douglas Williamson will teach a classical approach to painting with oils, showing connections between historic and contemporary practice. He will demonstrate alla prima (wet into wet) painting and working with a limited colour palette to create harmonious old-world quality paintings. Participants will paint a small study of domesticated animals or wildlife. Some basic painting experience is preferred and participants must be over the age of 16. All materials will be provided.

Registration essential.

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Wednesday, November 29th, 7-9/18/17 8:30pm > Wildlife in Our City

Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society

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Did you know that over 400 species of wildlife live within the City of Calgary? Do you have questions about the wildlife that we share our city with? The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society’s expert staff will provide information on local wildlife and wildlife-human conflict and then open up the floor for your questions. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about the various species in your backyard and receive answers to your wildlife related questions. A permanent resident animal from the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society will be in attendance, but there will be no physical interaction with the animal. This is a family-friendly program; however, children must be over the age of 7 to attend.

Registration essential.

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Thursday, November 30th, 7-9/18/17 8pm > Exhibition Tour: We are all in this together

Naomi Potter

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Although the materials used in the work of Mary Anne Barkhouse and Postcommodity share little in common, how they do connect is through a commitment to challenging mainstream social, political, economic, and historical discourses by creating space for Indigenous narratives. Giving space to both human and animal perspectives, this tour will consider the various connections between immigration and migration, borders in relation to boundaries, and imperialism versus the environment.

Registration recommended.

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Thursday, December 7th, 7-9/18/17 8:30pm > Esker Film Series: ‘Boy’

Dir. Taika Waititi

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Boy is a dreamer who loves Michael Jackson. He lives with his brother Rocky, a tribe of deserted cousins and his Nan. Boy’s other hero, his father Alamein, is the subject of Boy’s fantasies, and he imagines him as a deep sea diver, war hero and a close relation of Michael Jackson. In reality Alamein is an inept, wannabe gangster who has been in jail for robbery. When Alamein returns home after seven years away, Boy is forced to confront the man he thought he remembered, find his own potential and learn to get along without the hero he had been hoping for.
 
Dir. Taika Waititi, 2010, 87 mins.
Registration essential.
 
We are excited to partner with local bakery, Sidewalk Citizen who will be providing complimentary treats, inspired by and accompanying every screening this fall.

Register

Saturday, December 9th, 1-9/18/17 2pm > Exhibition Tour: Whose side are you on anyway? 

Shauna Thompson

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As we maneuver together through the subtexts of violence in Mary Anne Barkhouse’s seductive, tableau-like Le rêve aux loups into Postcommodity’s disorienting and uncomfortable A Very Long Line, we will consider the disruption of borders (physical, psychological, political, and social) and the deconstruction of binary, colonial thinking as strategies of adaptability, resistance, and resilience.
 
Registration recommended.