Community residents take center stage at Edmonton arts festival

Performers at Saturday's Arts In the Meadows. Courtesy: Arts In the Meadows

7-year-old Sanchita Sethi was a bit nervous before her solo dance performance Saturday.

“It’s called Bhangra—an Indian culture dance,” said Sethi. “At first it felt like there were butterflies in my tummy, but when I went on the stage it sort of felt a bit better.”

Sethi was one of dozens of residents from the Meadows Community League who took the stage at Arts In the Meadows, an event where those in the community are the stars of the show.

“[It’s] a grass-roots celebration of our community residents,” said President of The Meadows Community League, Tara Madden. “[It’s about their] talents and a recognition of diverse cultures that we have residing [here].

Madden says the event brings residents together to share their artistic talents.

“It is put on by the community, for the community,” said Madden. “This is entirely volunteer run. We just really want to celebrate where we live, work and raise our families. That spirit resonates through this entire area, and we are so very proud of that.”

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7-year-old Sanchita Sethi after her performance. Courtesy: Arts In the Meadows
Performers at Arts In the Meadows. Courtesy: Arts In the Meadows
Local artists at Arts In the Meadows. Courtesy: Arts In the Meadows
Couples dancing at Arts In the Meadows. Courtesy: Arts In the Meadows

Sethi said she felt proud to perform in front of familiar faces.

“I saw some of my friends from school [watching me perform] and I saw my mom and dad.”

The event has roots in small beginnings, hosted at a community park—then growing in part thanks to partnerships with The City of Edmonton and the Meadows Community Recreation Centre.

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“Everyone loves it, [the community] appreciates that it’s a celebration of itself,” said Madden. “That kind of true passion for where you live comes through loudly.”

On top of performances on stage, local photographers, and artists were also featured with their work available for purchase.

This is the fifth year of Arts in the Meadows.

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