Art, design & music live in Old Strathcona

We are so excited to once again partner with the SkirtsAfire festival. From March 4-14, experience amazing art, design, and music come to life right here in Old Strathcona. With a strong history of featuring women-identifying and non-binary artists, it was a perfect opportunity to match this year’s Skirt Design competition finalists with a women owned business in the area to display their work.

Pandemic Warfare

“Efforts to combat Covid 19 included imposing varying levels of isolation on society and thus became my inspiration for the 2021 SkirtsAfire design competition. The materials I chose to create the skirt are some of the things we armed ourselves with to get through. Many of the choices were backed by common sense, others allowed us to connect while physically apart and some simply defied logic.” – Skirt Designer, Lorraine Dezman

Photos courtesy of April MacDonald Killins Photography / @april_mac_killins

About Lorraine

Born in the UK, I moved to Canada in 1980. I am a self-taught artist and designer working without rules to find my own way through creative processes. I love using techniques and mediums that cannot be fully controlled, where you never really know where the process will lead and the final outcome is always a bit of a revelation. As long as I can remember, I have had a fascination with things lost, broken, discarded or left behind and find unexpected delight in celebrating flaws and imperfections.

Pondhopper remixed began as a way to simply gather my artistic interests under a name. It has travelled and evolved with me since 2005, growing in a strange meandering adventure of false starts, mistakes, and learnings, strewn with agonizing periods of doubt amidst surges of creative output. One of the unanticipated gifts along this journey has been the remarkable people I have met in the creative community who never fail to inspire me.

The Woodrack Cafe

Melissa Campbell, Kristy Arnholtz

The Woodrack Cafe has called 83rd Avenue home for just over a year after relocating from 109th Street. Owners, Kristy Arnholtz and Melissa Campbell embrace that their story is ever evolving. Kristy said it best, “the patchwork to our quilt we weave together in this experience is uniquely humbling.”

This team loves celebrating their women-identifying and non-binary peers. On their website they’ve dedicated a page to these ‘Boss Babes‘ and recognize people near and far that are making positive impacts on their communities. The page is always growing and you can send them an email to submit someone who you think belongs on this list!

“The most rewarding aspect of owning a business is being able to feel like you’re giving back to your community by offering a safe and welcoming space of comfort for all. Engaging with a customer, then seeing them walk back through your doors will put a smile on my face instantly. Hearing how wonderful our staff is from the public makes me feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to. If our employees are happy, the customers are happy and I’m even happier.”
– Owner, Kristy Arnholtz

Inspiration can sometimes hit you at any moment. It was on a girls trip to Nordegg, where the name of their future business came to life! After capturing some photos of driftwood they collected while kayaking on the lake, Kristy and Melissa saw the name, The Woodrack Cafe blossom right before their eyes.

The Woodrack Cafe / 10335 83 Avenue, Edmonton

For a taste of The Woodrack Cafe at home, their own Moon Phase Coffee collection (in collaboration with Caffe Monte roasters) is available online. But, they are serving up more than just amazing coffee and food. They also carry a beautiful selection of vintage mugs, dishware, cloths, and afghans.

Grab a warm drink and a (masked) friend and join us for a COVID-safe stroll around Old Strathcona to experience the Visual Art Exhibit, Skirt Design Competition, and Key of Me singer-songwriter series.

About SkirtsAfire

Founded in 2012, SkirtsAfire is Edmonton’s only theatre and multidisciplinary arts organization featuring women-identifying and non-binary artists. In conjunction with International Women’s Day, our 10 day programming runs each March at various venues in Edmonton. We present powerful and insightful stories to a diverse audience that is hungry to be moved by passionate performances and exhibitions. Programming reflects the true diversity of the thriving arts community in Alberta and Canada, and is adaptive in its approach in order to remain responsive to the needs of artists and audiences.

SkirtsAfire values diversity in the women we represent and therefore welcomes women artists of all diverse backgrounds including trans women, self-identifying women, non-binary people, the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, all ethnicities and all abilities.

About International Women’s Day

IWD provides an important moment to showcase commitment to women’s equality, launch new initiatives and action, celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness, highlight gender parity gains and more.

Collectively every person and all groups can make a difference within their sphere of influence by taking concrete action to help build a more gender equal world. From small powerful grassroots gatherings to large-scale conference and events – International Women’s Day is celebrated everywhere. It’s a day for big inspiration and change.

Read more about IWD’s herstory here.

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