Art in the Park may bring out your inner potter or painter

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Vermilion hosts Art in the Park in conjunction with Alberta Cultural Days on Oct. 1. 
All photos by Sheri Landry


There’s probably no greater satisfaction for an artist than when someone takes an interest in their work, and better yet when a piece catches their eye and they want to bring it home. 

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That’s something potter Heather Millan recalls about Vermilion’s annual Art in the Park event.

“My favourite memory of Art in the Park is seeing the look on people’s faces when they see something unique that they love, and it is on my table” says the local pottery maker and volunteer with the Vermilion Potter Guild.

Art in the Park, put on by the Goodlife Institute, is held in conjunction with Alberta Cultural Days and this year happens Saturday, Oct. 1.  In its second year, it’s an artful showcase for budding and experienced local artists.

The main event is held in Heritage Park, but there are also more things happening around town.

One of the most popular events of the day is the Artist Competition. Think of it as a Top Chef-styled competition, but with water-colours, oils or acrylics instead of recipe ingredients. Each painter gets a blank canvas and six hours to create their artwork at the museum. This year’s theme is Landscapes of Vermilion. Anyone interested can sign up before Sept. 25.

Lake in Vermilion
This scenic view at Rotary Lookout is a well-known landscape in Vermilionfor artists. 

For local artist John Lychak the competition last year made him reach beyond his comfort zone. “Painting something live and in the moment was a real thrill for me,” he says.

Over at the Seniors Centre, people can sip wine, and either watch or take part in the Cab Sav and Canvas function. It’s a chance for budding artists to reveal their creative side in a relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere. Each participant gets a blank canvas and other tools to pursue their artsy idea. The fee is $35 and a glass of wine is $4.

Treats to eat and art to buy 

The aroma of freshly made cinnamon buns and coffee will likely draw you into Heritage Park, where you can peruse artwork and crafts made by locals. Those cinnamon buns and other treats will be made on Vermilion’s new outdoor oven and a free lunch will be served, from sponsors Inter Pipeline.

There’ll be free face-painting for kids and guests of all ages get to enjoy live Ukrainian and Highland dancing.

Art in the Park Vermilion

The painting competition may be the main event at the museum but it will also hold a geocaching session, a roping demonstration and blacksmith presentation outside.

Pottery in Vermilion
Recently made pieces from the Vermilion Pottery Guild.

The Vermilion Pottery Guild, located at the Vermilion Airport, will hold an open house with pottery demonstrations and tours. Visitors can get some hands-on experience moulding their own piece of artwork to take home.

Making pottery in Vermilion
Mary, a volunteer with the Vermilion Pottery Guild, works on a project. 

Discover more in Vermilion

While you are in town discovering the artist within or appreciating the work of local artists, be sure to check out these other sites. 

Rotary Lookout overlooks the Vermilion River.

Hike, walk or bike in Vermilion Park

Vermilion Provincial Park has numerous walking trails both through the trees and along the water’s edge (about 23 kilometres in total) The trails are easy to walk and about five kms are paved for wheeled activities and wheelchairs.

Two large children’s playgrounds, a spray park and mini golf are located in the park as well as a stocked trout pond. If you enjoy being out on the water, a launch is available for boats or canoes. Camping is available for RVs, tents and groups. 

Play nine holes or practice your swing

Golf courses in Vermilion and Mannville are easily accessible for a quick round. The Vermilion course features nine holes, plus­­­­­­­­­­­ a full driving range and practice facility and is found just south of town. 

If You Go

  • Did you know Vermilion is home to Vermilion Provinical Park? The park is about 15 kilometres along the south shore of the Vermilion River Valley. Enjoy a day by the river during your visit. Learn more here.
  • Read our Festival Overview of Art in the Park and start planning your trip to Vermilion
  • Like the town of Vermilion's Facebook page to follow the community and learn more.

Are you ready to get cultured in Vermilion? Share this page with your crew.