When monthly feature time comes around here at the Airdrie City View, my job is usually to scope out local talent and review their music – hopefully pushing people to learn about and support Airdrie and area musicians.
This month, I feel it is necessary to point out how important it is to support local entertainment, as we recently saw the Airdrie Film Society dissolve – an unfortunate development for local filmmakers.
We don’t have much of an identity in that area, and yet there are so many talented people here. The film society worked tirelessly to try and give something back to local creatives. The Airdrie Film Festival was a cool annual event that piqued several people’s interest in the filmmaking craft, possibly giving them new avenues or options they didn’t know were available.
In Airdrie, there are several talented artists in the form of promising young musicians. A lot of people here are trying to make their way through an alternative route, something that doesn’t always get the respect it deserves in a place where a blue-collar sort of lifestyle is prominent.
I don’t think that is wrong, by the way. I love that this place is known for breeding hard workers, and I know the people who live here take pride in a hard day’s work.
I would be remiss though, if I didn’t mention the important role art plays in our lives. Whether it be movies, music, paintings, memes on Facebook or whatever else. In the words of Shia LaBeouf: “Anything that moves you is art.”
We listen to music, radio and podcasts on our way to work. We take in Netflix shows to unwind in the evenings and on the weekends. I bring this up because it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do – you are probably supporting the arts whether it is intentional or not. I think it is paramount that as we continue to grow, and Airdrie’s identity changes, that we understand and appreciate the role art plays in our lives and support the locals doing it.
If you hear about a local open mic or concert from someone you’ve never heard of before, I encourage you to pop in and give them a chance. You never know who could one day be on top. Maybe Airdrie breeds a special kind of creative, just looking for the support of the community to flourish.
We shouldn’t have to send our talented artists to Calgary, which is what usually happens. We should be able to provide a space where these people can flourish, because art is – and should be – an important part of any community.
If there is anything that the COVID-19 pandemic showed us, it is the importance of community, and how it feels when that is stripped away. Airdronians stepped up in such a huge way to support the local organizations and businesses that operate here to keep them afloat. That is admirable. One of the many reasons it is so great to call Airdrie home is to see how much the community shows up when people are in need.
I am not saying we are in dire straits when it comes to supporting local artists, but it would be pretty cool if it became more a part of our fabric.
I am hoping that moving forward, Airdrie can create an identity that supports local art, which in turn gives us another unique dynamic to add to our city's every expanding resume.