At the core of performing arts in Alberta, are the people, past and
present, who have shared their creative inspirations, entrepreneurial spirit and passion
for art with their fellow citizens. The Canadian cultural scene thrives on homegrown talent,
people who are discovered, nurtured and have flourished in their hometowns, some eventually
moving on to pursue careers in the greater industry. Alberta is no exception, being home to a
talented group of performers, people who have changed the face of entertainment in our province,
and those who have followed.
Alberta's musical community is bursting with local favourites and international stars alike,
each community holding claim to one celebrity or another. You will find profiles of many
memorable and popular Alberta musicians in this section. Canadian country legend
Ian Tyson single handedly brought cowboy music back onto the scene after an extensive career touring
across the country. k.d. lang has broken barriers with her unique brand of music, tunes that
fall into any number of genres, from pop to folk and country. We also take a look at those
who've made their mark behind the scenes, people such as Holger Petersen,
who has recorded and released albums for dozens of Alberta musicians.
The theatre community in Calgary and Edmonton has always held a special place of pride for
many Albertans. Though they are not household names, the people profiled in this section
such as Brian Paisley, founder of the Edmonton
and Ronnie Burkett, a master of puppetry, have each had a part in shaping theatre arts in the province.
Dance is often an important aspect of celebration, ceremony and entertainment for cultures
from around the world. While many Albertans may be far removed from their cultural roots,
families often carry on the tradition of dance in their individual associations, and throughout
the community at large. It is from these dedicated people that Alberta receives its dance
heritage. This section will profile those who have made such contributions, individuals such
as Dr. Ruth Carse, professional dancer and founder of Alberta Ballet,
and Gene Zwozdesky, an integral member of the Ukrainian dance troupe, Shumka.
In this section you will get a glimpse at the driving forces behind performing arts in Alberta
today, including musicians, composers, actors, directors, dancers and choreographers. Each of
the people listed under the quicklinks section of this page not only have an extraordinary
talent, but possess the drive and ambition that compels them to share it with the greater
population. Profiles include a biography of the artist, a list of their achievements and in
some cases, a look at their impact on Alberta, and the recognitions they have received.