For Immediate Release / June 30, 2023

Local Talent Sparkles at the 6th Annual Illuminate

Though it’s become one of St. Albert’s most beloved youth arts events, Illuminate could’ve easily been a one time thing, here and gone in a single afternoon.  

“Originally, it started off as just a project idea,” recalls Kierra Leung, a member of the Amplify Committee that organizes Illuminate. “We loved it so much the first time that we just kept going.”  

Now in its sixth year—it managed to run safely during the pandemic—Illuminate continues to offer young artists in the city a chance to showcase their creativity. From music to visual arts, workshops to exhibits, the city’s talented up and comers will get to present their work in a summer afternoon’s glow. 

Youth playing a guitar and singing

Two youths playing music. One singing and one playing guitar

Leung notes that making Illuminate a recurring event has expanded Amplify’s ability to support young creatives in St. Albert—instead of a lone October festival, there was now another event in a different time of year, “which just gave us more opportunity to interact with the community,” Leung says. “That's what we really liked. Also, it wasn't cold as it was in October. It was nice and warm.” 

This year does mark a few changes, however: Illuminate has moved from August to July, and from its previous home of Kingswood Park to a new spot in and around St. Albert Place. The reason for the move was pretty simple: they now have access to power without having to deal with a mountain of cables. 

“We don't wanna fight with not having [electricity], or just having many extension cords,” Leung recalls. “So now we actually have power, which is great. Welcome to the modern century!” 

A photo hanging from a tree

A hand painting a image of a girl on a canvas

Still, Leung explains they aren’t straying too far from what’s worked in the past to make Illuminate so engaging in the first place: “keeping true to our roots, but also, exploring and creating more aspects. Just to give it a little bit of like kind of a facelift if you will” 

After all, the importance of supporting young people’s artistic interests can’t be understated. 

“Illuminate gives us an opportunity to create a safe space for youth to showcase their pieces, gain some confidence, gain some connections, and just have an opportunity to have fun, which I think is something that we definitely need to make time for,” Leung says. “We can create as many programs as we want for their education and for their mental health—which is important—but we also need to create opportunities for them to have fun. 

“You need somewhere to belong, and Illuminate creates an opportunity for that.” 

Article written by: Paul Blinov

Illuminate happens in and around St. Albert Place on Saturday, July 22 from 1:30 to 6:30pm.

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Last edited: August 28, 2023