Alex: I attended Artstrek for three seasons – my favourite was The Aberhart Summer. I went on to pursue theatre in high school, and was lucky to enjoy professional performances with Theatre Alberta and the Alberta Government on an Alberta Centennial Initiative tour. I also was lucky to be accepted as a Junior Apprentice at Alberta Theatre Projects in 2006. There, I learned that I could be just as involved and connected to the arts community I loved while still pursuing other passions. I studied Communications and Public Relations in University. Today I own my own PR consultancy and have enjoyed a thrilling career in media relations – often times getting to work with companies and artists from local collective to Broadway tours. I’m extremely grateful for the connections made at Artstrek.
Always love connecting again with Artstrek alumni! Find me on twitter at @AlexKGT.
Artstrek will forever hold a place in my heart. I could go on about the people I met, both students and instructors, that impacted me forever and solidified my passion for the arts (on and on) but my most profound memory involved a tragic situation.
My second year at Artstrek, a little more than half way through the week, I received a call that a beloved friend had passed away in a tragic car accident. I remember walking to my room in a haze feeling completely alone and naturally devastated, only to be greeted by my Super. Everything changed after that. She lovingly comforted me and, when I was ready, helped me plan how I wanted to spend the next few days. With great compassion and patience, our directors (my ‘Mom and Dad’ away from home, as they liked to be called) allowed me to take the time I needed to grieve privately while still enjoying the fruits of my labour throughout the week: allowing me to enjoy final performances and invaluable time with my new friends. I’ll never forget hearing that they were glad I decided to stay for the final performance, and their gracious offer to allow me to sit with them to watch the final rehearsals when I wasn’t up for performing myself. In a time of confusion and sadness, I felt I was surrounded by friends who made me feel understood and cared for. Their guidance during that time was invaluable and I will never forget their kindness.
I was reminded of this during a conversation over a game of scrabble with the delight Karen Johnson Diamond (Artstrek royalty). Just goes to show that the connections, made in great times and in bad, at Artstrek can last a lifetime.