Museum-goers enjoy the upbeat, party atmosphere at art show launch

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It’s Saturday night at the Glenbow Museum and people are mingling, sipping wine and chatting while enjoying the museum’s new exhibits.

The scene is a launch party, and it is all a part of the museum’s plan to provide a different environment for Calgarians in order to create a unique art experience.

On Jan. 21, the museum held the first of its upcoming launch parties for this year. It was to celebrate the opening of Laurie Anderson’s “The Gray Rabbit,” an exhibition of photographs by acclaimed Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky called “Encounters” and Iain Baxter&’s “1n40rmat10n.”

Anna Lake, the adult education coordinator for the museum, said that the idea of a launch party is to have new people come out to the Glenbow Museum to experience art in a new and different way.

“These launch parties exist to allow people who would prefer to experience art in the evening but are also interested in the social experience,” Lake said.


The launch parties at the Glenbow Museum started in 2009, and have become more elaborate each year. The Jan. 21 party had many performances including Dan Vacon from the Dudes, DJ Matt Bayliff and a live dance performance from Jennie Vallis. DJ Matt Bayliff spinning at the Glenbow Museum’s launch party on January 21, 2012.
Photo by: Erica Pollock

“The parties have become more involved and are a bigger party with a bigger audience,” Lake said.

Julianna Barabas, a patron at the Glenbow Museum, said she thinks the launch party had a good atmosphere and that it’s good to see new people coming to experience art.

Norah Parkinson, who heard about the launch party through a friend, felt the same.

“I’ve been to the Glenbow before, but this is more of a mingle-type atmosphere. It’s great,” Parkinson said.

If you missed out on the parties there will be more to come.. Lake said that the Glenbow Museum plans to continue the launch parties since they’ve been so successful.

“It’s definitely something we want to continue, grow and change, depending on what it is people want to experience,” Lake said.

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