Perfomative recommendations

Getting the low down on M:ST4

Mountain Standard Time (M:ST) Performative Art Festival was initiated in 2001 by The New Gallery and continues to deliver a potent dose of performative art to the Southern Alberta region biennially. This year’s festival opens with 10 new members including the Glenbow Museum and the Epcor Centre. It will also include commissioned texts that respond to performances artist talks and will co-host the Performance Canada Conference.

“I think the most exciting thing about performance art is how it can infiltrate public spaces activate relationships and has this great potential to involve people in a way that not a lot of other creative practices do” says festival director Nicole Burisch.

“Also a healthy ecosystem has diversity right? If a community is able to support not only mainstream and accessible kinds of art practices like ballet and theatre but can also support more cutting edge and experimental practices I think that says something significant about both the health of our city and our region’s cultural vitality.”

Below are Burisch’s picks for festival goers:


I think that Run Glenbow Museum by artists Jenn Goodwin and Jessica Rose is the performance that I would recommend for somebody new mostly because it’s participatory meaning that you don’t just watch you really have to get in there. On the surface it’s really fun to run in a museum but there’s also a lot of meat there. The whole project causes this re-evaluation of the relationship between the institution and the patrons the spectators and the artists.”


I would recommend the Urban Habitat Laboratory which is Kelly Andres’s work. The work is a mobile dwelling: it’s human-powered it has solar capabilities water collection and a green roof. It’s on this little bicycle unit and she’ll be touring that around the cities of Lethbridge and Calgary and doing educational talks about sustainability and what individuals can do to help the environment. This performance is really hands-on interactive and educational.

“Cindy Baker’s Personal Appearance – Personal Self performance would also be good for kids as well as for newbies to performance art. The artist made a mascot costume of herself like those sport mascot costumes with exaggerated features. She’ll be making appearances throughout the festival signing autographs and giving out special key chains. It’s a super playful piece; she might be hidden by a costume but it’s an exaggerated version of her. Kids will probably love it.”


“I think you and your date should see Duncan Speakman’s sounds from above the ground . That one involves a sound-based walking performance. You show up at Emmedia Gallery and Duncan leads you through the streets collecting audio and feeding it through the wireless microphones that the audience is holding. It’s like storytelling through audio samples. So if you and your date had nothing to say to each other you could just do this thing and be fine. Otherwise you would have a good starting point for an interesting conversation.”


I’m really looking forward to the Run Glenbow Museum but I’ll just be participating as a clapper-cheerer. I’m also looking forward to Cheryl L’Hirondelle’s piece. She’ll be doing a workshop with a group of Alberta College of Art and Design students and have them do performances. I’m really pumped for that. I found that to be one of the highlights of M:ST 3 where we did the same thing and brought in a senior artist to work with the students. Some of the works that the students did were totally phenomenal. It was this really inspiring and exciting night to see the next generation of Calgary performance artists.”