Early in September, I started teaching an evening LINC class, 3 nights/week. LINC stands for Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada. The students in this program are immigrants to Canada. The classes are quite interesting because they students choose the topics that they really want and need to study, and the teacher chooses material that will help them understand that subject better. Students taking LINC4 often have a goal of becoming a Canadian citizen, since that’s the required proficiency level. So, we’re working on a lot of information about Canada and the government (3 levels). I’m really fond of taking field trips since they offer so many chances to practice vocabulary, grammar, and phrases that students have learned in class. I’m also really fond of the Alberta Gallery of Art (AGA) as a beautiful and interesting place to visit. On the last Thursday evening of every month, admission to the art gallery is free. So, we started to plan a trip to the art gallery.
The art gallery is located downtown and our class is located in Northeast Edmonton, so we planned to meet at the Art Gallery, instead of the school. We spent time looking at information and watching videos about how to take the LRT (train) to Churchill Square, as well as how to park using the EPark machines downtown. It’s not that easy to figure out, so we spent a couple of classes making instructions for meeting at Churchill Square. Luckily, it worked and almost everyone from the class joined us in the lobby of the art gallery. We found out that night that “event parking” prices were in effect, as they will be every time there’s an event at Edmonton’s new downtown arena. Unfortunately, that information wasn’t available on the City of Edmonton website. My parking at City Hall cost $14!! That’s a bad surprise.
However, everyone made it, and nobody got a parking ticket or a $250 ticket for taking the LRT without a validated ticket! We explored the art gallery for over an hour, and there were many interesting things to see there. On the main floor, the touch gallery was a really interesting image of life under the sea. Everything was made with ordinary household objects and it was okay to touch everything (gently)! On the top floor, there is always an exhibit of modern art, and this father and son exhibit was extremely colourful and interesting. We had fun looking for gnomes, which were included in many of the paintings and sculptures.
On the second level, there was a small, modern exhibit which was just really “interesting”! There’s not really any other way to explain it. Next door, the large gallery was really amazing! the walls were painted with deep, jewel colours. The paintings were all from the Victorian era: later 1800s and early 1900s. There were many gorgeous pictures to see in this area.
After the art gallery, it was time for a break, and some students picked up food at one of the food trucks. We met again in the Stanley Milner Library, on the other side of Churchill Square. There is a lot to see in the library, but many of the books are beginning to be moved to a temporary location at Enterprise Square (above Bay Station on the LRT). We spent time exploring the children’s library, where the librarian was SO friendly and helpful! She shared a checkers set and students took turns challenging each other. She helped another student learn how to borrow and return a book.
After the library, we went back across Churchill Square, where there was a rap and hiphop concert taking place. We enjoyed practicing our dance moves, while the DJ spun a few records. The square also has a ping pong (table tennis) table, a giant chess set, and a basketball hoop that visitors can use. The pools at City Hall are closed for swimming and wading now, but soon, they’ll be used for outdoor skating.
Finally, we took a quick look around City Hall, which is still open to the public in the evenings. It’s a beautiful building, with lots of public art. We stopped by to say “Hi!” to Mayor Don Iveson, but his office was locked for the day. Time for a few photos and then it was time to return to our homes, by train or by car. It was a fun adventure!