Welcome to Deep Freeze, 2019!
It gives me great pleasure to bring greetings to you today on behalf of Premier Rachel Notley and the Government of Alberta, and to welcome you to the 12th Annual Deep Freeze/Byzantine Festival.
This is a special Deep Freeze Festival for me.
As your MLA for the past 19 years, I’ve had the honor of attending this Festival pretty well every year. Sadly, this will also be the last time I’ll be able to bring greetings to it as your MLA, as I will soon be retiring.
I’ve watched this Festival grow over the years, from an event that was scratched out around Christy Morin’s kitchen table to the amazing Festival it has become now.
From those humble beginnings, this Festival has grown into one of Edmonton’s biggest and best FREE Family events. Tens of thousands of people enjoy this festival every year. Hundreds of artists bring an amazing variety of music, dance, visual arts, story-telling, face-painting, food, and other cultural elements to it.
Most importantly, the Deep Freeze Festival has also become an opportunity for us to get out and meet each other around the stages and galleries, at Pipon Village or the Ice Kingdom or any of the other venues hosting activities this weekend.
It has fostered not only the arts, but also the community and the people that supports and welcomes the arts.
It has become a powerful vehicle for positive social change.
We see that happening when we look around this area. We hear about it when we listen to the stories of our neighbours. And we add to that when we take part in a wonderful event like this.
Thank you, Deep Freeze Festival, for bringing us all together, a little closer to one another.
And thank you for making us all a little better because of that.
I wish the very best for this Festival now and in years to come. I wish the very best to all of you too --- the organizers, the hundreds of volunteers, the artists and performers, and everyone coming out to enjoy “The Ave” this weekend.
HAPPY DEEP FREEZE!!!
Brian Mason, M.L.A.