Fluevogers know that May 15 is International Fluevog Day – John Fluevog’s birthday – and it’s the best day of the year. Why is that, you might ask? Well, Fluevog celebrates by knocking 15% off all shoes. Store manager Signe, says some shoe enthusiasts will wait all year for this day and that it’s a crazy bit of fun.
If you were a true Fluevoger, you’d probably know that this is a home-grown, Canadian success story. John Fluevog’s story started in 1973 in Gastown, downtown Vancouver, with a partnership between Peter Fox and a store named, Fox and Fluevog, which lasted 10 years. By the 1980s, he was on his way to carving his own path and by 2019, people in cities across North America, and even in Europe, have access to his creations, including: Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal; Ottawa, Victoria, Vancouver, Quebec, Portland, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Denver, New Orleans and Amsterdam.
Beyond his own ability to create stunningly unique footwear designs, Fluevog is also a long-time supporter of art, and especially the creative endeavors of others. They do this through a several initiatives that give enthusiasts a chance to become a part of the Fluevog story.
Through “Fluevog Creative,” Fluevogers can submit an ad design that could be used in magazines around the globe. Fluevog chooses the finalists and fans participate in the “Fluevocratic Movement” to choose the winner. “Open Source Footwear” gives burgeoning designers the opportunity to submit ideas and concept. If your submission peaks Fluevog’s interest, your design could become a shoe, named after you, and a pair for your own feet. You can see one winner's fanciful submission at right. Understanding that Fluevogers are a creative bunch, the engagement doesn’t stop there.
The “Fluevog Artist Grant” is the initiative that most closely aligns with Art Walk participants, and the philosophy behind the Whyte Avenue store’s involvement with this festival. Emerging visual artists, so photography, textiles, painting, drawing, illustration, sculpture and mixed media artists are invited to submit designs and proposals. Each year one successful artist wins a pair of shoes and $10,000 toward the creation of their work. That’s pretty neat.
The Whyte Avenue store has a large two-piece installation created by Calgary-born, Edmonton-based interdisciplinary artist Tiffany Shaw-Collinge.
She drew on her Métis heritage to create something relevant for the Edmonton store. Shaw-Collinge’s piece depicts the floral pattern of her Great Grandmother, that was originally used in beading, and on leather.
John Fluevog is a pretty interesting guy. Aside from the attraction of beautiful shoes, all of this community engagement really reflects in the sunny, positivity of the staff and the atmosphere at the Whyte Avenue store.
And thanks to the generosity of the Edmonton store, one lucky Art Walk volunteer will be strutting some of this Fluevog finery! Of course, there a dozen great reasons to take part in Art Walk as a volunteer, but the support of the business community is a really nice perk. You can find more information about volunteering at: http://art-walk.ca/duties
If you want to get in on the birthday action and celebrations, you might get the chance to be part of the "class photo." Below is the group from last year. Oh! You can find them at 10330 Whyte Avenue. Happy Birthday, John!
The role of business and volunteer coordinator for Art Walk requires a lot of planning, communicating, scheduling and balancing – my inner geek enjoys these details – but I can say with confidence that my favourite aspect is working with people.
I get to know a little more about our returning volunteers as each year passes, plus, the opportunity to meet new volunteers and interact with patrons. It’s really something special to be part of this event.
At some point, leading up to the event, I interact with each of the Old Strathcona businesses that are directly impacted by the visitation of 450 amazing artists over the course of Art Walk weekend. Of course, I learn more about the managers, staff and owners of the businesses we build community partnerships with.
Some of these businesses will provide perks, gifts or prizes for our volunteers. Still others provide important supports, such as a respite where our volunteers are welcome to use a rest room and top up their refillable water bottles. Some businesses will provide support to the artists located in front of their location. Each of these partnerships help make Whyte Avenue Art Walk the welcoming and supportive community event that it is. It definitely takes a village.
Over the coming weeks, I’d like to introduce you to some of the businesses that are most involved, and as such, the people and stories behind this supportive community. The strength of this festival is all about the relationships we build and the community we create. I think you’ll enjoy the stories and tidbits I’ve learned, from the people who put a face to the logo.
Summer 2019, The Street Performers' Festival is celebrating their 35th Anniversary. Due to construction in Churchill Square, the City of Edmonton has granted them use of McIntyre Park during July 5 - 14, 2019. Does that sound like the same dates as the Whyte Avenue Art Walk? Yes they are. Are we displaced? We are indeed. This is not a new threat. It has been coming for years. This year, we were unable to hold our ground; I believe it came down to a coin toss.
The Whyte Avenue Art Walk will not be in McIntyre Park, the bus lane closure on 104 Street or the street closure on 83 Avenue. This means that 106 local visual artists and long-time Art Walk participants will be displaced. We are challenged to come up with alternative street closure areas for these artists. Civic Events Edmonton (upon advice from Transportation, Transit and Emergency Medical Services) have suggested that the following street closures
Fill the sidewalks from 99 St to 109 St.
Create partial street closures on 108 St, 107 St, 105 St, and 102 St.
Close 81 Ave between 104 St and 105 St.
Talk with your Art Walk friends and have a back-up street in mind. These spaces are going to fill quickly.
See you all on registraiton day May 4, 2019 at The Paint Spot 10032 81 Avenue starting at 10 AM.
The 24th Annual Whyte Avenue Artwalk is going to be huge. We need YOUR help! Alongside some of the other perks you enjoy for volunteering with us, here are three other priceless benefits:
1) You are supporting a cultural institution of the Strathcona community. The Art Walk has been happening for more than two decades now and it couldn't happen without people like you. Every year the festival serves as a hub of creativity, gathering artists from all over the city.
2) You'll be talking to all kinds of visitors, acting as a guide and ambassador to those new to Edmonton and/or the festival. Make connections and meet new friends.
3) You are contributing to the arts community in Edmonton. You are part of the network that includes all the amazing local talent exhibiting during the Art Walk and all of the other volunteers! Get inspired by the artwork around you and talk to the artists that create it.
Where does function meet art? To find out the answer to this question, visit the bustling pop-up market located on the parking lot in front of Southside Memorial Chapel (corner of 104th Street & 84th Avenue). This market showcases more than 30 booths of handmade crafts by your favourite local artisans making both practical and pretty works.
Since 2014, we've partnered with On the Spot Pop Ups to expand representation of other artists, designers & makers at the Whyte Avenue Art Walk. Now makers of unqiue and functional items made by hand have great spot to showcase their wares! It is thanks to our friends at On the Spot Pop Ups and Southside Memorial that this opportunity can take place.
*The Paint Spot does not handle any of the administration of this market. Please contact On the Spot Pop Ups for all application information*
Here are quotes we gathered from artists last year. "What does the Art Walk do for You?
The Whyte Avenue Artwalk has been a highlight of my career since I began selling my art 17 years ago. Over the years I have built up a client base from participating in Artwalk. Not only is the Artwalk a great place to showcase your work to thousands of potential buyers, but I find choosing art is so personal that people may see my work 5-10 times before they actually buy anything. The beauty of participating in Artwalk every year, is that people tend to remember my work from years past, and end up investing in an original as they have grown to know me as an artist, and watched my career develop over the years. I have become friends with many of my clients and it is very exciting to see new buyers and also returning customers to add to their collection of my work. I count myself blessed to live in Edmonton with a strong art community.
Although this was only my first year at Art walk, it has inspired me to do it again next year, as well as any smaller events there may be to showcase my Art. I've always wanted to do Art walk, as i have been going to the even for about 5 years now. Having the chance to work on the street and have a conversation with a new fan about what inspires me or how i made a particular piece was fantastic. I was nervous to showcase my art, as my pieces don't necessarily fit the usual look i have seen at previous years. Art walk has given me a huge passion to take a more active interest in my art
7 years ago a friend of mine from highschool asked me if I had ever heard of the Whyte Avenue Art Walk, I said, "the what?" He explained to me that every year on Whyte Ave, artists of all sorts set up for the weekend, displayed their work, painted and drew for everyone to see. I'd never heard of anything like it and I was instantly hooked. When I went to sign up they were doing something called Nudes on Whyte and that's when I decided that I wanted to paint nudes. I'd done some figure drawing at the time and the Art Walk was my push into painting nudes. I've been painting nudes for seven years now and have grown into a style of my own that I feel very at home with. It's my passion and the Art Walk has helped me come into my own.
I also had never thought it a realistic possibility that I could make my passion into a business and I can happily say that this year I've expanded beyond the Art Walk for the first time and have been able to exhibit and sell my work at several different events and venues.
I encourage anyone with an artistic or creative bone in their body to take this opportunity to show Edmonton what you're made of. The wonderful people at the Paint Spot are very supportive of the creativity in this city.
The Whyte Avenue Art Walk has meant so much to my career! I started as a timid artest who enjoyed making small pieces for myself and close family and friends. Once my peer and veteran Art Walk participant talked me into joining her I had to pick up my game. My first year was scary but was a HUGE success. Art Walk helped me find my strengths and gave me the confidence to explore further with my art. Nothing feels better than having a stranger stop to look at your pieces and complement you on your work. 2015 will be my fourth Art Walk and I cannot wait to be a part of the 20th anniversary celebration!
The art walk has been instrumental in the success of my art career. Have made many sales and connections for further sales and projects. The foot traffic is huge…can’t say enough good things about it.
Art walk is awesome.