– Jeremy Derksen
Vermilion, AB – Launching a business during the pandemic took panache, but Heather Millan is in the right place. There has been a creative strain running through Vermilion for years. In the last five years, the small town of 4000 has seen an impressive run of new business openings and events, bringing a liveliness to main street.
“Especially during this time, the importance of art is mental wellness. This is a happy place to be,” says Millan, gesturing towards the art lining the walls of the gallery she opened in September 2020.
Take a page from Millan’s playbook and find your happy place with a visit to Vermilion for some art, retail and nature therapy all in one.
Explore the town’s vibrant arts scene
Millan’s Upper Level Pottery and Art Gallery is a space to enjoy art and to learn to create it. See the gallery’s website for class schedules and sign up. Or just pop in and soak up the creative ambiance. And make a plan to visit Vermilion for the annual Art in the Park event on September 11, 2021, when Upper Level-featured artists will be hosting giving workshops.
Book your space for Art in the Park today, produced by Vermilion’s Goodlife Institute – held within Vermilion’s Heritage Park. A creative celebration including a local art competition, artisan vendors from across Alberta’s North East and all you need t take a creative day under the eye of a local artist, Monica To. She plays coach to your creative approach on canvas, and then celebrate your newfound artists by ponying up to the bar at the Copper Cork Distillery (order a Vermilion’aire).
Sign up for the $25 art class that includes everything you need here http://thegoodlifeinstitute.ca/gli-events/art-in-the-park/painting-class-registration-form/
Find new treasures
Found treasures constitute another kind of artistic pleasure. This is the premise behind Underground Treasures, which shares a space in the same building as Upper Level. Locally crafted goods and artisanal products, such as hand-knit stuffies, home decor and jewellery and accessories fill the space.
Take a nature break
No visit to Vermilion is complete without a visit to Vermilion Provincial Park. Take a peaceful moment to sit by the fish pond in Vermilion Provincial Park and skip rocks, sit on the dock by the lake, or just wander the hiking trails.
Getting purposefully lost is itself an art form of sorts. Exploring and enjoying new experiences is a way to give our brains a break and restore wonder and excitement to our lives. Whether it’s nature, art or retail therapy, this is the creative promise of a visit to Vermilion.