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Beakerhead scurries back on campus

Calgary’s science and art festival to continue to inspire SAIT students.

A nine-metre long dung beetle will grace SAIT campus on Sep. 19, but fear not, it is inflatable, made out of recycled vinyl, and quite magnificent.

The Dung Beetle is a sculpture made by artist Max Streicher, who lives in Toronto, but is originally from Alberta. This sculpture is only one of the many installations coming to Calgary for the science and arts festival Beakerhead this year.

Long-time fan of Beakerhead, and SAIT Marketing Business Partner, Ashley Hartley, says the sculpture is “gigantic.”

Hartley is helping to bring the sculpture to SAIT, and in 2017 was involved with making a mobile pie piece titled “A Slice of Pi” for Beakerhead. Hartley, alongside two instructors from SAIT’s School of Manufacturing and Automation, made this sculpture with paper-mache and L.E.D lighting.

SAIT is a school that encourages one to be innovative, said Hartley, and Beakerhead meshing elements of art and science together aligns well with SAIT’s values.

“[There are] very few events within Calgary that really try to merge engineering and art together,” said Hartley.

“I find that as soon as you do, there’s unlimited amounts of creativity.”

Beakerhead and its installations will ignite students’ imaginations, and encourages them to push boundaries in their courses, said Hartley. It’s a great way to make friends while putting engineering and art together.

The sculpture will be up for four days from Sep. 19 – Sep. 24. 

Students will be able to find it on 16 Ave N.W. and 10 St N.W., right by the E.H Crandell building on SAIT’s campus, standing six metres tall, and nine metres long.

Aside from the Dung Beetle, Beakerhead will have a number of other free-to-visit installations , and both paid and free events throughout the city, such as the Sextant Tesla Coil, a giant and towering tesla coil, and various live performances.

Local Music Lab, an arts experiment comprised of local bands such as Windigo, 36?, The Ashley Hundred, Laura Hickliand, Mikaela Cochrane, and more, will be putting on a science-themed interactive performance at Fort Calgary on Sept. 21.

Each band will be performing around three or four songs, and will end the show together as a super-group. There will be more than a dozen musicians performing on stage at once.

Tory Rosso, Windigo’s guitarist, says this is the first time people will see a performance like this.

Some of the interactive components are still in the works, but Rosso mentioned there will be an interactive peddle board system that allows the audience to mix their own audio, and experience a performance completely catered to their own musical taste.

Some other things the audience can look forward to are 3D visuals, and an octagon of synthesizers.

“We have a strong music scene in this city,” said Rosso.

“I find some of the best events are the ones that are a little left-field, or a little different.”

Rosso has been practicing and preparing for the show with members from the other bands, and says the experience has brought everyone closer together.

He said he’s excited to perform and be able to play on his friend’s songs and if all goes well, Rosso says he would like to do a similar event again.

“It’s not about the individual bands themselves, it’s about the community as a whole.”

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