Author: Friends of the Library

Reel Monday begins in one week!

Reel Monday begins in one week!

We are looking forward to the first Reel Monday film on Monday, September 27 at the Arden Theatre, starting at 7:00 pm. See below for new COVID restrictions. You can still purchase your tickets at the link below:

Proof of vaccination is now required for admittance to the Arden Theatre (or negative test or valid medical exemption). Face masks are also required. Click here for more info.

Get your season pass for $50, or purchase your tickets $15 for each individual movie you are interested in (plus Eventbrite fees).

  • Please contact friends@sapl.ca or visit the Library Customer Service Desk if you need assistance with purchasing your tickets, whether with alternative payment options or if you need help navigating the website.
  • As this is a Friends fundraiser, there will be no refunds.
  • Tickets can be purchased online until just before the movie begins but will not be available in-person at the door before the movie.

The Father (2020): Anthony is 80, mischievous, living defiantly alone and rejecting the carers that his daughter, Anne, encouragingly introduces. Yet help is also becoming a necessity for Anne; she can’t make daily visits anymore and Anthony’s grip on reality is unravelling. As we experience the ebb and flow of his memory, how much of his own identity and past can Anthony cling to? How does Anne cope as she grieves the loss of her father, while he still lives and breathes before her? THE FATHER warmly embraces real life, through loving reflection upon the vibrant human condition; heart-breaking and uncompromisingly poignant – a movie that nestles in the truth of our own lives.

The Public (2019): An unusually bitter Arctic blast has made its way to downtown Cincinnati and the front doors of the public library where the action of the film takes place. At odds with library officials over how to handle the extreme weather event, some homeless patrons turn the building into a shelter for the night by staging an “Occupy” sit in. What begins as an act of civil disobedience becomes a stand-off with police and a rush-to-judgment media constantly speculating about what’s really happening. This David versus Goliath story tackles some of our nation’s most challenging issues, homelessness and mental illness and sets the drama inside one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: your public library.

French Exit (2021): “My plan was to die before the money ran out,” says 60-year-old penniless Manhattan socialite Frances Price (Michelle Pfeiffer), but things didn’t go as planned. Her husband Franklin has been dead for 12 years and with his vast inheritance gone, she cashes in the last of her possessions and resolves to live out her twilight days anonymously in a borrowed apartment in Paris, accompanied by her directionless son Malcolm (Lucas Hedges) and a cat named Small Frank—who may or may not embody the spirit of Frances’s dead husband.

In The Heights (2021): In Washington Heights, N.Y., the scent of warm coffee hangs in the air just outside of the 181st St. subway stop, where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies a vibrant and tight-knit community. At the intersection of it all is a likeable and magnetic bodega owner (Anthony Ramos) who hopes, imagines and sings about a better life.

Reel Monday Fall 2021 Tickets

Reel Monday Fall 2021 Tickets

Join us at the Arden Theatre for special film screenings on Monday nights at 7:00 pm, monthly from September to December! All proceeds support the St. Albert Public Library.

Get your season pass for $50, or purchase your tickets $15 for each individual movie you are interested in (plus Eventbrite fees).

  • Please contact friends@sapl.ca or visit the Library Customer Service Desk if you need assistance with purchasing your tickets, whether with alternative payment options or if you need help navigating the website.
  • As this is a Friends fundraiser, there will be no refunds.
  • Tickets can be purchased online until just before the movie begins but will not be available in-person at the door before the movie.
  • By September 27, it is expected that there will be no requirements for masking or public health measures at the Arden Theatre, though we do not know what the COVID situation will be at that time. Please check on the Arden or City website prior to the screening to see if any public health measures are in place.

The Father (2020): Anthony is 80, mischievous, living defiantly alone and rejecting the carers that his daughter, Anne, encouragingly introduces. Yet help is also becoming a necessity for Anne; she can’t make daily visits anymore and Anthony’s grip on reality is unravelling. As we experience the ebb and flow of his memory, how much of his own identity and past can Anthony cling to? How does Anne cope as she grieves the loss of her father, while he still lives and breathes before her? THE FATHER warmly embraces real life, through loving reflection upon the vibrant human condition; heart-breaking and uncompromisingly poignant – a movie that nestles in the truth of our own lives.

The Public (2019): An unusually bitter Arctic blast has made its way to downtown Cincinnati and the front doors of the public library where the action of the film takes place. At odds with library officials over how to handle the extreme weather event, some homeless patrons turn the building into a shelter for the night by staging an “Occupy” sit in. What begins as an act of civil disobedience becomes a stand-off with police and a rush-to-judgment media constantly speculating about what’s really happening. This David versus Goliath story tackles some of our nation’s most challenging issues, homelessness and mental illness and sets the drama inside one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: your public library.

French Exit (2021): “My plan was to die before the money ran out,” says 60-year-old penniless Manhattan socialite Frances Price (Michelle Pfeiffer), but things didn’t go as planned. Her husband Franklin has been dead for 12 years and with his vast inheritance gone, she cashes in the last of her possessions and resolves to live out her twilight days anonymously in a borrowed apartment in Paris, accompanied by her directionless son Malcolm (Lucas Hedges) and a cat named Small Frank—who may or may not embody the spirit of Frances’s dead husband.

In The Heights (2021): In Washington Heights, N.Y., the scent of warm coffee hangs in the air just outside of the 181st St. subway stop, where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies a vibrant and tight-knit community. At the intersection of it all is a likeable and magnetic bodega owner (Anthony Ramos) who hopes, imagines and sings about a better life.

Reel Monday Fall 2021 Dates

Reel Monday Fall 2021 Dates

The Friends of the Library are happy to announce that movies for Reel Monday will begin again in September. We have been given 4 dates by the Arden Theatre (the links take you to the movie trailers):

This is a “save the date” so you can keep these Monday evenings free to attend the movies. Once details are firmed up with the Arden and a date for when tickets go on sale is given, we will share more information. Below is some advance information regarding ticket sales:

  • Tickets must be purchased through the Arden Theatre. This is to ensure that the Arden has control of ticketing and has the ability to contact trace should a member of the audience test positive for COVID.
  • As with any Arden event, ticket purchases will include a service charge.
  • Ticket prices are: Season ticket of 4 for $50. Single tickets $15 each.
  • As this is a Friends fundraiser, there will be no refunds for unused tickets.
  • Tickets can be purchased online until just before the movie begins but will not be available in-person at the door before the movie.

Up to date information will be posted on the Friends website www.friendsofsapl.ca and on the Friends Facebook page. Please contact Valerie Spink at vspink@shaw.ca with any questions.

All Reel Monday proceeds benefit STARFest – St. Albert Readers’ Festival.

President’s Report 2020

President’s Report 2020

May 5, 2021

“In a world of changes, contributing to the health of your library is one of the only legacies that really lasts. And in building a legacy for your loved ones, you’re also investing in a more literate, more enlightened world.”

Lois Hole

Every spring, the Friends of St. Albert Public Library gather at the Library for our Annual General Meeting, reflecting on the previous January to December year and tying up loose ends before our summer break. This AGM in May of 2021, we gather virtually to reflect on all that we did in 2020.

2020 kicked off with the grand opening of Jensen Lakes Library in the north end of St. Albert. The Friends were excited to attend this event to celebrate the long-awaited expansion of our Library. Through our casino fundraising, which involves many dedicated volunteers on our Friends team and other library supporters, we committed to donating $25,000 to Jensen Lakes Library, beginning with $12,000 in 2020 and $13,000 to follow in 2021.

Early in the year, we created a CanadaHelps profile for online donations, allowing us to accept ticket sales, donations, and membership dues with greater convenience. Many Reel Monday attendees this season used CanadaHelps to purchase their tickets, and we received additional donations from individuals.

When we returned to regular meetings in September after our summer break, we held our first-ever virtual meeting. Our 2020 AGM was held in October during which we elected our Board. This meeting marked the end of Valerie Spink’s exceptional term as President of the Friends, having started her Friends volunteering around 1992 and holding a variety of Board positions over the years.

Audience in a brewery watching two speakers at the Hockey Talk with Mark Spector event
Hockey Talk with Mark Spector in February 2020

Sports journalist Mark Spector and former mayor of St. Albert Nolan Crouse hosted a hockey talk event over beers and finger food at Endeavour Brewing Co. in February, with funds supporting STARFest.

Our 16th Reel Monday season included five films, two of which were screened before the pandemic: Where’d You Go, Bernadette? and After the Wedding. In March, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the rescheduling of our remaining three films (Judy, The Good Liar, and Ford v. Ferrari) due to the temporary closure of the Arden Theatre.

In March, St. Albert Public Library facilities closed under the new public health restrictions. Our passion for supporting the Library was only strengthened through the pandemic, with library staff developing new ways to fulfill educational, social, economic, and recreational needs of St. Albertans. We were impressed with the curbside pickup, virtual programming, and pivoting between facility opening and closure through each wave of public health restrictions.

To better reach our Friends supporters, we introduced an email newsletter inspired by the Story Lines newsletter we published in the 1990s. We publish this newsletter quarterly – once each season – to share news on events and fundraisers. The Friends launched a website at http://www.friendsofsapl.ca that is now our go-to information hub  for all things Friends.

We were fortunate to have one of the final casino volunteering dates before casino volunteering was suspended due to public health restrictions. These casino funds contributed toward our $25,000 of donations to Jensen Lakes Library. We look forward to our next casino in 2022.

View of people in a theatre separated by distance with Valerie speaking on the stage, showing a COVID-safe Reel Monday screening
COVID-safe Reel Monday

We were pleased to hold the October and November Reel Monday screenings successfully under strict COVID-19 safety protocols, after rescheduling these dates in September, and were saddened to cancel the December screening due to the second wave of the pandemic. We are grateful for the patience and cooperation of all Reel Monday attendees, especially those who have been dedicated supporters for many years, and the unwavering support of City and Arden Theatre staff. 

The Friends donated $6,000 to the St. Albert Readers’ Festival (STARFest), raised through our Reel Monday film series. Instead of an in-person series of author talks, STARFest was held via virtual live streams in the fall.

In a year like no other, we were proud to continue supporting the St. Albert Public Library and the incredible library staff who provide library services in rain, shine, or pandemic. 

Graeme Matichuk

President, Friends of St. Albert Public Library

friends@sapl.ca // http://www.friendsofsapl.ca

Screenshot of Zoom meeting with Friends members
Friends AGM held virtually in October 2020

Friends Board and Volunteers (as of Oct. 2020):

  • Graeme Matichuk, President & Marketing Chair
  • Joanne Root, Vice President
  • Sandra Fildes, Secretary
  • Richard Brooks, Treasurer
  • Valerie Spink, Casino & Fundraising Chair, & Past President
  • Verla Carter
  • Wendy Stuart-Hughes
  • Charmaine Brooks
  • Terry Korte
  • Barb Moreau
  • Kathie Konarzewski
  • Allice Laderoute
  • Marg Mazer
  • Charleen Currie

Digital version with 2020 financial statements available for download below:

Interested in supporting the Friends?

We are a group of library lovers supporting the St. Albert Public Library.

Friends 2021 Annual General Meeting

Friends 2021 Annual General Meeting

The Friends of the Library Annual General Meeting will be held virtually on Wednesday, May 5 at 7:00 pm via Zoom.

We will be presenting a record-breaking $23,000 of donations to the Library, electing our next Board, and more. Everyone is welcome to attend the AGM. If you are interested in joining the Friends to attend our regular monthly meetings, please connect with us at friends@sapl.ca.

Email friends@sapl.ca for the Zoom link.