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  This is a tribute to someone who I think is a Prince Edward County rock star, Krista Dalby. Without question, she is a County treasure. And chances are you have either met her here in PEC or you have at least been touched in someway by her community-building events an experiences. I had the good fortune of meeting Krista a couple of years ago through Festival Players (PEC's local professional theatre company). At the time, I really had no idea of how enormously talented she was, nor had I witnessed the extraordinary level of passion, drive and commitment that she clearly has to engage the community on SO many levels. I have since learned that she truly is a creative and inspirational force of nature who literally throws herself, heart and soul, into everything that she does.

Krista is a multi-disciplinary artist (including a puppeteer – I LOVE that); a partner in Small Pond Arts with her husband, another incredibly talented artist, Milé Murtanovski (you can follow him on Instagram + Facebook at @the_naked_silo), and she is also the artistic director of The Department of Illumination (best name ever!) which has been producing the Firelight Lantern Festival since 2013. In February, 2019, Krista and her team successfully launched the amazing and ambitious ICE BOX - a public art project that successfully encouraged members of the community to get outdoors to celebrate art and the beauty of winter. She got me out last February for it, and that’s kind of a big deal (I’m still trying to learn to love winter). And, on top of all that - Krista is also one of the awesome hosts of ArtScene, a weekly arts program on 99.3 County FM.

The second edition of ICE BOX is coming up very soon (February 1-9) and while it is obviously best to visit the official site or social channels (Facebook and Instagram) for all of the details, in a nutshell – lying at the heart of Ice Box are five colourful wooden huts that will once again be transformed into magical interactive art installations lead by local artists in collaboration with community members of all ages. The engaging events feature art, music, dance and are perfect for the whole family to enjoy. And what’s not to love about an event that actually makes you WANT to go outside in February?!? Justin Rutledge is even performing this year but unfortunately his concert is sold out!!

Thank you from me, Krista, for all that you continue to do for the community and while I can’t always make it out to the events that you host – I will always greatly admire your creativity, determination and drive from afar!

To learn more about Krista and all of these amazing events – I’ve listed a number of sources below! You should absolutely follow her socially to keep pace with what she is up to!

Follow Krista on Instagram and Facebook or here through The Department of Illumination website (www.deptofillumination.org).

This year's edition of ICE BOX is happening over two weekends from Feb 1-9, 2020 at the Macaulay Heritage Park in the heart Picton.