Laura Bachynski is originally from Windsor, Ontario, but has been living in Edmonton for over twenty years now and now this is where she calls home.

Laura has always had an artistic streak. “My mother tells me that she put a pencil in my hand when I was one year’s old and I was set for a life of loving art,” said Laura.

Laura Bachynski stands smiling next to the painting she created for the 2021 Festival of Trees

Laura was a professional actress and director in Calgary, but when her arthritis put her in a wheelchair for seven years, until she had both hips replaced, she decided she needed to learn another craft. She chose painting and has never regretted this change.

Laura has art hanging in Europe, the United States, Mexico and throughout Canada. She is also a book illustrator, and a singer/songwriter. She is about to record her fourth album called “Let’s Storm Heaven.” She performs in a band called SpiritLine with her husband, and they have continued to share their music by hosting outdoor, socially distanced concerts throughout the summer.

Laura is often inspired to paint images from her travels. She is currently working on a show called “Ways To Get There” in which you’ll find paintings of various modes of transportation: bicycles, old cars and trucks, trains, planes and boats, etc.

For Laura, being chosen as a Festival of Trees artist is one of her proudest moments as an artist.

She hasn’t missed a year of attending the Festival since she moved here from Calgary 20 years ago, when she was invited by a friend who was involved with Festival of Trees to the Luncheon & Fashion Show.

“My favourite thing about the Festival is that it is magical way to start off the holiday season. The beauty of all the decorated trees, the many uplifting voices of the varied children’s choirs, the gingerbread cake competition, Santa, gift shops, and so much more… just put me in the spirit of giving and well-being. It also feels good to know that so many people will be helped from this great fundraising event.”

It is important to Laura that she gives back to her community. “When I am able, I like to share my time, talents, and ‘treasures’ with others. I have been blessed myself in so many ways so it feels good to give back.”

Painting of a winter scene with a pink Christmas tree in front of Edmonton's City Hall, the pyramid light up in yellow with a variety of people admiring the view.

The inspiration for the two paintings Laura created for the 2021 Festival of Trees was the wonderful city of Edmonton and the vibrant colour theme chosen for the event this year – brilliant fuchsia, blues, and greens, popping against a backdrop of black.

A painting of an Edmonton winter scene featuring a couple huddled under a gazebo lit up with Christmas lights, and surrounded by decorated trees

“I hope that both of my paintings represent the many people, of all backgrounds, faiths, ages, abilities, etc.), gathering at this joyous time of year to celebrate how good it feels to finally be together again after a very long year and a half of the pandemic. Although Covid is still very much with us, we can celebrate our diversity and our love of our neighbours in many ways.”

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