How It All Began
Many Artists suffer the frustration of lack of space, money and time. Our founder, Dawn Allen, was no different. In her late 30’s she attended her 1st pottery class. A couple years later she was able to attend another class. This pattern repeated itself and, over many years, Dawn gained exposure to various types of art and mediums until she had explored enough to feel comfortable with the label “aspiring sculptor”.
As time went on Dawn tried to create space to do clay sculpture in her home. Each time she developed a space it was needed by the family for a more practical purpose. Additionally, there was limited budget left over for the equipment or classes to develop her knowledge.
This is when the seed started to sprout…“I bet there are other people who experience this same frustration who would like the chance to share space.” Not a radical idea, but...this seed grew and expanded to who we are today.
In 2018 Dawn purchased a separate weekend getaway in the community of East Coulee just East of Drumheller. This was the original site intended for DDR but as the scope of the project grew, so did the land requirement. The newly acquired land in Rosedale has the perfect "Happy" background to support our goal.
A modern, fully equipped facility where members can access the space, equipment and basic supplies to develop their skills in the creative arts.
What's in a Name?
DDR: Finding a name that suited both the professional and informal nature of DDR was a challenge. Encompassing both fine arts and creative arts we feel this name encourages the collaborative nature of the Centre.
Ina's Inspiration Studio: Ina Ully was Dawn Allen's grandmother who immigrated to Canada from Finland. Ina lived a quiet life on a farm in Southern Alberta. During Dawn's youth Ina would send letters that included pretty water colours of either plants or small animals that she had seen on the farm. Finding joy and beauty in nature was an inspiration to Dawn and has influenced many of her choices in life.
The Hive: We wanted a name that would reflect the collaborative nature of our "clean" space. This space is set up to encourage members to try new things and innovate together. The area will also buzz with activity as an indoor alternative for Live Music offered at The Roaring Donkey.
Lady Belle's: Is a tribute to Ms. Belle Prothro who is a long time family friend and supporter of DDR. After loosing the love of her life when her children were young, Lady Belle lives a life of resourcefulness and resilience. Bringing joy and light to those she touches.
The Roaring Donkey: Dawn worked out of Europe for a time and was based in Swindon, UK. The Roaring Donkey Swindon became her neighbourhood pub and Dawn enjoyed live music there every Wednesday night when she wasn't working out of town. This pub is the inspiration for DDR's Wednesday night Live Music.