Taking place from July 25th to August 1st, the Emma International Collaboration is an unstructured, creative collaboration between invited artists from all over the world. Affectionately known as “Emma,” this biennial week-long residency takes place at the Ness Creek Festival Site in Northern Saskatchewan. Artists at various stages of their careers are challenged to step outside their usual art practice to explore medium, technique, and subject matter through hands on collaboration and exciting creative exchange.

Mike Free


What is your current area of artistic interest?

My current work varies somewhat. My last craft project was building an end table at the 2017 Frogwood Collaboration, collaborating with a welder and a steel fabricator, which included working with a stone slab, glow-in-the-dark pigmented polyester resin to fill cracks and knotholes in the wood and fastening the top and bottom with forged decorative fasteners. I have recently begun using acrylic paint on 3D wooden objects.

What is an an interesting or surprising aspect of yourself as an artist?

Although I majored in geology in undergraduate and graduate school, I took art classes for seven years in college. I have (some) experience in a wide range of crafts, including jewellery making, metal raising, woodworking, wood carving, acrylic painting, printmaking, and plastics fabrication.

If you could have an artistic super power, what would it be?

To live long enough to master something!

What is the biggest thrill for you as an Emma participant?

Having been involved with the Frogwood Collaboration for the last seven years and being a first timer to Emma, I am excited once again to meet and craft with world-class craftspeople and to be inspired by people’s creative genius and skill.

Emma Art Auctions

Ness Creek

  • WHEN: Wednesday, August 1
  • WHERE: Ness Creek Festival Site, east of Big River, SK


  • WHEN: Thursday, August 2
  • WHERE: Holy Family Cathedral, 123 Nelson Road, Saskatoon, SK

These live and silent art auctions take place at the end of Emma at the site and in Saskatoon. The auctions are fun, free, and open to the public. This could be the beginning of your art collection! See what artistic magic occurred at the week-long collaboration! Bid on sculptures, paintings, furnishings, jewellery, and wearable art created by more than 80 international, national, and local artists. Proceeds help fund the next Emma.

The Saskatoon auction will feature food by Fresh Dish Catering and a musical performance by Saskatoon local Ellen Froese.