The Stage Set for Summerside Arts Festival
Street music, artist demonstrations, and outdoor concerts are a taste of what can be enjoyed in the upcoming days at the Summerside Arts Festival happening in the downtown area, July 23rd to 25th.
The festival, presented by Wyatt Heritage Properties Inc., is not new, but it does have a new name. Previously known as Arts in Motion – Chautauqua Festival, the organizer made a name change to make it clear to the public the festival is about celebrating the artistic community of the city and province, and having fun doing so. The name Chautauqua, taken from the travelling North America art festival that came to Summerside throughout the 1920s, rather bewildered people as did the term, Arts in Motion. But the two components will remain inside the Summerside Arts Festival.
Over seventy-five artists will put their talents on display during the festival. From 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, each of the three days, people can stroll along downtown historic Water Street to see the Arts in Motion. They can watch and talk with artists and artisans at work demonstrating their craft. Some of the demonstrations will be interactive and participants will be invited to pull up a chair and work alongside the artists. “The Four Gallants,” Peter, Alexandra, Victoria, and Max, will make the street resonate with music during the time frame. People are encouraged to put the questions to the artists about their work and about their place in building community. A new street component will be the Refresh Project. Five artists were challenged with producing a piece of art using only recycled materials.
Come 2 pm each day, the venue changes to the 1867 Lefurgey Cultural Centre, part of Wyatt Heritage Properties, at the corner of Granville and Prince Streets, just several blocks up from Water Street, for a series of talks and performances. This is the Chautauqua component. The topics are diverse and meant for both sheer enjoyment and getting people thinking and talking.
Come evening the venue changes to the lawn of Wyatt Heritage Properties and the outdoor stage centred under the trees. The Monday night concert will feature Rick Sparkes + the Enablers, followed by Nudie. Rick Sparkes is a Summerside teacher, poet, and songwriter that is quickly making a name on the music scene. Nudie is a well established performer in both the province and country. The Tuesday night concert presents The Jonny Ray Show, made up of Acadian musicians Jonathan and Louise Arsenault, and Helene Bergeron, followed by the Ellis Family Band. Neither group needs introduction in the Island community. Festival organizers are thrilled that the Ellis Family Band agreed to make the festival one of their limited yearly performances. The Wednesday concert will feature Kate Bevan-Baker and Dave Gossage in a Celtic and Irish show. Bevan-Baker, of Island roots, is a fiddler, classical violinist and singer. Gossage is described as “Montreal’s secret weapon.” As a multi-instrumentalist, Gossage switches from flute to guitar, whistles and harmonicas with ease and in virtually all styles of music. The Summerside band Patina, made up of Kevin MacPherson, Marc Robichaud, Bob Picard, and Bobby (Pizza) MacLean will round out the evening.
Provided seating on the lawn will be limited, so concert goers are invited to bring their own chair or blanket. Should the weather be inclement, the concerts will move indoors to Trinity United Church just across the street. Admission to the concerts is by donation.
Starting at 5 pm each of the evenings there will be an outdoor art market. Artists are invited to offer their work for sale. If the concerts have to move indoors the art market will be cancelled.
Down at Spinnakers Landing from July 20th to July 25th is the travelling art exhibit, Humanorium presented by EXMURO. Presented in Quebec City in 2016, and Montreal in 2017, the exhibit will be in Summerside before going to Saint John.
HUMANORIUM is a one-of-a-kind contemporary art extravaganza, a carnival like no other that gives professional artists and audiences a novel contemporary art experience in a unique setting. Inspired by the tradition of the 19th and 20th-century country fair, HUMANORIUM is a travelling outdoor gathering that brings together the work of a dozen visual and multidisciplinary artists, posing vital questions on what it means to be human today.
HUMANORIUM is a popular, accessible experience that brings people together and builds community—an inclusive project that gives diverse audiences of all ages the opportunity to socialize, meet, share a unique experience, and build dialogue.
Humanorium will be open daily from 1 pm to 10 pm with free admission.
For the full Summerside Arts Festival program go to www.wyattheritagepropertiesinc.com or call 902-432-1298.