The best of local arts and culture in Huntingdon

The best of local arts and culture in Huntingdon

Visitors to last year’s edition of Arts Alive were regaled by native storyteller Anenhaienton Wakenesiio by the river at Grove Hall in Huntingdon. This year’s festival promises to even better.

Crédit photo : Guy Rogers - ELAN

The quintessential celebration of local arts and culture is back again for a fourth edition of Arts Alive at Grove Hall in Huntingdon on July 8, with a full day of activities and workshops featur-ing a number of artists, storytellers and musicians. The festival will be capped this year with the much-anticipated premiere of Anne of Green Gables – The Musical.
The brainchild of ELAN (English Language Arts Network), Arts Alive Québec is a series of arts festivals bringing six regions with dynamic English-speaking arts communities together for a summer of spectacular activities. Once again, Grove Hall and the Rural Arts Project will be pulling out all the stops to ensure the exceptional diversity of the Valley arts community is on full display with activities and learning opportunities for the entire family. “There is something for the introvert and the extrovert. The hands-on types and the watchers,” says Tina Bye, the co-owner of Grove Hall, while suggesting there will be different events taking place across the expansive riverside property, as well as indoors and under the big tent.
Beyond encouraging visitors to engage in arts activities, what makes the Arts Alive festival even more significant are the many opportunities it produces: “it allows us to celebrate our community, not just the artists it produces, but by having it showcased to other similar communities on the island and in other regions of Quebec. It also brings together a group of people who have shared interests in a loosely structured environment, which in turn allows space for new connections to be made and old connections re-established. In fact, several new groups have been formed as a result of past Arts Alive festivals, and many in the local arts community have found new audiences for their work.
A very busy schedule
The day will begin with toddler entertainment specialist Diane Jameson. Children are invited to share as the puppeteer and storyteller asks What would happen if Goldilocks showed up at the Teddy Bear’s Picnic? This will be followed by the endearing Teddy Bear’s Picnic, with finger foods, fresh fruit and veggies, and mini desserts for the 0-5 years set. After the picnic, children can dance and play to the tunes of Christopher Pennington and David Whyte as they hit the stage with their collection of silly songs for kids. In the afternoon, the Flaneurs will be on stage to serve up some traditional Cajun music. This will be followed by an acoustic jam led by Chris Crilley.
Workshops will also be taking place throughout the day, including dance with Heather Batchelor, writing advice from local writer Iris Delagrange, guitar guru Noah Tolhurst on the history of primitive acoustics, cartoonist Paul Abraham with drawing lessons, artist Pascale Bourguignon on clay pot creation, native storyteller Anenhaienton Wakenesiio with stories of his ancestors, a workshop on stage management, as well as musical instrument construction and comedy improvisation.
The evening will end with the premiere of Anne of Green Gables under the big tent, starting at 7 pm. Tickets for the show are still available. For more information on Arts Alive and for the complete schedule, visit www.grovehall.ca.

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