Arts Alive! Québec (AAQ) is at the halfway mark with successful events held in Knowlton, Québec City and Hudson during June and July. This year’s Huntingdon events again showcase the artistic and cultural richness of this beautiful region. Enjoy an irresistible program of dance, music, theatre, visual arts and workshops at Grove Hall, a new performing arts centre in an historic reclaimed church sitting on a lovely riverside campus, on Friday, August 18 and Saturday, August 19.
Huntingdon’s Rural Arts Project Co-Artistic Director, Tina Bye is delighted with the way the community gets involved, often suggesting acts they’d like to see. She explains, “There is a huge range of workshops, in English and French, along with a wide arts and performance program. There isn’t always a lot of variety in the region, and both locals and visitors appreciate the atmosphere and quality of the work that AAQ offers. As well, the artists enjoy mingling with each other which has led to collaborations.” Thanks to a recent grant, they have a brand new tent this year.
ELAN Executive Director Guy Rodgers is looking forward to visiting the upcoming three regions, “ELAN’s 3rd edition of Arts Alive! Québec offers the best of the previous editions, plus some new twists and surprises. Thanks to financial support from the Canada 150 Fund, ELAN’s partners in Huntingdon, Wakefield, and Montreal’s West Island are able to hire more artists and offer a wider range of workshops.” said Rodgers. He continued, “The best thing about Arts Alive! Québec is that each region brings its own flavours and colours. Huntingdon offers a delightful country picnic along the dappled banks of the Chateauguay River. We expect a lot of new friends will discover Arts Alive! Québec before summer’s over.”
The Festival kicks off on Friday night with people gathering around the campfire to celebrate the diverse traditions and cultures the area proudly claims, from French Canadian step-dancers to indigenous stories, to Scottish pipers and troubadours, along with a musical jam session.
For Saturday, Huntingdon daytime highlights include the always popular Teddy Bears’ Picnic with a free finger-food buffet for the little ones, followed by Super Stupendous Incredible Indelible Inedible Unforgettable Kids Songs from Mars! performed by Christopher Pennington, Daniel McKell, and David Whyte (from Durham County Poets). An afternoon double-header follows with the Durham County Poets, a folk/blues band with three albums who recently showcased at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference, and Jabbour, a Quebecois trio that take a bilingual approach to folk music, walking the line that all too often separates Canada’s two solitudes. Not to miss in the evening is composer and songstress Andrea Soesbergen with her creative blend of folk, jazz, rock and pop, followed by well-known alt-rock band John Jacob Magistery that has been featured at Osheaga, Montreal en Lumiere and City Folk Festival. Their first single Greatest Story Ever was voted in the top 30 by CHOM listeners. This will be an evening of powerful, soulful lyrics and amazing melodies with a fantastic stage show. There will also be many workshops, hands on activities and artist demonstrations for both grown-ups and kids.
Huntingdon programming below, details here
All events on the beautiful grounds of Grove Hall- 165 rue Chateauguay, Huntingdon, Quebec
Day passes: $10 for adults, $5 for those under 12 (5 years old and under get in for free!) Rain or shine
Friday, August 18
Beginning at 7pm there will be an outdoor bonfire to celebrate the area’s culture and heritage. Performances include indigenous storytelling, pipers, step dancersand fiddlers
Saturday, August 19, all day
All day in the park (10am-4pm): Artists, artisans, workshops, face painting with AUDRÉE BOURDEAU; Tricks and Tips for the Homebrewer with TREVOR LIVINGSTON; musical instrument construction for all ages with WOLFGANG KATER; Ziploc felting with Elisabeth Fortin
10am: Nature Drawing Workshop for adults with PAT WALSH; Yoga for Kids beside the river; Children’s Theatre The Lorax
11am: Teddy Bears’ Picnic; Writers Workshop (Kids) with IRIS DELAGRANGE; Writer’s Workshop (Adults) with MARK ABLEY; Haudenosaunee Tales- Indigenousness Story Teller/Performer – ANENHAIENTON WAKENESIIO (Joshua Sargent); Organic Gardening Workshop (kids 5+)
12:00pm: CHRISTOPHER PENNINGTON, DAVID WHYTE and DANIEL MCKELL, a concert for kids of all ages;
Pop Art- with MARK ABRAMS (Adults); Nature Drawing Workshop (for kids 6- 14) with PAT WALSH
1:30pm: DURHAM COUNTY POETS & JABBOUR in Concert
3:00pm: Slow Jam- Musical Meeting Place- B.Y.O Acoustic Instrument with JEAN LUC POIRIER; Writer’s Workshop (Adults) with Iris Delagrange ; Improv Drawing and Drama Improv (Kids) with ANNA PAPADAKOS; Organic Gardening Workshop (Adults)
4:00pm: Visual Arts and the Art of Illustration- MARK ABRAMS (Kids); Haudenosaunee Tales- Indigenousness Story Teller/Performer – ANENHAIENTON WAKENESIIO (Joshua Sargent)
7-8:15pm: Dance Show (inside) – Performances and choreography by local dancers curated by Sabrina Robidoux
8:30-11:30pm: Outdoor Musical Concert Featuring: Andrea Soesbergen, Amelie Samson, John Jacob Magistery
About Arts Alive! Quebec
ARTS ALIVE! QUEBEC is a moveable feast of music, theatre, dance, visual arts, film and so much more. Initiated by ELAN (English-language Arts Network) in 2015, six dynamic regions—Knowlton, Quebec City, Hudson, Huntingdon, Wakefield and Montreal’s West Island—produce six individual festivals to showcase Quebec’s diverse cultural communities and innovative artists with activities and performances for the entire family! Visit the AAQ web site for details and stay connected for the rest of the summer: www.arts-alive-quebec.ca.
Upcoming regional events- Wakefield Sept. 8-10; West Island Sept. 23-24
ELAN (English-Language Arts Network) is a not-for-profit organization that connects, supports, and promotes Quebec’s English-speaking artists and arts communities. Its members include artists and organizations representing a multitude of artistic disciplines and regions of Quebec. ELAN’s philosophy is inclusive, encouraging an evolving Quebec identity that recognizes French as the public language and celebrates social, cultural, and artistic diversity. To find out more about ELAN’s various programs, visit www.quebec-elan.org.