Arts Alive! Québec
The multi-region arts festival heads to Huntingdon Sunday, July 8
By Janis Kirshner
ELAN (English-Language Arts Network) presents the Huntington Festival, which includes various genres of music including traditional Cajun songs, eclectic workshops, fine arts, the Teddy Bears’ Picnic and Anne of Green Gables.
Arts Alive! Québec (AAQ) started the season right with successful events held in Hudson at the end of May/early June. This year’s Huntingdon events again showcase the artistic and cultural richness of this beautiful region. Enjoy an engaging all-day program of music, theatre, dance, visual arts and workshops in and around Grove Hall, a performing arts centre in an historic reclaimed church sitting beside a dappled riverside park, on Sunday, July 8. This is also the opening night for the Rural Arts Project’s Anne of Green Gables: The Musical which will tour to four different bucolic locations in the region.
Offering music, theatre, visual art, dance, workshops for all ages and family fun
Huntingdon’s Rural Arts Project Co-Artistic Director, Tina Bye, is thrilled with the way the community throws their support behind the events. “This is our 4th annual Arts Alive! Québec and I love that when I speak to people about it, there is a look of instant recognition on their faces. Their only question as they tuck their flyer away is ‘Great, what is the date this year?’. It has become a Valley tradition that people add to their calendar and look forward to.”
ELAN Executive Director Guy Rodgers is looking forward to visiting Huntingdon again in early July: “Arts Alive! Québec kicked off with a boom – Hudson’s artful series presented an entertaining selection of workshops and top-notch shows. Huntingdon’s Festival along the beautiful banks of the Chateauguay River is always a treat and will continue the fun. The town and extended region is buzzing about the Anne of Green Gables: The Musical tour. This is a splendid time of year to take a day trip or spend a weekend exploring the noteworthy history of the area.”
Mark and Tina Bye are the driving force behind the Rural Arts Project which helms Huntingdon’s AAQ each year. This year the cornerstone evening event is Anne of Green Gables: The Musical, directed by Tina and designed by Mark, including all the classic songs like Kindred Spirits and Ice Cream. After its gala opening, this travelling tent show continues, making stops in four locations across the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent – Hinchinbrooke, Ormstown, St-Anicet and Franklin. This is musical theatre in a uniquely Canadian context – beautiful outdoor vistas of traditional rural landscapes, hand-churned ice cream, and a live horse and buggy. At one of the sites the show is going ‘off the grid’ with audience members taken to the performance by tractor and wagon.
This year the cornerstone evening event is Anne of Green Gables: The Musical… including all the classic songs like Kindred Spirits and Ice Cream.
Huntingdon AAQ daytime highlights include the ever popular Teddy Bears’ Picnic with a free finger-food buffet for the little ones, followed by a concert for kids (of all ages) performed by Christopher Pennington, and David Whyte (from Durham County Poets). The afternoon headliner is Les Flâneurs (Bill Gossage, Guillaume Jabbour, Harlan Ross Johnson) presenting toe-tapping original and traditional tunes that pay homage to the rich musical legacy of Southwest Louisiana. As an extra bonus, there will be a dance instructor teaching the crowd a Cajun two-step. There will also be many intriguing and educational workshops, hands-on activities, artist demonstrations for both grown-ups and kids, and local snacks.
Sunday, July 8, 10 am to 5 pm
10:30 am-3:30 pm – Workshops
Ongoing for kids and adults: Paul Abraham – Pop Art/Caricature; Pascale Bourguignon – Clay; Callan Forrester – Comedy Improvisation
11 am and 1 pm: Iris Delagrange – Writer’s workshop: How to get Published (youth and adults)
11 am and 1 pm: Stage Management for Community Events (youth and adults)
Noon: Noah Tolhurst – One string cigar-box guitars (kids over 5 to adults – 12 places only)
MUSIC AND EVENTS
10:30 am: Puppeteer and story teller Diane Jameson – toddler entertainment specialist
11:15 am: Teddy Bears’ Picnic – the social occasion of the year for the 0-5 years set!
11:45 am: Christopher Pennington & David Whyte, a concert for children of all ages
1 pm: Anenhaienton Wakenesiio (Joshua Sargeant) – Interactive Indigenous story telling
2 pm: Les Flâneurs – traditional Southwest Louisiana Cajun music (and learn the Cajun two-step)
4 pm: Acoustic Jam with Chris Crilly – B.Y.O. acoustic instrument
7 pm: Anne of Green Gables: The Musical Gala Performance – Opening Night, by the Rural Arts Project
All events on the beautiful riverside grounds of Grove Hall
165 rue Chateauguay, Huntingdon, J0S 1H0
Day Pass: $10, children under 12 get in for free! Rain or shine
Artists, artisans and workshops all day, along with concerts and performances
Anne of Green Gables: The Musical Big Top Tour $20 (children under 5 get in for free), 7 pm
About Arts Alive! Québec
Arts Alive! Québec (AAQ) 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—Hudson, Huntingdon, Knowlton, Quebec City, Wakefield and West Island/Montreal—produce six individual festivals to showcase Quebec’s diverse cultural communities and innovative artists with activities and performances for the entire family! Visit the ELAN Arts Alive ! Québec page and stay connected for the rest of the summer. Upcoming regional events: Knowlton, August 3-5; Quebec City, August 3-4; Wakefield, September 7-8; West Island/Montreal: September dates tbc.
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 quebec-elan.org
Image: courtesy of Arts Alive! Québec
Janis Kirshner is a respected theatre publicist. She was also co-founder of TITTERS (a female sketch comedy duo) and has co-written and performed numerous hit shows at a number of Fringe Festivals including Montreal, Halifax and Seattle, as well as the Vancouver Int’l Comedy Festival. Janis spent years on the radio as a traffic reporter, entertainment reviewer, and host of open-line talk shows.