Arts Alive! Québec is back
Successful multi-region arts festival returns for 2nd year
The English Language Arts Network (ELAN) celebrates the return of Arts Alive! Québec. Between June and September, Hudson, Quebec City, Huntingdon, Knowlton, Wakefield and Montreal’s West Island, will host weekend celebrations of Quebec arts and culture.
Some communities focus around a main venue and its environs; others transform the entire town. Programming is highly individual, reflecting local tastes, arts and cultures. There’s something different to experience and taste at each region’s event, from local artists and visiting headliners to puppet shows, literary activities, contemporary dance, theatre performances, visual arts, chamber music, film, and even a Celtic party!
On offer are indoor and outdoor events for all ages, including hands-on creative activities led by musicians, theatre professionals, dancers, filmmakers, and craftspeople. Through the universal language of art, Arts Alive! Québec’s inclusive, family-friendly atmosphere builds bridges between English-speaking and French-speaking communities. Many events are free.
Arts Alive! Québec is spearheaded by ELAN Executive Director Guy Rodgers. For Rodgers, the festival is about bringing together everyone in the community who shares a love of the arts, “All the art forms are present, including workshops for youth and adults. It is a contagious celebration of high quality local arts and entertaining guest artists.” He confides, “One of the best kept secrets in Quebec is the variety of communities where arts are a driving force. Arts Alive! Québec is an opportunity to discover several of them at their festive best. Audiences across the regions will easily discover the fun of mixing a road trip, a day trip and the adventure of enjoying entertaining, creative activities in beautiful surroundings.”
Regional Arts Alive! Québec representatives are excited and inspired by the upcoming events. For Kate Holbrook, events coordinator at Knowlton’s Townshippers’ Association, it is meeting and working with new creative people, “I’d like audiences to discover new friends, and artists to plan cross-pollination between their various genres.”
Kerstin Petersson, artistic and managing director of Wakefield’s Ta Da! Festival enjoys the development of a touring circuit for Quebec artists, “Programming the festival lets us first discover new artists in our region and then highlight them while networking with other communities.”
Huntingdon will be hosting a plethora of activities. Rural Arts Project Co-Artistic Director, Tina Bye, says, “People should attend to find other artists or like-minded people, enjoy a day outside under the trees with yummy nibbles and a glass in hand, while appreciating all the talent and resources our little area has.”
Kalina Skulska, executive director, Hudson Village Theatre, is proud to announce that “Hudson’s Arts Alive! Québec kickoff was terrific; we’re looking forward to ongoing events throughout the season.”
Barry McCullough, executive director, Morrin Centre, looks forward to showing that Quebec City’s English-language cultural centre is an artistic hub for all audiences, “I’m eager to showcase English-language culture in our community and allow events with Quebec musicians to be experienced in a new way.”
Bringing the community together is paramount for Deirdre Potash, from ArtWill Studio in Montreal’s West Island. She shares her appreciation of the annual event, “The arts are our humanity. It affords opportunities for pleasure, relaxation, harmony and celebration. It is what we leave to our future generations.”
Arts Alive! Québec – Communities celebrating the arts and artists celebrating communities
Hudson – multiple dates
Quebec City – July 1 to 3
Huntingdon – August 6
Knowlton – August 26 to 28
Wakefield – September 9 to 11
West Island – September 24
For more information visit arts-alive-quebec.ca
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.
Images: courtesy of ELAN