Ac­tion Week

De­spite changes, many long-stand­ing tra­di­tions re­main

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CHRIS SHAN­NON cshan­non@cb­post.com

Or­ga­niz­ers work­ing through fi­nal prepa­ra­tions for Syd­ney’s sum­mer fes­ti­val.

The ac­tion starts Satur­day in Syd­ney and lasts a full nine days.

The 42nd an­nual Ac­tion Week Fes­ti­val prom­ises to have events and ac­tiv­i­ties for peo­ple of all ages and in­ter­ests.

It will also mark a ma­jor change in di­rec­tion of where many events have been held in the past — on the board­walk.

In­stead, much of the fun, in­clud­ing six con­certs, will take place in Open Hearth Park.

Fes­ti­val or­ga­nizer Jeff Cle­ments said it made sense to use the park, with its large grassy field and sev­eral lo­ca­tions on site for park­ing.

“It’s a state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity and it needs to be lever­aged and used more,” he said.

“It has ev­ery­thing you need from a recre­ational stand­point (such as) con­ces­sions, mul­ti­ple ways in and out of the park so traf­fic con­ges­tion will be min­i­mal.”

Cle­ments and Jenna Lee Green took on the roles of vol­un­teer co-chairs of the non-profit Syd­ney Har­bour Front Fes­ti­val So­ci­ety ear­lier this year.

Cle­ments said the com­mit­tee was re­quired to raise a “sub­stan­tial” amount of money from lo­cal busi­ness part­ner­ships in or­der to have as many events on the sched­ule.

The Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, which is one of the fes­ti­val’s ma­jor spon­sors, has pro­vided about 50 per cent of the over­all bud­get through inkind and cash con­tri­bu­tions, Cle­ments said.

He de­clined to dis­close the amount of money the CBRM has pro­vided the fes­ti­val com­mit­tee.

A spokesper­son with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity wasn’t able to pro­vide the bud­get de­tails be­fore dead­line Thurs­day.

The Buskers Fes­ti­val, held in pre­vi­ous years on the Syd­ney board­walk, will also be per­form­ing in Open Hearth Park from Satur­day to Mon­day.

The fes­ti­val’s clos­ing night fire­works dis­play will be tak­ing place in the park this year. Cle­ments said the $8,000 ex­pense to rent a barge to launch fire works over the har­bour didn’t make fi­nan­cial sense.

The money saved will go into mak­ing a longer light show.

“You’ll be able to see the fire­works from the Whit­ney Pier area and also from the wa­ter­front be­cause we’re shoot­ing them off on an up­hill spot in Open Hearth Park.”

The or­ga­niz­ers took the area’s youth in to con­sid­er­a­tion for some of the events.

One ex­am­ple is the scavenger hunt and con­cert in Open Hearth Park on Wed­nes­day.

The photo clues for the hunt will be sent through the fes­ti­val’s In­sta­gram ac­count.

And the con­cert that evening fea­tures up-and-com­ing hip-hop artist Jofo with DJ Ma­jes­tic. It’ll be hosted by Tracy and Martina, the raunchy com­edy duo be­hind the lo­cally pro­duced Magic Ranch skits.

A bat­tle of the bands con­test is slated for down­town venues on Aug. 7. It’ll take on a pub crawl feel as eight bands move from one bar to another.

Pa­trons can vote for their favourite, and the win­ning band will be the open­ing act dur­ing the clos­ing con­cert Aug. 9 at 8 p.m.

One of the high­lights of the fes­ti­val is the Ac­tion Week Night Light Pa­rade. It will wind its way through the down­town on Sun­day, start­ing at 9 p.m. It’ll fol­low a Mardi Gras theme with floats il­lu­mi­nated in green, pur­ple and gold.

A de­tailed sched­ule of events is avail­able on the Ac­tion Week web­site at www.ac­tionweek.com.

CHRIS SHAN­NON/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Ac­tion Week Fes­ti­val or­ga­niz­ers Jeff Cle­ments and Jenna Lee Green are work­ing through fi­nal prepa­ra­tions for Syd­ney’s sum­mer fes­ti­val which be­gins Satur­day. Many of the events, in­clud­ing con­certs, the Buskers fes­ti­val, and clos­ing fire­works dis­play, will take place in Open Hearth Park this year.

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