NEW NAME, SAME FUN

Event for­merly called Syd­ney Har­bourfront Fes­ti­val

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY CHRIS­TIAN ROACH Chris­tian.roach@cb­post.com

Wa­ter­front Fes­ti­val starts Wed­nes­day.

The First An­nual Syd­ney Wa­ter­front Fes­ti­val fea­tur­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for all ages kicks off on Wed­nes­day.

The past two years the fes­ti­val was dubbed the Syd­ney Har­bourfront Fes­ti­val and was or­ga­nized by the Syd­ney Har­bourfront So­ci­ety, which has since dis­banded.

This year the fes­ti­val is be­ing pre­sented in part by the Syd­ney Wa­ter­front District As­so­ci­a­tion. The or­ga­niz­ers aim to sep­a­rate this year from past fes­ti­vals.

“We kept some of the tra­di­tional favourite events that had been fea­tured in Ac­tion Week in the past, but we’ve added a cou­ple new events to make it our own,” said Michelle Wil­son, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Syd­ney Wa­ter­front District As­so­ci­a­tion.

Some of the tra­di­tional events in­clude the Teddy Bear Pic­nic on Wedne­day, the Night Light Pa­rade, cel­e­brat­ing Canada’s 150th birth­day, on Thurs­day, the Mini Olympics on the Fri­day, the Kid­spree on Sun­day and a con­cert fea­tur­ing big names in East Coast mu­sic.

One of the new at­trac­tions that Wil­son is ex­cited about is a mu­ral that will be painted on Char­lotte Street next to the Maple Leaf Res­tau­rant by Cana­dian mu­ral­ist, Al­lan Ryan, who is orig­i­nally from North Syd­ney.

Ryan will be paint­ing the mu­ral through­out the week and its ex­act im­age will be a sur­prise to the pub­lic un­til he fin­ishes.

“I think it’s go­ing to be re­ally ex­cit­ing to watch and we’ve listed it as an event through the en­tire fes­ti­val, to see the mu­ral un­fold be­fore ev­ery­one’s eyes,” said Wil­son, “I will say that it will be bright, vi­brant colours and a fun im­age in the mid­dle of down­town.”

Wil­son said the mu­ral also will ben­e­fit Syd­ney in the long run.

“There’s another level be­hind the mu­ral as well; since we’ve been work­ing with the Na­tional Trust of Canada, we started a re­gen­er­a­tion ini­tia­tive in May,” said Wil­son. “The mu­ral checked off two boxes — it’s fun and en­ter­tain­ing through the fes­ti­val but it also leaves a last­ing im­pact to show that we’re se­ri­ous about bring­ing back new life to the Syd­ney wa­ter­front district.”

Be­cause the tall ships (large sail­ing ves­sels) will be in Syd­ney dur­ing the First An­nual Wa­ter­front Fes­ti­val, it will also be a Ren­dez-vous 2017 Tall Ships cel­e­bra­tion.

Wil­son said the tall ships be­ing in Syd­ney re­ally adds to the fes­ti­val.

“The tall ships are com­ing that week­end in con­junc­tion with our fes­ti­val, so that will be a re­ally ex­cit­ing ad­di­tion to this years fes­ti­val,” said Wil­son.

The ships will be open for pub­lic view­ing Fri­day and Satur­day from noon to 5 p.m. on the wa­ter­front, as well as on Sun­day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The ships are open to peo­ple 16 years of age and older. Par­tic­i­pants need to bring valid iden­ti­fi­ca­tion for a free ship tour.

Be­cause the fes­ti­val is a cul­mi­na­tion of dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions plan­ning the ac­tiv­i­ties for months, in­clud­ing the CBRM and CBC, there are sev­eral con­certs that will be hap­pen­ing.

On Thurs­day, the Syd­ney Credit Union Makin’ Waves Mu­sic Fes­ti­val starts at 6 p.m, with lo­cal per­form­ers Lau­renn Marc­hand, Cur­tis Mathe­son, and Cody De­gaust.

Fri­day will fea­ture the first of two free pub­lic con­certs out­side the Joan Har­riss Cruise Pav­il­ion, pre­sented by CBC. Fri­day’s per­form­ers are Matt Min­gle­wood, who gets on stage at 7 p.m., fol­lowed by Buskers Af­ter Dark.

Wil­son said Satur­day is chock-full of events all across Syd­ney and may be the most jam-packed day of the fes­ti­val.

“It will be a lot of fun that Satur­day, I’m ex­pect­ing it to be a pretty busy day,” said Wil­son.

The day be­gins with Yoga on the Wa­ter­front start­ing at 10:30 a.m. Satur­day will also see the re­turn of the an­nual Street Fes­ti­val from 10 a.m.

to 5 p.m. on Char­lotte Street, fea­tur­ing the food-truck round

up, side­walk sale high­light­ing lo­cal mer­chants as well as var­i­ous ven­dors, live en­ter­tain­ment, face paint­ing, busker per­for­mances and ac­tiv­i­ties for kids.

In the evening, the sec­ond free pub­lic con­cert from CBC will take place out­side the Joan Har­riss Cruise Pav­il­ion at 7 p.m. fea­tur­ing the Hal­i­faxbased band Port Cities fol­lowed by Buskers Af­ter Dark.

On Sun­day evening, the fes­ti­val wraps with a con­cert out­side the Joan Har­ris Cruise Pav­il­ion. Head­lin­ing is CCMA nom­i­nated coun­try band River Town Saints. Lo­cal singer Jor­dan Musyc­syn and his band will open for them. Fol­low­ing the con­cert the Syd­ney Wa­ter­front Fes­ti­val will end with a bang with a fire­works dis­play.

PHOTO SUB­MIT­TED BY THE WA­TER­FRONT DISTRICT AS­SO­CI­A­TION

In this file photo, Ben­jamin Peter­son is pic­tured with a mas­cot at last year’s Syd­ney Har­bourfront Fes­ti­val, which has been rein­car­nated this year as the Syd­ney Wa­ter­front Fes­ti­val, with new or­ga­niz­ers.

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