Arts­fest Wa­ter­down

Free sum­mer fes­ti­val to in­clude Lunch at Allen’s, Shuf­fle Demons, Natalie MacMaster, Cana­dian Brass, Su­san Aglukark

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - GRA­HAM ROCK­ING­HAM grock­ing­ham@thes­ 905-526-3331 | @Rock­atTheSpec

More than 35,000 ex­pected

Lunch at Allen’s, Cana­dian Brass, Su­san Aglukark, The Good Broth­ers, Shuf­fle Demons, and a Celtic Kitchen Party will be among the per­form­ers fea­tured at the sec­ond an­nual Arts­fest Wa­ter­down in Au­gust.

Ge­off Ku­law­ick, owner of the Wa­ter­down-based True North Records la­bel and chair of the fes­ti­val, said the in­au­gu­ral fes­ti­val drew more than 20,000 peo­ple last sum­mer.

This year, Ku­law­ick, says he ex­pects the fes­ti­val to at­tract as many as 35,000 peo­ple.

“Ev­ery­body that was here last year will be get­ting the word out and we have a slightly big­ger bud­get, thanks to the Ontario and fed­eral gov­ern­ments, to ad­ver­tise and put some big­ger names on the stage,” Ku­law­ick said.

The free fes­ti­val will take place Satur­day, Aug. 19, and Sun­day, Aug. 20, fo­cused on two stages in his­toric down­town Wa­ter­down. The fes­ti­val will also fea­ture a cu­rated crafts mar­ket­place, and a ded­i­cated fam­ily zone with dance and theatre, sto­ry­telling, and in­ter­ac­tive art ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren and youth.

Other musical per­form­ers sched­uled to play the fes­ti­val in­clude singer-song­writer Su­san Aglukark, New­found­land folk trio The Once and the Mozart Ef­fect Cham­ber En­sem­ble, led by Juno-nom­i­nated con­duc­tor Charles Cozens.

Ku­law­ick said the Celtic Kitchen Party — star­ring Cana­dian fid­dle sen­sa­tions Natalie MacMaster Don­nell Leahy — will likely be the head­line act on the Satur­day, while the Sun­day night closer is still to be de­ter­mined.

“We will be an­nounc­ing even more per­form­ers, and some very spe­cial guests closer to the event,” Ku­law­ick said.

Lunch at Allen’s, signed to the True North la­bel like many of the main­stage per­form­ers, is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween award-win­ning Cana­dian song­writ­ers Mur­ray McLauch­lan, Marc Jor­dan, Cindy Church and Ian Thomas. The quar­tet, known for its sto­ry­telling as well as its songs, has a new record “If It Feels Right,” sched­uled for re­lease June 16.

“We’re pre­sent­ing more di­verse, more adult-tar­geted and fam­i­ly­ori­ented mu­sic,” Ku­law­ick said. “It’s not a hip­ster fes­ti­val. It’s ap­peal­ing to more so­phis­ti­cated and ma­ture peo­ple and we think that it has the po­ten­tial to turn into a real tourist at­trac­tion. Our sur­vey last year had peo­ple com­ing up from New York state and down­town Toronto as well as Burling­ton and Mis­sis­sauga.”

Ku­law­ick said much of the fes­ti­val’s $150,000 bud­get comes from fed­eral and pro­vin­cial grants, in­clud­ing $25,000 from the Ontario Mu­sic Fund.

Or­ga­niz­ers are also hop­ing to get a $3,000 grant from the City of Hamilton, which Ku­law­ick es­ti­mated at less than two per cent of the to­tal bud­get. As well, the fes­ti­val receives spon­sor­ship from the pri­vate sec­tor in­clud­ing the Wa­ter­down BIA and the True North Gallery.

“We’re look­ing for spon­sors to fill the gap left by the City of Hamilton,” Ku­law­ick said.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Wa­ter­down fes­ti­val, visit the web­site arts­


Lunch at Al­lens: Mur­ray McLauch­lan, Ian Thomas, Cindy Church and Marc Jor­dan are on the bill for Arts­fest Wa­ter­down.


Clock­wise from above left: The Cana­dian Brass, Su­san Aglukark, Natalie MacMaster and Don­nell Leahy, The Good Broth­ers and The Shuf­fle Demons.





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