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Alvinston Arts and Music Fest returns

By Melissa Schilz, Postmedia Network

Missy Whaley and Elaine Dobbin demonstrate spinning yarn from alpaca wool at Alvinston’s Music and Arts Festival last year. File photo/The Topic.

Missy Whaley and Elaine Dobbin demonstrate spinning yarn from alpaca wool at Alvinston’s Music and Arts Festival last year. File photo/The Topic.

Alvinston’s Arts and Music Fest will be back for its third year on Saturday, Aug. 19. Organizer Liana Russwurm said what began as an off the cuff event has turned into an annual celebration of local art.

“I love to get the people out here,” she said of the small but vibrant community.

Some highlights at this year’s event include a wood carver and fundraising draw for a sculpture, as well as a painting auction with art from the late Barbara Perrin.

Russwurm said all money raised will be going right back into the event.

They have also received some funding from the Creative County Fund to support the day, but she’s working to find new ways to fund the event.

“We want to keep continuing the festival,” she said, noting that they want to keep the quality of the festival top notch. “We’re hoping that will help bring in a bit of money for it.”

Russwurm said she works to bring something unique and educational for the town as well to give people some perspective. This year they have two speakers at the event – Body Confidence of Canada award winner Erin Huston and Chief Joanne Rogers of Aamjiwnaang First Nation.

“I like to keep it in that vein, talking about subjects that they might not necessarily have people to talk to about… especially in small towns,” she said. “You have to bring it to the town.”

There will also be several bands throughout the day and a street dance in the evening featuring Rob Kirkham and Neon Rain. And for the kids, there will be free arts and crafts to take part in through the Arts Council of East Lambton.

Russwurm said with Alvinston’s downtown expanding, she hopes the event will be a fun day not just for residents but also for visitors. Since last year’s event, Alvinston has seen a new pharmacy open as well as a flea market.

“It is bringing people to the community, and there’s a lot of new people that have moved to the community,” she said.

She said they’ve also seen some new artists move into the area, and with a new art space completed, it will offer a place for people to go and take classes and try new things. The space will also offer a spot for vendors to go to in case they happen to see rain that day.

Russwurm said she’s looking forward to seeing the event continue to grow and bring a positive impact to those local artists and businesses.

“Despite the weather and the challenges we’ve had, I think it has grown so much,” she said. “I feel really good about the lineup of speakers and bands we have… and I hope word of mouth is working so each year we get a little more people.”

 

IF YOU GO:

WHEN: Aug. 19, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a street dance in the evening

Where: River Street in Alvinston

Cost: FREE

 

mschilz@postmedia.com