I hope everyone was able to make their way to the Cathedral Village Arts Festival last week. There was so much to see and do in six days of poetry, art, model trains, performances, plays, shopping and music.
Join me after the break for photos and thoughts on CVAF 11.
The best time of year in Regina is late May – early June. The long dead trees, having warmed after winter and start to bud leaves and flowers. The sun continues to rise and warm, stretching at forgotten angles. Spring in Regina can be a quite magical time for an arts festival, especially in forested Cathedral neighbourhood. Spring is also often wet, windy and cool; this year’s festival would have a bit of both.
My Festival started Tuesday, a beautiful evening, with the Heritage walk through the Crescents section of Cathedral Village. It was a well attended march past a motley bunch of architectural mutts: Mediterranean, Queen Anne Revival, Gothic, Prairie, Arts and Crafts sat next to or molded with one another. Dana Turgeon lead the group through the histories and features of these unique homes.
I was not as focused on the tour as I might wish, however, with the lovely atmosphere all around the cavernous crescents. The street scape’s tree-tunnels, rhythmic lamp posts, fragrant alley-ways (but in a good way) and curving street pattern created a mysterious realm of corners and shadows. A place that had always felt full of stories, of forgotten drama, porch light libraries and hidden passages.
Thursday night was cold, cloudy and wet. There was plenty to do inside and out along 13th Avenue. Taking shelter from the rain can help you appreciate unnoticed features: a bench and covers near the Mysteria Gallery an example of sidewalk furniture prepared for the elements. I spent a few minutes here, snapping pictures and trying to decide where I should go next.
I would return to a building from Tuesday’s walk, the Unitarian Centre where Kelly Jo Burke performed her one woman play Ducks on the Moon. The performance was fantastic, full of humanity, honesty and daring.
After Ducks on the Moon I made my way back to the Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre to see Regina favourites Rah Rah perform.
Closing in on midnight I made my way home, with many people still wandering to different venues to continue their evenings with dance, music and jubilation.
Saturday brought the street fair. The clouds rolled in once again but fortunately Friday had claimed all the rain, leaving the sky drab but ground dry. The street fair never fails to tantalize with sounds, sights and smells. So many delicious smells. Mini Doughnuts.
It was the 20th anniversary of the Cathedral Village Arts Festival which continues to showcase the talents and vibrancy of the people residing in Cathedral Neighbourhood. This year had added meaning as I reflected on Leslie Hindle and Bob Bjerke’s Jane’s Walk. Cathedral has such a strong sense of community which creates and is created by events like the Arts Festival. It seems clear that building Cathedral’s community resources and connections in the 1970s and 80s played a role in what we enjoy today.
Understanding more about the history of the neighbourhood and the milieu from which the festival developed, the 2011 Arts Festival is the latest success in a 20 year-long community achievement.