Artfest Kingston draws thousands to annual festival
Artfest Kingston attracted hundreds of professional artists from across Canada and thousands of Kingstonians and visitors to the Limestone City over the Canada Day long weekend.
“The show has become a favourite of the artists that come here,” said Lory MacDonald, producer at Artfest Ontario, which puts on the event. “There are lots of reasons: one, we have a wonderful attendance, and the people of Kingston, the people who live in Kingston and visit Kingston, they love the arts.”
Including Artfest Kingston, MacDonald produces four art festivals across the province.
This year, over 200 artists from across Canada were featured at the eighth annual Kingston festival.
Artisans from British Columbia to the Maritimes displayed and sold their creations.
“We have pottery and designer clothing. Artists design really beautiful, unusual things — things you are not going to find in a shop downtown,” MacDonald said.
“You’re going to find really unique things here.”
One of the artists featured at the Kingston event was Anja Kooistra, who moved to Canada from Holland with her husband in 2000.
Based in Sunderland, Ont., her work in sculpture is made of fabric placed on a fibreglass frame.
Kooistra produces outdoor garden statues depicting the human form.
During Artfest, Kooistra said hundreds of people visited her stall.
“It’s a great way of showcasing my work and what you can do with old fabrics; it’s a great medium,” Kooistra said.
The mission of Artfest is to sustain the artistic culture of artists and inform the public of the social and economic importance of the local art industry, MacDonald explained.
“[Artists] can count on making a bit of money here and building their clientele,” she said.
Artfest was also a family-friendly event with children and adult art workshops as well as a splash pad under hundreds of mature trees at City Park.
Organizers expected over 20,000 visitors to attend the three-day festival, which ended late on Canada Day.
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