The Lake of the Woods Arts Community (LOWAC) ARTSFEST kicks off on Friday, July 22nd! This two-day event is packed full of fun activities, beautiful art, and incredible performances from local artists.

ARTSFEST runs from July 22nd to 23rd at The Muse grounds in the park. The festival features a lineup of seven different performers over the course of the weekend and 20 different artists who will be selling their art and offering demonstrations!

“Every artist is bringing something unique, which is really cool,” says ARTSFEST Coordinator Everette Fournier.

Twenty exhibitors from many different disciplines – painting, writing, digital media, beading, pottery, sculpture, fashion, and jewelry – will have their work available for display and sale along with some artist demonstrations over the two days of the festival.

“This will include a clay throwing demonstration on the pottery wheel by Keifer Floreal, beading with Jena Brisson, button making by Phynix L. Caskey, writer’s workshops, painting, and much more,” said Aimee Baldwin, who is also a Coordinator.

While visitors are admiring other artists, they can also join in on the larger community art projects taking place in the grounds, like the giant paper snake that’ll start to weave its way through the festival, a huge paint-by-number in the Muse, a chalk mural, and a large yarn installation on the fence around the museum. There will also be a writer’s group present to discuss their writing and offer writing advice to festivalgoers.

A ton of fun activities are available in the kids’ zone, too!

“There's going to be some little handmade things that kids can make, like crowns and wands made from pipe cleaners and found objects like sticks or any objects they want to bring from home to include in their projects,” explains Aimee. Face painting is available by donation.

If the art displays and demonstrations don’t keep you occupied, there are tons of performances to enjoy throughout the event!

“We’re going to start off on Friday with Waakebiness traditional drum leading an opening prayer by Elder Jeannette Skead of Wauzushk Onigum,” says Everette, “Then move into our performances. Performances will take place on the cobblestone courtyard right outside of the museum.”

Performances begin at 11:15 a.m. each day! Friday opens with a show from the Here and Now Theatre group, a community-run improv group directed toward youth. “They have incredible costumes, colorful performances, and they'll probably be asking for suggestions from the audience, so it will definitely be a show to enjoy!” says Everette.

Other performers on Friday are harpist Olivia Whiddon, TrypTych Concert and Opera, and the Sunset Swing Band.

Saturday opens with bagpipes by Cecil Burns. Other performers include Esme Boone, a harpist who builds her own harps and tells stories with her instruments and her songs. Here and Now performs again followed by Missy Jacobson and her jazz band, Storm Bay Project, and contemporary acapella group, Enchanté, whose beautiful voices, Everette says, have “graced a lot of spaces in Kenora.”

“All our performers are really incredible, and we’re very excited for this festival lineup!” says Everette.

“With everything going on this weekend, there’s not going to be a dull moment! BUT – we need volunteers to make this wonderful, amazing event happen!” says Aimee.

“If you're interested in learning about artists and art space, it would be a great opportunity to come hang out and learn from some really incredible people who are making a lot of amazing art happen in the community,” they continue. Volunteer sign-up forms are available online at Volunteer shifts are around four hours long depending on turnout, and will include site clean-up, helping vendors and performers, helping in the kids’ tent, and more.

Admission is FREE to the public – come out and enjoy a beautiful, art-filled weekend!

*Schedule is subject to change

Sponsors, partners, and supporters: Ontario Trillium Foundation; Kenora Lake of the Woods Community Foundation; Kenora Hospitality Alliance; The Muse; City of Kenora; Harbourtown Biz; The Lake 89.5; Kenora Miner and News; Lake of the Woods Cottage Guide; Kenora Stuff; Q104; Mightywrite, Wolfe, UpRiver Media, and Bestway Rentals.