Art returns to the park

More than 30 local artists, artisans and performers to participate in the annual Art in the Park Festival at Macgregor Park.

The Art in the Park Festival returns this Saturday not just as a fun free day at Macgregor Park but as a builder of culture in Sooke.

More than 30 local artists, artisans and performers will fill the park during the annual event, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 15.

This year, though, the festival is for one day only to focus more on the artists and entertainment, said Sharon Bussard-Grove, president of the Sooke Community Arts Council.

“We want to do it well and have a really good one-day festival,” she said.

The tent pavilion at the park will be used to show off some of the work, and smaller tents will be set up in the park to host the variety of exhibitors, displaying everything from acrylic paintings to pottery. There will even be a kids’ table, where children can enjoy some hands-on activities. The Lions Club will handle food duties.

In 2014, more than 500 people took part in the festival, a number Bussard-Grove hopes to exceed this year.

So far, 20 artist have signed and 10 musical acts have committed to the 12th annual festival, hosted by the Sooke Community Arts Council.

New this year is a paint-in for children, teens and adults. Participants will be led by Sooke artist Shanna Hamilton in a 30-minute art competition. The artwork will be offered in a silent auction. All children participants will be awarded prizes, top four prizes will be handed out in the youth and adult categories. Pre-registration is suggested.

A shuttle will also be introduced for the first time this year, running from SEAPARC Leisure Centre to Macgregor Park every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Bussard-Grove said the arts council hopes to grow the festival over the 2014 event.

“This a great way to celebrate the arts in Sooke,” Bussard-Grove said.

“Art is not just for professional artists. Art is an activity. It’s a social activity. It’s like a hobby and it’s meant to be enjoyable. It contributes significantly to our community and to our society.”

More about the event is at sookecommunityarts.com.

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