The summer festivities continue this month with the Kimberley Kaleidoscope Arts and Culture Festival from August 18 to 25, 2018.
This is the fourth year for the annual eight-day event, which started in 2015. The festival features a series of visual, performing and literary art events that link the August First Saturday community arts, culture and heritage celebration with the former Arts on the Edge festival.
Former President of the Kimberley Arts Council Mike Redfern explained that the Arts on the Edge Festival started in 2005 as a two-day weekend festival in the Platzl with the month-long Arts on the Edge art exhibition held at Chateau Kimberley. By 2014, the festival had been reduced to a one-day event that was not attracting a great deal of Interest.
“The arts council decided to change the format, length, and location in the hopes of bringing back an enthusiastic summer audience to participate in and attend workshops and entertainment events,” said Redfern. “Modest increases in attendance have occurred each year. Nearly all events now take place in Centre 64’s theatre, gallery, and concert studio (Studio 64).”
He adds that this year, the festival has moved from the first full week of August to the third week in August in order to separate it from the First Saturday celebration and Saturday Night outdoor concert and dance.
“[This] gives residents a little breathing space between concerts,” Redfern said.
New this year is a closing bluegrass concert in the theatre at Centre 64 on Saturday, August 25, featuring the Bix Mix Boys, a bluegrass quartet from Edmonton.
“In previous years, the festival has closed with an outdoor dance/concert similar to the First Saturday concert the previous weekend,” explained Redfern.
“Instead, the festival will open with a Saturday night outdoor concert and dance on August 18. This will feature Monkey Dragon with Beckman Coe and Adam Shaikh.”
Each year some new entertainers are introduced to Kimberley audiences. In addition to the Bix Mix Boys, this year’s festival introduces Ivan E. Coyote, an internationally acclaimed storyteller and advocate for the LGBTQ community who will be coming directly to Kimberley from an engagement in Europe.
“Ivan E. Coyote appeared at Centre 64 many years ago, before they had become famous, and was enthusiastically received by the audience in attendance that evening in the Gallery. Ivan will perform on Thursday, August 23, in Studio 64 along with some local writers and flautist Khoji Vihara, who is also relatively new to Kimberley audiences. This is definitely one of the festival’s highlight events,” Redfern said.
Also new this year is Jazz Night on Wednesday, August 22. The Don Davies Quintet will be providing the music for the cabaret-style concert and dance.
There are also two workshops that are new to the festival; a textile workshop with Kimberley fibre artist Darcy Wanuk and a writing workshop with Kimberley artist and writer Lori Craig. Bag It, the textile workshop will take place on Saturday morning, August 25, in Studio 64. The Writer’s Toolkit workshop will take place at Lori’s home in Ta Ta Creek on Thursday, August 23, prior to the spoken word event with Ivan E. Coyote.
The Social Dance Night is also new this year, led by Dance With Me from Cranbrook. This workshop and dance will take place on Tuesday evening, August 21.
“Each year the festival offers a Plein Air outdoor painting workshop, usually over three or four days,” Redfern said. “This year Castlegar painter extraordinaire and Selkirk College art instructor Mirja Vahala will instruct this workshop. She will also lead the Da-vin-ci Paint Night on Monday, August 20. Three of Mirja’s paintings have pride of place in the Arts on the Edge exhibition in the Centre 64 gallery. For the Plein Air workshop to take place a minimum of eight participants are required. I understand that there is still room in this workshop for a late registration or two.”
The Da-vin-ci Painting Night has proved very popular and is always fully booked, Redfern says. This year it will take place on Monday, August 20, under Mirja Vahala’s direction.
Every year the Kaleidoscope Festival presents a children’s festival event in the Platzl with entertainers, crafts, face-painting, and other child centred activities. This year the Ktunaxa youth drum group, Adrummik, will perform. The Children’s festival takes place on August 25 from 10a.m. to 1-p.m. in the Platzl.
One of the most popular events, according to Redfern, now in it’s 15th year, is the Arts on the Edge Gala Reception, which this year is on a Friday evening, August 24. In addition to the award of cash prizes to winning artists, this evening features a live auction of artworks from the Arts and Garden Tour in July, piano music by Sharla, delicious finger foods and a no host bar, and the stunning artworks in the Arts on the Edge exhibition which runs until August 25.