ArtsPark: The urban village fair turns ten

The invitational art show is always at the heart of ArtsPark. Photo by Kathleen Wilker

To celebrate 10 years of Hintonburg’s now famous ArtsPark, we caught up with Charles Reynolds, one of the founding members of the Hintonburg Community Association’s arts committee who envisioned and created the free, low-key festival celebrating art, craft, music, poetry, dance, theatre and neighbours. Now living in his great-grandfather’s renovated 1898 country home in Hartland, New Brunswick, Reynolds described the festival’s beginnings.

“Initially it was kind of spur of the moment,” said Reynolds. “We had established the notion of an Arts district in Hintonburg and we knew there were lots of artists in the neighbourhood, so we made some arrangements with Parkdale Market. I also remember chaos and being in the park at 5:30 am to close the streets. But it all magically came about. Everyone who participated was well pleased.”

Kids’ art table at ArtsPark. Photo by Kathleen Wilker

From the beginning, ArtsPark’s goal was always to feature the artists and crafts people who exhibited at the festival. “I was going through my scrap book and noticing that a lot of the artists who have participated are so enthusiastic about the exposure,” said Reynolds, noting that this was especially true for emerging artists. “A jewellery designer said that from the first year she participated to the second her sales had quadrupled,” he said.

Kids add their art to the gallery. Photo by Kathleen Wilker

Reynolds is delighted that the Parkdale Park now has a permanent stage and is “a very beautiful urban park.”

ArtsPark is a time to meet and visit with friends, family and neighbours. Photo by Kathleen Wilker

Speaking of the changes that have come to Hintonburg from 2003 to 2013, Reynolds said, “As the neighbourhood is changing and the becoming more desireable from a business point of view, ArtsPark still has a home-grown feel to it. ArtsPark reminds people that Hintonburg is a village, with a vibrant feel.”

Local food is a big part of ArtsPark. Photo by Kathleen Wilker

Held on Mother’s Day for many years, ArtsPark is now on the last Sunday of May for a better chance of warmer weather. This year ArtsPark is May 25, from 10am-5pm.

  ArtsPark Photo Contest:

Share your Instagram photos and win!

Igers: share your Instagram photos using #ArtsPark2013, then visit or Kitchissippi Times on facebook to view the community photogallery. One lucky entry will win a gift from an ArtsPark artisan!

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