ANTIGONISH: The 2017 edition of Antigonight is underway.
The annual event kicked off on September 1 with an artist talk presented by Regina Marzlin.
The event continues with a First Voices showcase at the People’s Place Library and Antigonish Town Hall, which will include a performance by the Park Bench Players, on September 8. This is followed by a screening of Weirdos at the Coady Gardens on September 12, and an artist talk presented but Jessica Mensch at the StFX Art Gallery on September 14. The event wraps up with the “Antigonight: Art After Dark Festival” which takes place on September 16.
The event is presented by Antigonish Culture Alive and All-of-Us Society for Art Presentation (ASAP) Artist-Run Centre.
Antigonight festival coordinator Amberlee Boulton said Antigonight used to take place over one weekend but organizers decided to make a change this year.
“It’s a lot of performance this year,” said Boulton.
“It seems a lot of the pieces are around this theatre aspect, whether that’s puppets, or performance art, or workshops. It’s kind of neat to see that this year [it has] a performance aspect to it that is really interactive and still participatory and still very much Antigonight.”
Central Nova MP Sean Fraser announced $22,000 in funding for the Antigonight Art After Dark Festival though Canadian Heritage’s Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Fund.
“I’m very excited to see that Antigonish and specifically Antigonish Culture Alive’s annual Antigonight has been included this year,” said Fraser.
“It’s a tremendous festival and to see the federal government playing a part in our small slice of the world is encouraging.”
Fraser said the funding allows artists a platform to present their art and provides the public a means of celebrating the local arts community.
Fraser said he attended the festival last year and said he was impressed by the artists and the quality of their work.
“Arts and culture are a key part of our society and if we want to celebrate art and encourage people to take it in, that means it comes at a cost,” said Fraser.
“This is an investment that I not only think is important for the artists but it helps build stronger communities.”
Antigonish Culture Alive and festival chair Sarah O’Toole said the festival pursued funding from the Canadian Heritage’s Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Fund since 2012.
She said organizers, in some ways, helped shape and build the festival around the program.
“It emphasizes building community partnerships and I think that’s something Antigonish does well anyway,” said O’Toole.
“It really helped us use that as our starting point and it also specified a ‘more than one night festival’ so that was both a challenge and something interesting we could try to do.”
Around 3,000 people attended the festival the last couple of years.
“We really expanded this year,” O’Toole said.
People looking for more information are encouraged to visit the Antigonight Art After Dark Festival page on Facebook and at: antigonishculturealive.ca. People interested in volunteering can e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.