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Alton Mill hosts The Competition Vol. 1

April 21, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

A new ticketed event – an arts competition – at the Alton Mill Arts Centre is set for May 1. The brain child of Sam King who is employed at the Mill promises to be the first of a whole series of such competitions. 

Sam King has been working at the Mill for four years but she has been hosting and running events on her own for almost 12. They took place all around and in Brampton, many sponsored by the city until Ms. King took her idea and staged on her own “literary events, all sorts of events focused on art.”

She said, “I see myself as a connector of creatives (artists) to the rest of the world.”

This first Competition event at the Alton Mill is focused on painting. There is to be a series of events rolled out over time. They will encompass all of the arts over the next couple of years.

For this time around, 12 artists will be given the same theme to paint when they arrive. Each artist is on their own. They will be provided with all they need by way of canvasses and painting material. Their easels will be spread across the lower ground floor to make sure each artist has a singular area. This is where the historical remnants of the Mill are displayed, where there is plenty of room for people attending to enjoy a bite to eat or a drink and music in the background. 

This is not meant to be a time of silent contemplation but to talk and enjoy the company of others – friends or people one has not met before. It is all part of the challenges the painters will face.

The capacity of attendees is kept at 50 per cent to allow for distancing while the doors to the adjacent courtyard on the same level are open to keep the air fresh and allow enough space for comfort.

As judges, there are four artists from the community on the judging panel. The audience is the other judges. People having purchased their tickets will have a say in the results of the competition. Upon entry they will be given slips of paper to have their vote by dropping their papers into the boxes near each artist.

All the art is for sale. 

There are also cash prizes from the Mill; the organizer has purchased all the supplies from Maggiolly Arts Supply Shop. Artists participating in the competition are coming from Headwaters Arts or are tenants at the Mill. Emilia Perrin, owner and Ricky Schaede, manager of Maggiolly are two of the four judges.

This event is sponsored by the Alton Mill Arts Centre.

Sam King’s background and motive for committing to all the hard work involved over many years in setting up so many shows of this nature is her love of creating memories.

Said she, “I’m a writer, storyteller and artist myself. I love creating memories, anything that becomes the marker in a person’s life. It is really a huge part of life. Because I’ve done this event, someone might meet their soulmate or learn they want to paint.” 

Ms. King has posted information about the Competition Volume One on Instagram


She told the Citizen, “That is the go-to for all the information. I wanted to keep it separate from the Alton Mill.

“It has already attracted 50 followers. We expect to have a full house for the event.”

The purpose of all this new excitement is creating the circumstances for other people to be inspired.

The artists have 30 minutes to complete their theme based paintings in Round One. The audience will have voted by dropping their papers into the receptacles provided and the ones with the most votes move on. It is the audience that choses the four to go forward into Round Two. The four winners get 30 minutes again to paint whatever they want, with no theme. The judges get $50 each to award to the one they think is the best. And the judges and the audience pick the winner for a trophy.

The flow works pretty well, we were assured. The competition will have corralled off the area of the event and the food is upstairs.

“The general public can’t come down,” Ms. King clarified. “You have to have a ticket, which price goes toward the supplies that are provided to the artists. You can buy tickets online and if there are tickets available, you can buy tickets at the door.” 

She dropped a few hints about what is next, “The second event is already in the works and it will be a magic event. The Toronto Magic company will be involved in that.”

Like many artists, Ms. King has had a number of interesting jobs: “I worked for Tree Top trekking, Hockley Valley [Resort] and the City of Brampton for a long time.”

Now she is the caretaker and grounds keeper for the Alton Mill, meeting interesting people, tenants and visitors alike.

Why come? She declared, “Come and be inspired and be engaged to see art made and for those who have not had a lot of real world experience, they should come and see if they can imagine themselves doing something in the arts!” 

While there are no Covid protocols mandated at the Alton Mill, masks are available at the door for people who wish to remain cautious about the possibility of infection.

Eventbrite is where to buy tickets as is Facebook.


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