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By Constance Scrafield
Once again, a beautiful weekend is planned for the Alton Mill Arts Centre on Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22.
On Saturday, as the media person for Headwaters Arts, Susan Powell told the Citizen, “It's a long weekend of events, with an arts market place under the tent. We can fit 16 vendors under there and let's see what kind of response we get for this on May 21.”
Artisans will be set up outside the Mill itself, using the shelter and space of the covered Annex; some will be on the lawn.
“It would be nice to see how this goes,” Ms. Powell commented further. “I know they're keen but nervous to get out there. They don't have to bring a tent or anything if they're under the cover in the Annex.”
Caledon Music Festival [as an organization] is doing a concert on May 22 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
“They also rehearse there during the week,” she told the Citizen. “It was open and under shelter. This will be a ticketed event.
“It's fascinating,” she said. “You don't know how people are feeling about coming. It's outside. The musicians just want to get out there. It has to be a ticketed event; the musicians need to get paid.”
The musicians are for sure among the best, she promised with a great repertoire and Ms. Powell went on to note the quality of music being played here in Alton. People will drive into Toronto, pay for parking, tickets to the concerts and this is right here. The musicians performing at the Mill next weekend are the same musicians who play for the TSO.
Naturally, Headwaters Arts is hoping for a good crowd for the market. The artists are from Tottenham, Wasaga Beach, Waterloo, and Terra Nova.
“We've opened it up and we're charging reasonable booth space cost.”
While the market is visiting artists, the Mill artists were welcome to participate and encaustic artist, Karen Brown is showing her work in the market. The market is free for visitors.
We took a couple of moments to speak to one of the coming artists, a water colourist who specializes in pet portraits, Patrice Clarkson. Asked which was the most unusual, she demurred, saying, “Well, they are all special and the connection with the people is great. I'm commissioned to paint their pet and then it's the relationship with the dogs is special. I have done cats and horses too. I usually meet them afterwards because I work from photos. Some I meet before to take pictures of them, which is really fun.”
Ms. Clarkson also has products with her art on them, tote bags and other small items. She does not need owners' permission as she has the rights to the art.
Her planned attendance to Alton Mill's market place next Saturday came from an email invitation to come, “So, I just thought, why not?” said she. “I'm going there for the first time for this, selling original art and samples of my work, some of my products.”
She was “really excited” to tell us she is working on putting her art on clothing . She recently received an email from a company [that prints on clothing] in Montreal and there were artists from Orangeville using the company. Her totes are coming from the States at the moment.
“I've never been to the Alton Mill,” Ms. Clarkson reported. “But I'm going there this weekend to see what it's all about.”
A metal sculptor working with horse shoes will also attend as vendor and Wood turn pens is another. Andrea Elmhirst, a textile and felting artist is coming from Tottenham with her stitch purses and other items.
We were reminded that the market is the one day only on May 21with the concert to follow in May 22.
Event organizers have encouraged the markets participants to think of this as day of just shopping from every price point. A variety of cost is what the customers are looking for.
The Mill itself is open all weekend and will be busy too with the tenant artists.
Good news: the cafe is open and a bar will be set up for the concert on Sunday.
Terry Lim, coordinator for the Caledon Music Festival spoke to the Citizen about the upcoming concert on Sunday, May 22 and how pleased they are to be coming back to the Mill. This is the third time the music festival has performed at the Alton Mill.
“We came as the Belfountain Music Festival,” he commented. “Last year the tent was up and we were one of the few assembles to perform there. I went to check the acoustics and they are very good. It's beautiful. We always worry about doing concerts outside because of the acoustics but at the Mill, it sounds like being in a castle.”
Although Mr. Lim plays the flute and he sometimes plays in the concerts, because of all the “running around” for this event, he is sticking to the organizing.
He took over running the Caledon Music Festival, of which the major event is in August. He had been running it with another person with whom they decided that using Caledon as the name for the music festival worked better.
“I do love the arts,” he said. “I have a couple of other ensembles in Toronto, as well general promo work for music events. Before studying music and I also studied commerce. I like to blend them together.”
There are six string players for this concert, violin, viola and cello, playing mostly Vivaldi (Spring from his Four Seasons - “so suitable and the most popular of the four”) and Tchaikovsky.
“Also, an original by the viola player,” he enthused. “An electronic singing using his own music – it's fantastic.”
A performance of a cello duos called VC2 – Colour You Like.
After intermission, the program follows with Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence.
“That's a big piece for a string -sextet, big and a real crowd pleasing piece,” said Mr. Lim. “Ringing out in a place like that! These musicians are playing in TSO or COC.”
The concert this weekend will be exceptional.
For tickets go to www.headwatersarts.org
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