Art happening in the street during A Day & A Night. • PHOTO COURTESY A Day & A Night

Four years of A Day & A Night

Art happening in the street during A Day & A Night. • PHOTO COURTESY A Day & A Night
Art happening in the street during A Day & A Night. • PHOTO COURTESY A Day & A Night

Anya Lomako

It’s difficult to picture Waterloo Region without its artistic backbone of street festivals like Open Streets, Night\Shift, Days of #KWAwesome and Cambridge’s upcoming A Day & A Night Art Meets Music festival.

Taking place on August 23, A Day & A Night Art Meets Music, is an interactive arts, music and culture festival. Now in its fourth year, the festival was originally created to showcase Hespeler’s flourishing creative community after the construction of the Highway 401 overpasses, which directed traffic away from the area.

It’s a festival that lives and breathes Canadian arts spirit — laid-back, hands-on, pop-up, transformative and open to everyone.

Attracting 800 visitors in 2011, this year’s event estimates an attendance of over 4,000. Thankfully, quadrupling in size has not stopped the festival from remaining as welcoming and diverse as its original vision.

The event won recognition at the 2014 Arts Awards Waterloo Region for best new festival and expects this year will captivate visitors with a new and exciting lineup.

Donna Stewart, Vice Chair of A Day & A Night, is excited to announce that this year’s theme will honour Hespeler’s local textile heritage by celebrating fiber art. In addition to a themed play and historical tours, the festival will end in the completion of a 20-foot long quilt made up of woven squares crafted by community members, created as the festival progresses.

Stewart sees value in the festival that goes beyond art to give people a way to connect to the community and people around them.

“Lots of people will be coming together to participate in a project that helps them connect with one another in their own community, giving them the experience and opportunity of being a part of a project bigger than themselves,” explains Stewart.

While Queen Street will be closed to traffic from Guelph Avenue to Tannery Street, local businesses will remain open during late hours in hopes of creating the perfect music and art crawl experience.

There’s something for everyone at this 12-hour festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Daytime family-friendly activities will include busker performances and guided historical tours of Hespeler Village.

Overnight, Hespeler Village will transform into an interactive pop-up gallery. Music, painting and graffiti will be created in the presence of onlookers.

Lucas Stagg, confessional narrative songwriter and performer will be back for another year to perform a live show at Brownehouse Gastropub. Among the musicians joining Stagg are Eric Bolton, Mo’Kauffey, JoJo Worthington, Riley O’Donnel, Keith Tobey and Mill Race Folk society, who will perform at various Cambridge venues throughout the festival.

“I’ve heard our Festival described as a “hidden gem” and that’s exactly what Hespeler Village is,” says Stewart.

Whether you’re part of the Hespeler community or a visitor, this festival is a great way to discover all the cultural abundance our region has to offer.