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Artwalk ups its game

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Sarnia’s downtown is gearing up for the biggest Artwalk ever the weekend of June 7 and 8.

So many vendors have registered that the “overflow” will being accommodated in Bayside Centre, says co-ordinator Ashley Tanguay.

“We’ve already got about 200 vendors, the most we’ve had, and more are registering on a daily basis,” she said.

The two-day festival is into its 12th year of celebrating art, music, nature and multiculturalism.

It’s responsible for bringing an estimated 20,000 people to the core in 2013, and attendance could increase this year with even more events and exhibits, said Tanguay.

The layout is changing to handle more activities on Christina, closer to Wellington.

For instance, the multicultural village will be in Veteran’s Memorial Park behind the public library and feature Lambton College international students, as well as the Sarnia Lambton Native Friendship centre.

The children’s area with arts, crafts and games has shifted closer to the library too. An eco-village will be set up on Davis Street near Christina and include groups such as One Tomato and Return the Landscape.

Artwalk’s approach to live entertainment has also changed, said Tanguay. Instead of bringing in out-of-town acts and presenting them in the evening, festival hours will be 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. both days. Only one stage will be set up at the intersection of Wellington and Christina, where local musicians will play.

“We’re getting back to the grassroots of where the festival started,” Tanguay said. In recognition of Sarnia’s 100th anniversary as a city, Artwalk is promoting “Celebrate the Past, Inspire the Future.”

An area on Christina at Lochiel Street is designated for live entertainment and demonstrations, such as tribal belly dancers, sax players and yoga.

“Between the stage and the Lochiel intersection we have 24 acts booked,” said Tanguay.


WHAT: Artwalk 2014

WHEN: June 7 and 8; from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rain or shine.

WHERE: Downtown on Christina Street and in the Bayside Centre.

TICKETS: Nope. It’s free

– Cathy Dobson

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