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Waterfront art festival brings park to life

Published on

Cathy Dobson  

Sometimes the greatest ideas come together by chance.

Sandi Grimshaw was shopping one day and happened to bump into Jenny Greensmith, the executive director at Pathways Health Centre for Children.

The two got talking and Greensmith mentioned she was looking around for a new fundraiser for the centre.  Grimshaw had 10 years’ experience organizing Art in the Park in Bright’s Grove, which had been taken on by another group.

“Jenny thought an event similar to Art in the Park would be a good fundraiser for Pathways,” said Grimshaw.

“At first, I said I wasn’t interested. It`s a lot of work. But she convinced me.”

Ultimately, Grimshaw couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help Pathways and work with a wide variety of artists from across Ontario.

“They are so inspiring,” she said. “And they love coming to Sarnia.”

Thus, ARTZscape by the Bay began.  The annual two-day event features an art market in Centennial Park, a licenced pavilion with live jazz and ceili music, and a café with a variety of food and drink.

In just three years it has doubled in size. This year, 100 artisans are registered to set up in Sarnia’s waterfront park on Aug. 15 and 16.

As many as 46 new artists are joining those who came last year to sell everything from fine and costume jewelry, to paintings, metal work, wearable art and more.

ARTZscape is a juried event, which means each artist is required to submit samples of their work to ensure they meet the quality and uniqueness organizers want to maintain.

The first year of ARTZscape proved challenging when fences were erected in Centennial Park just weeks before.

“We had to relocate,” said Grimshaw. That was a blow for a new event.

Last year, ARTZscape set up in the park as planned. The gardens, the waterfront, good weather, food and music under a tent at the flag court proved a big draw.

“The artists said they loved the venue,” said Grimshaw. “Many of them come to Sarnia for the first time and say, wow.  They had no idea Sarnia was like this and they come back with their families and friends.”

Food this year is being prepared by Sitara Indian Cuisine, Alfie`s European Deli, the Sarnia Kinsmen and The Ice Creamery.

Music on Saturday will be provided by the Bruce Dean Trio and The Bluewater Ceili Band. The Bad Gilligan Band and the Bluewater Ceili Band perform Sunday.

ARTZscape is free to attend but donations are appreciated.


WHAT: ARTZscape, an art market, food and music festival.

WHERE: Centennial Park, along Front Street from Maxwell to London Road.

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 15, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 16, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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