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Street Chalk Art Festival returns to Sackville this summer

Jason Skinner is a Halifax-based multi-disciplinary artist and award-winning illustrator who will be returning to Sackville to participate in this year’s Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival.
Jason Skinner is a Halifax-based multi-disciplinary artist and award-winning illustrator who will be returning to Sackville to participate in this year’s Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival. - Contributed

After one-year hiatus, event is coming back Aug. 23-24

SACKVILLE, N.B. —

Downtown Bridge Street will be transformed into a canvas of colour once again this summer as Sackville gets set to host its second Street Chalk Art Festival.

Returning after a one-year hiatus, the chalk art festival is set to make its comeback Friday, Aug. 23 and Saturday, Aug. 24 and will feature an array of artworks, plenty of live music, theatre and drawing workshops and a range of children’s activities.

The two-day event will put the spotlight on 11 different artists from Atlantic Canada and Ontario, who will be creating giant, one-of-a-kind pieces directly on Bridge Street.

From a 3-D drawing to a giant astrological chart, from a bouquet of lilacs to a traditional street chalk portraiture, festival coordinator Laren Bedgood said there will be a wide representation of creativity and artistry on display throughout the weekend.

“It’s looking like it’s going to be wide ranging, the types of installations this year,” she said.

François Pelletier, who makes his living as a pavement artist in Ottawa, puts the finishing touches on one of his masterpieces on Bridge Street during Sackville’s 2017 festival.
François Pelletier, who makes his living as a pavement artist in Ottawa, puts the finishing touches on one of his masterpieces on Bridge Street during Sackville’s 2017 festival.

The town held its first-ever street chalk art festival in 2017, funded in large part through a Canada 150 grant, but put the event on hold last summer due to budgetary restraints. Despite its cancellation, there was talk at the time of bringing the festival back if the opportunity arose, since the inaugural event was deemed such a success.

Bedgood said the town hopes to make the festival a regular part of the Sackville summer experience.

“It’s something different and unique for residents and it does draw people from surrounding areas as well.”

A variety of live music will keep visitors entertained all weekend long, starting Friday evening following the opening ceremony and running straight through until Saturday evening. Hitting the Bridge Street stage will be Bryon Chase, Ray Legere & Frank Doody, Janet Crawford & Georges Hebert, Cool Water, Joan Milliea, Lil’ Jills, Stacey Read, the Sackville Citizens’ Band, Liz & Ben, and Second Toe.

There will also be a series of workshops taking place on Saturday and Sunday, bringing more interactivity to this year’s festival for those who would like to take part in more of the activities. Theatre workshops for youth will take place on both days while a drawing workshop and an origami workshop for all ages are set for Saturday.

Also included in the interactive events is a ‘creativity zone’ on Bridge Street, where anyone can feel free to create their own masterpieces and showcase their creative side.

“There will be plenty of chalk on hand for anyone who would like to do their own artwork,” said Bedgood.

People are also invited to come and join in the fun on Friday evening at the Bill Johnstone Memorial Park for a colour toss, where they will be provided with small bags of paint to make a massive colour explosion.

On Saturday afternoon, the town’s visitor information centre will be hosting the unveiling of ‘A Bird’s Eye View of the Sackville Marshes,’ a short video by Sandy Burnett on the history and composition of the marshes around Sackville. And people are urged to bring their kites for some kite-flying.

The festival will culminate Saturday evening with a Roller disco event at the Tantramar civic centre.

For more information on what’s on tap for the weekend or to pre-register for the workshops, click here.

The creators behind the artwork

François Pelletier:  François Pelletier, aka Chalky, makes his living as a pavement artist in Ottawa but has created masterpieces from one end of the globe to the other. Known as a modern-day Madonnaro, Pelletier focuses his work on reproductions of classical paintings from artists such as Da Vinci, Caravaggio and Delacroix.

Emma Hassencahl-Perley: A 2017 fine arts grad from Mount Allison, Emma Hassencahl-Perley is Wolastoqey from Tobique First Nation. She currently resides in Fredericton working as an emerging curator at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and a practicing multidisciplinary artist. Her work critiques the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the settler state and society of Canada.

Jason Skinner: Jason Skinner is a Halifax-based multi-disciplinary artist and award-winning illustrator who uses humour and play to create fun, community-friendly works. Skinner, who graduated from the NSCAD in 2011 with a bachelor of fine arts, often takes his practice to the streets, engaging the public and the community as he creates public chalk murals on walkways.

Brittney Frazer:  Brittney Frazer is a Sackville artist who has decorated the town with Canadian-themed chalk art for the last two years, celebrating the country’s 150th anniversary and honouring George Stanley with her pieces. Her work has been featured in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario.

Angela Thibodeau:  Angela Thibodeau, a visual artist from Sackville, received her bachelor of fine arts from Mount Allison in 2002. She is a member of Struts Gallery and a participant in the Art Across the Marsh Studio Tour. Her paintings, sketches and videos explore themes surrounding rural lifestyles, in particular the landscapes and geographical and natural surroundings of the Maritime provinces.

Jessica Rodríguez Parga:  Jessica Rodríguez Parga hails from México but has resided in Halifax since 2016. She began working with chalk eleven years ago and has been a featured artist in festivals across North America.

Kalyn Rae:  Kalyn Rae is a young fine arts and graphic design graduate. She has been doing chalk art since 2006 when she got involved in it through childhood. She instantly fell in love with the processes and hardships of chalk art and has continued to do it annually as a featured artist in London, Ontario.

London, Ontario artist Kalyn Rae can be found at various events throughout the summer promoting street art.
London, Ontario artist Kalyn Rae can be found at various events throughout the summer promoting street art.

Lysanne Lombard:  Lysanne Lombard, a mixed media artist, studied fine arts at NSCAD University in Halifax. Now residing in Moncton, she creates oddly compelling works, including performance paintings at various festivals, invoking viewers to embrace beauty in a new fashion.

Narissa Gallant:  Narissa Gallant is a Moncton-based artist with over two decades of self-taught experience in various mediums. Their art piece, Soul of the Hinterland, is their first attempt at chalk art and an exciting challenge.

Miriam Lapp:  Miriam Lapp is a local tarot reader/astrologer and the co-owner of Blind Forest Books in Sackville. Miriam has been drawing all her life, and her art style is influenced by Art Nouveau, anime/manga, and cartoons such as old-school Disney, Archie Comics, and ElfQuest.

Miranda Forstall:  A newcomer to Sackville, with her head always in the clouds, Miranda has lofty goals and a can-do attitude. With a focus on fiber art and storytelling, she's a multidisciplinary artist who's not afraid of failure. This will be her first attempt at large-scale chalk art – let's see what happens.

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Sackville Street Chalk Art Festival on tap this weekend

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