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Artist Corinne Blouin begins her creation at FUSE. Photos by Terry Steeves/Apt613

Bigger and better, Westboro FUSE takes to the streets to celebrate community

By Terry Steeves on August 19, 2018

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The third annual FUSE Street Festival has been even bigger and better this year, with more people taking in the sights, sounds, and gorgeous weather. And as the name implies, it’s a fusing and fusion of businesses, artists, and people celebrating, all while creating awareness and helping one another in the great and growing community of Westboro. Its small-town feel of privately owned shops, quaint restaurants and pubs, theatres, parks, and older-meets-modern architecture continues to draw visitors and new residents into this artistic and eclectic neighbourhood. The efforts of Westboro Village BIA, RBC Royal Bank, Whiskeyjack Media and other area business sponsors have made this festival possible, in support of Cornerstone Housing For Women and Westboro Region Food Bank.

To celebrate, eight city blocks on Richmond Road between McRae and Golden Avenue have been shut down and turned into a gigantic street party, held this Saturday and Sunday. A multitude of activities and entertainment for all ages include 3 locations that offer 38 live music acts over the 2 days. Catch a street yoga class, scale a rock climbing wall, have your hand painted in a beautiful henna design, grab a free bike taxi, catch a live band, take in a movie under the stars, dance during Video DJ at dusk, or relax and dine on one of the many patios… there is truly something for everyone!

The weather co-operated again on the second day of FUSE, which brought even bigger numbers out to Westboro to enjoy the music and festivities. Richmond oad was closed off between McRae and Golden to allow businesses to spill out onto the street with their wares, live music and street performances, kids activities galore, and plenty of patios everywhere. Apt613 talks to event producer, Jake Naylor of Whiskeyjack Media about changes to FUSE’s third year:

“We really wanted to bring it back to the BIA members in the planning of FUSE and made sure the focus was on a lot more entertainment this year, which we feel brings more people down to the area. We put in more evening programming, which we never had before. A lot of the previous feedback had been that it had been a great family event but not as much going on after the fact. So that’s why we added some night time bands, a DJ, the fire show, just to make it a fuller experience for everyone.

“Attendance is up this year, businesses are doing well, everyone’s having a good time. Each year has been a little different from the next, but I think this is the year that we can now set things in for the long term. It’s all of us working together to make something that businesses and the community can benefit from.”

FUSE has also made sure to benefit the community by contributing funds raised by area businesses in support of Westboro Region Food Bank, and towards the construction of Cornerstone Housing For Women’s newest building in Westboro, which will house 42 women as of November 2018.