I remember the days when I first moved here and I barely ventured West of Bronson or as I referred to it W.o.B. My boyfriend at the time had his film studio in Hintonburg, but there was little other reason to head out to the mainly residential neighbourhood. Now, things have radically changed and Hintonburg is not only home to some of Ottawa’s coolest homes, it is also a cultural hotspot featuring casual fine dining restaurants, funky stores and hip galleries. This is certainly something worth recognizing and celebrating.
In a city never short on community initiative, Anne Tessier, Summer Baird, Mike Peterson and Alisa Viner are working to bring Hintonburg its own festival, the Hintonburg Happening, this coming June 2014.
The Hintonburg Happening aims to “ bring together artists, musicians, local talent, businesses and the community,” explains Tessier. The launch event is scheduled for June 21st at Somerset Square from 1-8 pm. This launch event will provide a flavour of what the next eight days, June 22nd to 29th, will bring, namely “art exhibitions, flash mob performances, concerts, fashion shows, food demos, arts & crafts nights, poetry readings, among others. They will take place at various locations throughout Hintonburg,” explain the organizers. It doesn’t stop there, however, with an effort to include area businesses, organizers “invite all businesses to decorate their windows during the festival for a prize to be announced at the closing party.”
Similar to the respective intent of WestFest and Chinatown Remixed, the Hintonburg Happening is a festival intended to “celebrate the uniqueness of Hintonburg.” However, given it’s the first year, the organizers say it’s going to be comparably small scale to what they hope to achieve in future years. In addition to catalyzing community collaboration in Hintonburg, with many businesses “jumping on board,” organizers think it will be “a great way to promote all of the new businesses coming up in that area, such as the new Studio Café, and the West End Well. Ultimately, we think the festival promises nine days of fun events for the community.”
However, a new festival doesn’t just happen without a lot of work from the organizers and some necessary fundraising. Thus, the organizers are hosting various fundraising events, the latest of which is the [Square] fundraiser at the Hintonburg Public House on April 3rd. The name for the show comes from the Somerset “Square” where the launch event will be taking place, the organizers laugh “it’s quite ironic that its called a square, because the square is really a triangle… “ This art sale will showcase small and medium format square shaped art by local talent. With pieces still coming in, the collection currently boasts pieces from Eryn O’Neil, Daniel Martelock, Petr Maur, Patrice Stanley, Lili Johanis, MacKenzie Donegan, Lorena Ziraldo and even some by Tessier herself.
The funds raised by these initiatives will go towards not just festival promotion but also the costs associated with the festival, namely structures, fencing, insurance, renting portable washrooms, decorations, etc. “ Ideally we would like to raise enough money to pay artist fees, and hopefully we will have enough to do so this year. In the end, any money raised from the fundraisers and the Festival itself, we will donate towards arts projects in the community and will reinvest into next year’s festival,” explains Tessier.
When asked how people might become involved in this new initiative the organizers say, “We would welcome volunteer help with organizing the festival. You can also get involved by donating works if you are an artist or buy some art at the [Square] fundraiser, You can help us by suggesting some ideas to make the festival unique. We are also seeking volunteers and creative talent to help with set up, decorating, postering, and other tasks during the launch. We will be holding a concert by a band named Tilda at The Hintonburg Public House on May 4th. You can also contact the Hintonburg Happening with any sponsorship or donations. “
This spring-like Thursday, come out to the Hintonburg Public House for [Square] in support of the Hintonburg Happening. Our little Hintonburg is pretty happenin’ after all!
[Square] takes place at The Hintonburg Public House on Thursday, April 3 at 7pm.