Take your family, grab your friends and head to the summer oasis of the valley for a day of fun. Saturday marked the start of the 37th annual Festival of the Arts in Harrison Hot Springs, which runs until July 19, bringing world-class performing artists, artisans and art lovers to the small village in the Fraser Valley.
Andy Hillhouse, Executive Director of the Festival, gives a bit of background information on the event:
“The festival was started 37 years ago by a small group of performing artists and fans of performing art. They really sought to promote understanding and bring people of different cultures together.”
This year’s line-up includes a Moroccan-style group from Montreal, a pipe band from Scotland, a Colombian reggae band, and much more.
“The variety and types of performers you will see at the Harrison Festival are comparable to those you can see in Vancouver, but with a small town feel and the picturesque backdrop that is Harrison Hot Springs,” says Hillhouse.
Performances at the festival take place in two venues: a stage on the beach where admission is free (but donations are welcome), and ticketed evening shows in the Memorial Hall just steps off the beach.
There are a few things that make this festival so unique and worth the trip. The first is that it is heavily powered by volunteers. Although Harrison Hot Springs has a very small population, over 100 people volunteer their time to make this event happen each year.
Secondly, there are no admission gates. Besides the evening concerts in the Hall, the rest of the events take place throughout town and people can come and go as they please.
Lastly, the festival has a huge variety of things to experience for all types of art lovers. In addition to musical performances, festival goers can take in a literary café, theatre performances, visual art exhibits, workshops, an art market, and even a day dedicated to young (and young at heart) art lovers.
Wednesday, July 15 is Children’s Day and will include performances, crafts, a climbing wall, face painting and much more. The festival aims to make their event accessible for all audiences, from those looking for a night of music and dancing, to those wanting to bring their families.
When: Until July 19 in Harrison Hot Springs
A full schedule of events and ticket information can be found at www.harrisonfestival.com.
Written by Dallas Carlson. Follow Dallas on Twitter at @dk_carlson.