Even in a pandemic, artists don’t stop creating, and both art and music can help to alleviate some of the anxiety brought on by current world events.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we experience the arts for the time being, but artists and musicians need our support more than ever.
The Algonquin Theatre and Huntsville Festival of the Arts (HFA) have a combined goal of showcasing the artistic talents of those in our community and keeping them in the spotlight.
“We always try to focus on local artists and the talents that they bring, even during the pandemic. It is so important that we focus on our arts community right now. Although we aren’t able to have live entertainment we have an amazing opportunity to display local art around town in other ways,” said theatre manager Matt Huddlestone. “Muskoka has so many incredible artists including painters, musicians, and artistic performers, but they aren’t able to put on larger-scale performances or invite many people to an exhibition. Our artists need us the most right now.”
The Algonquin Theatre is currently working on a plan to bring live performances and other events back to the theatre, safely, in the future, in accordance with public health guidelines.
In the meantime, Huddlestone recommends that fans look for their favourite local musicians and artists online—many have Facebook pages and Instagram feeds where they showcase their work, and often include works and albums for sale.
There are also still a few ways to take in the arts in person. The HFA has hosted several outdoor concerts featuring local musicians and has others in the works.
The Huntsville Art Society continues to have permanent gallery space in Partners Hall at the Algonquin Theatre featuring revolving members’ shows. These exhibits are free to view whenever the building is open, provided the room hasn’t been booked for a private event, with a maximum number of 10 viewers at a time in accordance with provincial guidelines. The works on display change every month.
You can still catch Impressions from Around the World & the Mind’s Eye, featuring works by Nalini Almas and Ursula Trescases until September 30. Next up, beginning October 2, is Surviving Cabin Fever 2, an indoor version of the outdoor show HAS held in August.
Outdoors, artist Gerry Lantaigne, in partnership with HFA, is painting Group of Seven-inspired canoes for display around town. Lantaigne created the Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery and also assisted the G8 world leaders in 2010 when they created their commemorative painting. The canoes will eventually be auctioned off in support of arts charities in the Algonquin Outfitters Paddle Art Auction in 2021, but they can be enjoyed in downtown Huntsville in the meantime.
If you love the arts, you’ll also want to mark September 25 to October 25 on your calendar. That’s when the annual Culture Days, a national event that celebrates the arts in communities large and small across the country, will take place this year, primarily online.
The normally weekend-long, in-person event will be extended to a month-long online arts and culture extravaganza where you can see a variety of arts, culture and music offerings from across the country in the comfort of your living room.
Most of the performers will prerecord and upload their videos online but there will also be some performances streamed in real-time and, where possible, there may be some socially distanced in-person offerings as well.
Check the Culture Days website frequently—new options are added almost daily.
Learn more about Culture Days and other local arts initiatives at the following links:
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