In the face of the Province wide lockdown, the Huntsville Festival of the Arts (HfA) is keeping busy and staying creative. Over the coming weeks, HfA will be offering a number of events and online programming.
Every Friday at 7pm between January 15-February 12 tune into the HFA website or Facebook pages of HfA and Hunters Bay Radio to watch the Muskoka Music Sessions. This series of FREE online concerts features some of Muskoka’s finest musicians playing original rock, folk & country recorded at Canvas Brewery in November 2020. Artists include Tobin Spring, Gina Horswood, Sean Cotton, the Mighty Lopez and Bet Smith & the Currie Brothers. The series is presented in partnership with Hunters Bay Radio and supported by the Province of Ontario through the Celebrate Ontario Program.
On January 30th at 6:30pm join HfA online for the super popular A Play, A Pie & A Pint event. It’s a night of theatre, food and fun from the comfort of your own home. Due to COVID, this year HfA is doing things differently. Full price tickets include your choice of full-sized pizza and a small salad from the Mill On Main. On the day of the event, pick up your pre-made pizza, pop it in the oven for 20 minutes and tune into the show featuring four hilarious short plays performed by local artists. You can even book your own private virtual table so that you can eat with friends before the show. Tickets can be purchased online at huntsvillefestival.ca.
These events are examples of the responsive approach HfA is taking to the current situation. HfA’s theme for 2021 is “Arts For All Stages”. Its programming will focus on events & projects taking place in outdoor and online spaces allowing it to better adapt to changing regulations of the different “stages” of the province’s recovery. It will also strive to engage community members at all “stages” of life.
“Over the past year, we’ve had to constantly adapt.” says Executive Director Dan Watson. “We try to approach the challenges not as limitations, but as opportunities. It has led to some very creative programming that we hope will support our community through these difficult times.”
Due to the increased restrictions, HfA has cancelled or postponed many of its activities, including educational programs. However, it remains committed to local youth and is still offering its Teen Performing Arts Program (TPAN) online, developing its Online Artists in Schools program (in partnership with Huntsville Art Society and Monarch Studio) and will be announcing its call for arts scholarships in the Spring.