The 2014 Gathering Festival will kick off with four weeks of free public art workshops and training sessions starting in late May. These activities and workshops will develop a variety of art works, performance skills and other abilities that will be presented at and lead to two evenings of concerts on June 19th and 20th, and culminate in a full day of celebrations in Emery Barnes Park on Sat June 21.
* Vancouver historian John Atkins will train local residents how to lead historical walks and talks through the Downtown South neighbourhood explaining local history and the evolution of the modern developments.
* The Gathering Festival will run art workshops facilitated by local artist Jolene Andrews and exhibit the resulting art at the main celebration.
* For the third time we will celebrate summer solstice by running lantern and Ivana Kupala (Ukrainian solstice) wreath making workshops in preparation of the June 21 festival closing celebrations.
* The Gathering Place Community Art Show will run for … Each artist will get to feature one juried peice at the Gathering festival Main celebration day June 21.
* Led by La Boussole, French community members will celebrate with French food and *
Inner city youth in the downtown core of Vancouver are at particularly high risk. A key partnership with Family Services of Greater Vancouver’s Inner-city Youth Program “Directions” will engage at-risk youth in a 3 week stilt walking and costume design program leading to performances at The Gathering Festival. Stilt-walking workshops will be led David Yates (Web link).
* Starting Seniors Week the Vancouver Second Mile Society and The Gathering Place will partner to run a series of workshops to gather stories from seniors living in the area’s subsidized housing about their lives and experiences in the Downtown South. These stories will be expressed using a variety of artistic applications to textiles. The resulting banners and flags will be displayed along the walkways during the Gathering Festival. Artistic direction and leadership for this project will be led by Marina Szijarto ( web link).
* On June 19 and 20th we will present free Concerts in the Park with unamplified musicians, free food (Smokies and Pizza) and real time art activities facilitated by professional artists from the Gathering Place Community Art Show. These celebratory events will help engage the community and build awareness and excitement for the main events on Sat June 21st.
* Sat June 21, the main community celebration day, will be filled with live music, art, food, presentation booths, demonstrations, displays and more. Festivities will begin at 11:30 AM with Aboriginal, drumming, dancing and blessings. Performances will happen on two stages, a performance area in the field for unamplified musicians and dancers, and a demonstration area.
A number of local and amateur musicians will be invited to perform including members of the Gathering Place music program, Directions’ youth, the GP Choir, the Carnegie Jazz Band and the Uzume Taiko students among others. As well, we will have a roster of professional groups.
* The events will include the resulting art, performances and skill demonstrations developed at all the workshop activities mentioned above. The festival site will be animated by the Youth Stilt Dancers in their self-made costumes, banners and flags from this year’s and last year’s senior textile project, and banners on loan from Still Moon Arts Society. The wheelchair dance students and their instructors will perform in the demonstration area. The aboriginal art participants will display their new work. With guidance from historian John Atkins the historical trainees will lead public tours though the downtown south. “Our Community Bikes” will be assisted by the workshop trainees to help tune and repair local cyclists bikes. To highlight and build excitement for the bike project Bioules Free Style Productions will perform aerial acrobatics BMX bicycle demonstrations. La Boussole will display the French community collage. As Emery Barnes Park has a thriving children’s play area, there will be games and prizes for children. These have proved an excellent way of engaging local residents and families in the past. The Gathering Place Community Art Show highlights the artwork of 60 professional and amateur community artists during the first two weeks of June.
Select adjudicated items from the show will be presented at the Gathering Festival. We will also present the work of artists from the Gathering Place ceramic program as well as demonstrations from our martial arts programs.
*Through our partnerships with Three Bridges Clinic, Aids Vancouver, Positive Living and Youth Co. we will run a variety of health related activities including real time art workshops, participation theatre, information tables and the nurses will offer free examinations, HIV, STD, blood and pregnancy tests and more.
* Of course there will be a variety of information booths set up by our partners such as the Community Police, Coast Mental Health, Second Mile Society and others. Collingwood Renfrew Aboriginal Canoe Club will display their big canoe, set up their tipi. Because the park boasts a very active Dog Run Area and to celebrate “Doggy to Work Day” City-Dog will offer free dog food, leashes, toys and dog care assistance along-side the City of Vancouver’s Animal Control information table.
* Because getting sufficient food and nutrition is always a struggle for marginalized individuals the Gathering Place kitchen will prepare and serve free food for all the participants at every workshop; As well, the Gathering Place will serve free food at the two evening concerts and free salmon dinners on the main celebration day. Donations for lunch (sandwiches and drinks) will be served by Coast Mental Health Outreach and coffee and deserts will be served at various times by Starbucks and Catholic Charities.
* The Gathering Festival will close at sunset on the 21nd with an unamplified procession by Orkestar Silvovicia and joined by the Gathering Place Choir. Together they will sing and play traditional Ukrainian solstice music while the lanterns and wreaths are illuminated