It’s that time of the year again ladies and gentleman, June is just around the corner which can only mean one thing: Artwalk! Artwalk is described as “a festival with a function. From its inception, Sarnia-Lambton Artwalk was designed to celebrate community through the arts, champion ecology and provide a free event for people of all ages to enjoy.” An estimated 25,000 people attended the events in 2013. It provides a unique opportunity for musicians, artists, vendors and charities alike to come together for a weekend and showcase their talents and wares. This year there are even more exciting and unique options to do so.
Each year, Artwalk is divided into certain areas including the Ecovillage, which is an interactive village supported by local and regional wildlife conservation groups and environmental organizations. Other areas include the Multicultural Village which in previous years has had a variety of groups that focused on diversity in culture including: ethnic food booths, a henna station, traditional dance and entertainment. If your group or organization would fit best near the Children or Youth sections or in the Multicultural sections, please specify on your registration form. Finding the right fit at Artwalk is a must – and there is a fit for everyone.
Another addition to this years Artwalk is the concept of a “festival inside a festival.” A great example of this was seen last year when The Women’s Interval Home teamed up with Artwalk to host “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” a walk that supports women who have been victims of domestic violence. Men paraded in bright red high heels throughout the Artwalk festival grounds to raise money for the organization which exceeded their fund-raising goal. The exposure that a group can receive by partnering up with Artwalk is endless.
Artwalk is a fantastic venue to springboard a new project/concept/program or promote a long standing one, right within the core of the Sarnia community. Groups such as One Tomato have benefited greatly from their partnership and they keep their tent stocked full of One Tomato plants to spread their message. Almost everyone who attends can be spotted with one of their seedlings. This not only spreads a good message for their group but also is an excellent marketing tool.
Another important concept to keep in mind is involving people in the booth. The more effort one puts into attracting attention from the crowd, the better the outcome. For instance, demonstrations, decking your tent out with interesting decorations, having musicians or interactive aspects can really draw a crowd. Making your booth attractive to your clientele in any way you see fit is always a bonus. There are plenty of websites that have DIY projects that would help spruce up anyone’s booth. Artwalk hopes to put on special workshops about how to make your booth more engaging, so stay tuned for further information.
People, groups and businesses can really benefit from this. A success story from just last year comes from the group Fung Loy Kok – Taoist Tai Chi. In their testimonial they applauded Artwalk and its contribution to their growing numbers: “Last year was our first time renting a booth at Artwalk, and the visibility it provided was very helpful to our group. Following the Artwalk event, we saw more traffic at our open houses and beginner classes than usual, which we attribute to the visibility and exposure provide by our Artwalk participation.”
by Melissa Upfold