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Filling the Grand River with Art and Music

Filling the Grand River with Art and Music

On Saturday, September 9, more than 70 musicians, visual artists, and performers are turning the trails, bridges, and the Grand River into galleries and stages for a brand new arts festival in Brantford: Day on the Grand. Day on the Grand is presented by the Brantford Arts Block – their first project since closing their brick and mortar space in 2015 – in partnership with Brant Theatre Workshops and zzzbtfd.

The festival, held on the river at Brant’s Crossing Park near Lorne Bridge, boasts a full afternoon and evening of music, visual art, and theatre. Arts Block’s Gerry Lafleur explains the significance of holding an arts festival quite literally on and in the Grand River: “The River is so recognizable as a symbol of Brantford that the Lorne Bridge is actually part of the City’s logo. Then there’s the name itself, which comes from an earlier reference to ‘Brant’s Ford,’ which as it happens, was in nearly the exact same place as our festival.”

The afternoon features singer-songwriters on the sandbar below the rail bridge and a brass quintet at the skate park. At 5pm, a number of bands will rock the riverbank stage. The musical lineup includes a number of talented local performers, including Logan Staats, Tim Turvey, Steve Murphy, Missy Bauman, Lacey Hill, Austin Pigott, and bands like the Cellar Dwellers, Solar Roller, and Neu Guys.

Some of the participating visual artists include Dave Hind, Aliki Mikulich, Rob Mikalchuk, Rob Porteous, Garner Beckett, and Petra Glynt. Performance artists Holly Timpener and Enok Ripley and Mt. Pleasant poet and publisher Kemeny Babineau will share their talents, and a new play about Lawren Harris’ experiences during WWI will be presented by Brant Theatre Workshops.

There will be activities for all ages throughout the day, including art-making and Lego play stations, and activity booths and displays by local organizations such as Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant, Woodland Cultural Centre, the Brant Historical Society, and the Canadian Industrial Heritage Centre.

Brant’s Crossing Park is located behind the OLG Casino. Park for free at the Market Parkade on Icomm Drive, or at the Civic Centre on Market Street South. Access the festival by foot on your bike from Lorne Park and Fordview Trail in West Brant, or from Grand River Ave., Icomm Drive, or Market Street South.

Photo: Event branding designed by Brantford artist and zzzbtfd co-founder Chris George.

For more information about the Brantford Arts Block, click here to open a new browser window.


Brantford Arts Block , Brant Theatre Workshops , Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant , Woodland Cultural Centre , the Brant Historical Society , Canadian Industrial Heritage Centre


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