Saturday September 15 was the perfect sunny afternoon for the town of Alexandria to be grooving to the sounds of Katie Ditschun and Impromptu. The singer led the six-piece jazz band, as listeners and enthusiasts enjoyed local art displayed on Main Street.
“It was a labour of love by local musicians coming together at the opening of Windows on Our World (WOW) People’s Choice Event. The band performed a smoking four-set performance and left the audience wanting more,” says Yvonne Callaway, the Collective Treasurer and WOW coordinator.
Not only did the artistic talent draw town residents, but it attracted visitors from Ottawa, Montreal and even as far as Mont Tremblant, QC. WOW is a four week-long event organized by the Glengarry Artists Collective. They gathered 165 works created by 45 local artists that are decorating the windows of Alexandria businesses. As a result, the public can vote for their favourite piece until Wednesday October 10.
Founded in October 2016, the not-for-profit group was created to give opportunities and a platform for local artists. It strives to make art a living asset in the area. Their goal is to enrich the community through artistic expression ranging from metal and glass art, pottery, painting, photography, writing, theatre and music.
“Five years ago I moved here from Montreal and I have been amazed at the level or cooperation and energy from the people and the township,” says Callaway. “In just two years, the Collective has grown from two to 89 members, a board of seven individuals and countless dedicated volunteers. It is constantly evolving and exciting because we never know where it will go, and we are always open to new opportunities!”
Art exhibits, pottery workshops, painting classes, readings, concerts, apples and arts tours, are just some of the events organized by the Collective. Their main project for 2018 was to recruit students from all five schools in Alexandria to create a mural that is now displayed near the park as well as a water mural displayed on Kenyon Street’s water building. There are plans to mount another mural in the spring 2019 in honour of Alexandria’s 200th anniversary.
Enthusiasts interested in voting for their favourite artwork can hand in their ballots at one of the seven voting stations including: Wine Makers, Thrift Shop Junkies, The Quirky Carrot, Town & Country Flowers and Gifts, Christine’s Restaurant, Alexandria Pizzeria and The Book Nook. Voting ends Wed., Oct 10 and the winner will be announced at the Sandfield Centre Saturday Oct 13th at 1:30pm.
To find out more about the workshops and various events hosted by the Glengarry Artists Collective, please visit their website at cagac.ca.
In 2016 she wrote her first book Dare to be Raw, which is her true story of triumph over tragedy.Willard's book is available at The Review or through her website.
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