You can howl at the moon all you like on August 13. That’s when The Three Sisters Cultural Centre staff are hosting their second annual Lunarfest in St. Jacobs.
“It’s really about supporting local music,” said Adrienne Carter, the executive director of the organization.
The event, which starts at 2 p.m. and goes until 11 p.m., features musicians such as Lacey Hill, a singer/songwriter from Six Nations, Jamaican-Canadian artist Joni Nehrita, singer, songwriter and poet Scott Wicken, based in Waterloo, 18-year-old, award-winning songwriter Amanda Braam, Kitchener-based artist Steve Haase with the SJR trio and features local favourite Douglas Watson Blues Band as the closing act.
Food will be available from the Hemlock Barn food truck, and the event will also have a bar.
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Guests can also participate in a community art project which is a look back at surviving COVID as a community, said Carter.
Last year the centre held its first Lunarfest outside in the parking lot.
“It poured rain,” said Carter. “And it drenched everybody, they were all soaked. All the audience were bailing, literally bailing, with shovels to keep the water out from the floor. And I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is a horrible way to start this.’ And one of the audience members at the very end said, ‘This is such a great first annual event, way to go.’ OK, so that’s our first annual, so I guess we’re doing it again next year. So here we are. This time we get to be inside,” she said.
The Three Sisters Cultural Centre is a space for artists and events for the arts. It’s an idea Carter had been working on with her two sisters.
“My one sister who is a fibre arts artist, her name is Jax Rula. And, so she has been in the artist scene in Waterloo Region for many years. And so she really had a good handle on what artists need in this region in terms of infrastructure support, events support, just general help for them to get their work out in front of people who will buy it.
“What my sister Jax always found was that if you were in your studio making, you weren’t selling. And if you were out selling, you weren’t making. And the biggest problem artists now face – well, when we were having events – is that they would have their beautiful art propped up on the grass, in the rain, in horrible conditions. And we wanted to be able to provide artists with a space that was environmentally friendly, it wasn’t onerous in expense, and they could really showcase their work in a really nice environment.”
In addition to offering studio space rentals to artists, the centre is accessible to the public six days a week, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The former tire shop, now renovated, also has a kitchen and event space available to be rented out.
The Three Sisters Cultural Centre reached full occupancy of their site this June, said Carter. She says within a matter of weeks, they sold all the studio spaces they needed to sell, with many of the artists signing on for a year’s lease.
“It filled up really quickly, faster than we expected. We were going to do this big marketing campaign to try and attract artists for the studios. We don’t need that anymore. So our next focus now is activities, events, workshops.”
Carter and her two other sisters who run the centre have big plans. She says they aim to host 50 workshops before the end of March.
Tickets for Lunarfest are $30 online and $35 at the door. All proceeds will go back to the Three Sisters Cultural Centre, which is a registered not-for-profit corporation.