Woodstock is home to the 8th annual Dooryard Arts Festival July 21-23, 2016.
The Dooryard Arts Festival is happening this week. Based in Woodstock, New Brunswick and presented by the River Valley Arts Alliance, the Dooryard Arts Festival brings together an eclectic mix of artists and performers for a three day celebration of regional and national artists and cultures.
“Dooryard is an unconventional festival,” said co-founder Amy Anderson. “We don’t try to appeal to only one demographic or artistic medium. We try to bring the variety and excitement of the arts to the whole community in a way that is accessible geographically and financially.”
Now in its eighth year, the festival continues to develop its programming, this year adding a professional dance performance, an all-New Brunswick songwriter’s circle, a special exhibit by the NB Filipino Community, a children’s art gallery and more.
“Over the past eight years, the community has really started to embrace the festival,” said Anderson. “It has become Woodstock’s calling card among the artistic community in NB. We work hard to present great emerging and unsung heroes of the NB arts community, and to give them a forum where their work can be seen and appreciated.”
One of the festival’s most unique initiatives for 2016 is encourages visitors to take the road less traveled when heading to this year’s event.
“We recently launched is a new initiative called Drive the 105, which encourages people to take an alternate route off the highway and discover the local artists and cultural places in the Upper St. John River Valley.”
This year’s festival kicks off on July 21 with performances by Luke and the Drifters, Wisecracker, Brothers and the Mike Bochoff Band on the Picaroons Main Stage. Other performers making their way to Woodstock this week include Earthbound Trio, Tomato/Tomato, Glen MacFarlane, The Downtown Blues Band, The Hupman Brothers, and Easley, Stevenson & Arsenault.There will also be an artist talk featuring potter Lee Horus Clark, a storytelling event at the historic Charles Connell House and an arts market.
“Our audience is varied but enthusiastic,” said Anderson. “I love the idea of mixing together people who might not otherwise meet in our community.”
Through the festival and other events during the year, Anderson, together with likeminded artist enthusiasts from the community are slowly but surely craving out a place and an appreciation for artists in the Woodstock region.
“We have a great new co-op gallery and cafe called Creek Village Cafe and Gallery and it sells tons of work by local artists and artisans, and serves local food,” she said. “They have great artist receptions and live music occasionally too. The Connell House is across the street, it’s a renovated Victorian mansion and is hosting an awesome aboriginal art exhibit this summer, and we’re currently working with LP Fisher Library Director Jennifer Carson to create a community gallery at the Library.
“The Woodstock arts scene is small but holding its own. We are good at working as a team and I’m hopeful the next few years will show more growth and collaboration.”
Dooryard Arts Festival | July 21-23, 2016 | Woodstock New Brunswick | Visit dooryardfestival.com for more information.