Fredericton’s annual celebration of artistic diversity is happening this week. If you’re curious about what’s going down at Flourish this year, here’s a quick look at what to expect.
Since the spring of 2015, Fredericton’s Flourish Festival has been challenging our understanding of what a festival can be. By constantly seeking new ways for audiences to engage with artists and striving for increased diversity with each new lineup, Flourish has become an ever evolving example of how artists and audiences can work together to find and create beauty in unexpected ways.
With a new edition of Flourish about to begin, we’re outlining a few events that represent some of what makes this festival one of the most unique events to happen anywhere on the east coast.
What would a festival be without a little music? Each new Flourish Festival attracts musicians and groups from across Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario. This year’s lineup features live music at The Cap, the Charlotte Street Arts Centre, the ReCap Market, and The Veil. The Veil is a new tattoo studio located at 441 Kings Street and will play host to a unique performance experience featuring Fredericton-based experimental electronic musician DenMother. Described as a one-hour drone bath, participants can expect to be lulled into relaxation through a wall of noise and guided breathwork. Blankets, yoga mats, and pillows encouraged. Also, this is a free event and just one of several coming up this week. Check out this year’s playlist.
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery will play a major role in this year’s programming by hosting a number of events including the opening exhibition Art and Joyful Queer Futures. This event features work by members of Pride/Swell+, a multi-generational art and archiving project from 2SLGBTQ+ youth and elders from Atlantic Canada. Festival-goers are encouraged to view and annotate their exhibition experience with post-it notes and various other materials provided. Artist Emily Blair will offer a pair of guided Deceptive Art Tours designed with visual and hearing impaired participants in mind. Everyone welcome.
Workshops and Seminars
One of the most interesting aspects of Flourish in recent years is the number of workshops and related areas for discussion and education being programmed. This year, organizers have ramped up their efforts to offer more room for discussion and the exchange of ideas by offering a number of opportunities to bring people together to talk, learn, and deepen their connections to the diverse community we live in.
Have you ever thought about making an autobiographical comic? There’s a workshop for that! How about Drag Makeup? There’s a workshop for that as well. Live sound and performance? Flourish has you covered. There will also be a panel discussion on collaboration in music, and a seminar discussing the intersection of sound and queer and disabled embodiments.
The pandemic taught us all the importance of accessibility. While a traditional festival experience involves getting out and engaging with activities and events in-person, there are many would-be attendees who remain unable to gather in such a fashion. Taking this all too often overlooked area of engagement into consideration, this year’s Flourish Festival will feature a number of live streamed performances beamed directed to your device of choice via Twitch. Enjoy free performances by lil Omar, Les Moontunes, Loveover, Motherhood, and many more (for free) without having to leave the house.
Believe it or not, these are just some of the events happening this week as part of Flourish Festival 2023. Find a full detailed list of all the events happening this week by visiting flourish-fest.com.
Flourish Festival runs June 15-18. All-ages passes are $20 and full festival (19+) passes are $60.