For nearly five decades the Buckhorn Festival of the Arts has been an award-winning and much-anticipated annual event, located amongst the pines in the beautiful Kawarthas landscape.
Now in its 46th year, the festival is returning to the Buckhorn Community Centre at 1782 Lakehurst Road from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 19th and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 20th for a full weekend of live music, food, connection, and — of course — lots of art. Admission to the event is by donation.
This year’s festival will include artwork from more than 70 artists spread across 10 acres both inside the Buckhorn Community Centre and outside in the Festival Park. The artwork on display and available for purchase represents a wide range of disciplines and mediums including painting (oil, acrylic, resin, encaustic, and watercolour), photography, ink and graphite, wood turning, mixed media, fused glass, textiles, jewellery, sculpture (stone, glass, metal, and soapstone), and more.
Since its founding as a wildlife art festival in 1978, the Buckhorn Festival of the Arts has grown into a world-class arts festival, with new artists juried into the festival each year to join the many alumni creatives who have been in the line-up for decades. Among the many new artists this year are landscape photographer John Yates and wildlife and landscape artist Harvey Bodach.
Making the Buckhorn Festival of the Arts a truly interactive experience for art enthusiasts, all the featured artists will be on-site throughout the entire weekend.
“Visitors have the opportunity to engage with the artists themselves, rather than just the artwork,” explains Meghan Arnott, the festival’s Signature Event Co-ordinator. “It provides guests with the chance to question the artists about where their inspiration originated from or how they got started, unlike when attending an art gallery where they just get to look and learn about the medium itself.”
For the first time in three years, the Special Exhibit feature is returning to the festival with “Home & Away,” an exhibit that celebrates Regionalism, an art movement with a focus on the natural world that began with Romanticism and continued to evolve both in the U.S. and Canada in the 20th century. Today, Regionalism focuses on the important role of the nature artist in fostering a concern for and understanding of the natural world, especially in an increasingly urban and technological society that often disconnects people from nature.
The “Home & Away” exhibit encompasses 10 artists with a range of works that record the natural world and our place in it, depicting the environment as landscape and the flora and fauna within it as a document for posterity. Those 10 artists include the internationally recognized and award-winning Buckhorn-based wildlife artist Michael Dumas, one of the founders of the festival, and fellow internationally known and award-winning artists W. David Ward, David Foyn, and George Raab — all four of whom first began work on the exhibit back in 2020 when the pandemic hit.
“This year, it is time to tell the story of what we’ve been doing all these years and why we’ve been doing it,” says Ward. “We look forward to the most memorable Buckhorn Festival of the Arts yet.”
Also returning to the festival for the first time in four years is the Buckhorn Fine Art Award. Sponsored by long-term festival volunteers the Wagstaffe family, the $500 award is given to an adult artist, pursuing an education in visual arts at a recognized Canadian art institution, who demonstrates community involvement and is in need of nurturing and support.
Extending the recognition of emerging artists and those just starting out, there will also be an Amateur Art Competition on display throughout the weekend to encourage teens, adults, and seniors to develop their creativity.
Competition classes include teenage, novice, and hobby artist, with winners chosen by a judging panel of art and education representatives and chaired by the Buckhorn Fine Art Competition Committee. Winners will be awarded at 2:45 p.m. on Sunday in the Festival Park.
“The competition helps to recognize and support the further development of the amateur’s artistic ability and provides them with an opportunity to learn from the experience of being judged and critiqued, as well as by being given advice by a team of professional artists,” Arnott says. “It showcases each individual’s creative style, design, and techniques.”
If that’s not enough creativity for you throughout the weekend, talented musicians will also be performing all weekend long, setting a musical backdrop while visitors browse the impressive artworks.
Visitors will be greeted upon entry at the door by tsymbaly (hammer dulcimer) musician Vladimir Gorodkin. Performers on Saturday include Brooke Averill, Radio Flyer, and Bridget Foley, while Sunday’s lineup includes Mike Graham, Down the Rabbit Hole, and Justin Maki.
The festival weekend also features a family-friendly Art Activity Zone with interactive art activities for both children and adults, along with fine food and beverages available for purchase.
There is ample parking including special needs parking, with a free shuttle from the upper parking lot, and accessible washrooms with change tables. Note that no pets are allowed, except for service animals.
For the full line-up of artists being featured in the 2023 Buckhorn Festival of the Arts, visit www.buckhornartfestival.ca. Preview some of the artwork that will be on display and for sale by following the festival on Instagram and Facebook.
This branded editorial was created in partnership with the Buckhorn Festival of the Arts. If your organization or business is interested in a branded editorial, contact us.