The work of more than a hundred creative artists will be on display in various locales around Kitchener-Waterloo this weekend during the Art Hop Festival being put on by KWFamous.
The event running on Friday and Saturday will see artists across a wide range of genres, including music, fashion, pottery, painting, interactive and break dancing.
“We’re just trying to do as much as we can to bring different ways for people to connect and different types of artists, different groups of people that maybe would never have connected before. All surrounding the celebration of arts and music in the community,” said Elaine Decleir, chief marketing officer of KWFamous.
The festival includes five free events and five ticketed events in locations that are being used in new and different ways, Decleir explained.
“We’re using a rooftop that has never had events on it before. And I always say we need to have more rooftop parties. And then some of the major spaces like Waterloo public square that will be used for a break dancing battle,” she added.
While there were some challenges in bringing a large number of artists together, KWFamous is simply there to provide support, Decleir explained. Each of the 10 events is being curated by one of the participating artists. This includes the Last Hop on Earth being hosted by Last Shop on Earth owner Chris Coatez.
When creative people have the opportunity to actually be creative, great things can happen, Decleir said.
“It’s really incredible when we just give the people creative freedom to do whatever it is…because they know the space and then we can create an opportunity to support them. We’re not trying to limit anybody in what they can do. We really are trying to support all of the ideas and just really showcase and highlight what we can do out here in Kitchener-Waterloo,” she said.
The festival will also feature a mural and outdoor gallery walking tour being led by Stroll Walking Tours in downtown Kitchener from 6-8:30 pm on Friday.
“Through the walking tour, you can go and see the outdoor gallery that is already in downtown Kitchener, but told through a story. So the story we can tell ourselves by looking at it versus the story of someone who’s done a lot of the research and connected with the artists to tell more about what that mural means,” Decleir explained
As part of the tour Nicole Beno will be hosting a VIP opening of her of studio.
While the festival is focusing on the art, the idea of “hopping around Kitchener-Waterloo,” during the event led to the Art Hop name.
“I think sometimes people have festivals in town and they’re focused on one location…that’s never been our style. We know that if the event is good enough people will hop around town. So we really just wanted to have this idea of exploration.
“We also know that when people move their bodies, they create more memories. So when you’re in one space and you move to another room even you create more memories that are more long lasting because you physically moved your body. And so that’s always been a really important value to us that people actually do things whether they’re just moving around spaces is a great way to connect and to remember things in the long run,” Decleir said.
Some events are free. Ticket events range from $30 to $40, with a full weekend pass option at $89, available online at www.kwfamous.com. More information about the festival can be found at www.arthopkw.ca.