Celebration of the Arts returns

Tickets on sale for second annual festival of performance and visual arts in Fort Langley

The village of Fort Langley is once again dabbling in the arts.

The second annual Fort Langley Celebration of the Arts is happening throughout the community, from Aug. 2-4, with a pair of new venues being included to help showcase a growing number of live performances and children’s activities.

From music to visual arts and poetry, the summertime celebration, founded last year by Fort Langley resident David James, will once again include a wide range of artistic genres.

And while this year’s celebration comes a week later than July 2012’s inaugural two-day event, it will last one extra day, as James prepares to offer his hometown a full weekend’s  “brush with the arts.”

Local flamenco guitarist John Gilliat will kick things off Friday, as the celebration opens with Village Evening at 7 p.m. in the Fort Langley Community Hall.

Day 2 begins with children’s activities – drumming, beading, arts and crafts – presented by Kwantlen First Nation members at the Bedford Landing plaza at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

At 2:30 p.m. writer-poet Kate Braid and Toronto-based jazz pianist and composer Amanda Tosoff will present An Afternoon of Poetry and Music at the Langley Centennial Museum.

And capping off the day’s performances, at 8 p.m. dancers are invited to hit the floor as the Willie MacCalder Band – featuring one of Canada’s finest blues pianists – takes the stage at the Fort Langley Community Hall.

Sunday’s first concert – a performance by Marcel and Elizabeth Bergmann, the Bergmann Piano Duo –begins at 11 a.m. in the Fort Langley Community Hall.

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. artists will paint en plein air on the lawn outside the hall.

Meanwhile, at 2:30 p.m. the show moves down the road to St. George’s Church, at 9160 Church St., where pianist Elizabeth Bergmann will be joined by cellists Ian Hampton Joel Stobbe for A Baroque Afternoon.

At 6 p.m. it will be Marcel Bergmann’s turn, as he joins forces with Tosoff for Jazz Time at the Fort Langley Community Hall.

The weekend’s celebration of the arts closes at 9 p.m. with Plaza Luminary Evening, featuring a performance by Blackfish – a drumming and dancing group made up of members of the Sto:lo First Nation, including Kwantlen band members – at the Bedford Landing Plaza.

After organizing a similar event – the Fort Langley Festival of the Performing Arts – back in the 1980s, James had been toying with the idea of starting another, similar festival before getting his Celebration of the Arts off the ground last year.

“The experience years ago gave me a positive image of what could be done,” he said prior to the inaugural event.

Inspired by several lines of poetry by W.B. Yeats, James set about drawing together all the arts and recovering their ancient association.

“By bringing together these elements of our community, along with the range of venues, we help facilitate the establishment of our village as a vibrant performance area,” said James.

“So join us as we celebrate a range of creative talent in a beautiful and historic village setting.”

Admission to children’s events, the plein air painting session and the closing ceremony are offered at no charge, the Afternoon of Poetry and Music is by donation and tickets to the concert events are $15 each.

Multi event passes are available for $60.

All tickets and passes can be purchased at Bob’s Growcery, 9044 Glover Rd., Wendel’s Bookstore and Café, 9233 Glover Rd. and the tourist information booth, 9167 Glover Rd.

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