The ‘Vankleek Hill May Show’ is dead, long live the ‘VKH Victoria Day Weekend Arts Festival’… or something TBD later.

copyright banner vkhart photo header

We’re doing just fine, thanks.

…there’s a rumour going around that Vankleek Hill’s ‘May Show’ has been cancelled this year. But it really hasn’t.

Vankleek Hill’s ‘May Show Arts Festival’ started in the early 1980’s — this would have been its thirty-second year. It was a weekend arts exhibition featuring the work of thirteen local artists, including Elizabeth Skelly, Susan Jephcott, John Ikeda, ian hepburn, Michelle Landriault, and Jean Clermont.

The Arts Festival brought in thousands of visitors from all over Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, from Ottawa to Montreal and Cornwall, and it gradually grew into a street festival.

Eventually the May Show spun off into several other events, including craft shows and food festivals, that each contribute to Vankleek Hill’s identity as a ‘Festival Village’, by bringing in thousands more tourists.

While it is true that Phil Arbor — who has worked incredibly hard over the years to keep the show going — has had to cancel the Street Festival parts of the weekend over sponsorship issues, there are still many events happening in Vankleek Hill that weekend.

It’s not a tragedy, but it is an ending… of sorts. Even though no one actually owns the name, we will probably not use the ‘May Show’ brand this year, but Vankleek Hill’s ‘Arts and History Festival’ will continue on Victoria Day Weekend.

We’ll figure out the name later. The most important thing, is people understand that the long standing celebration of local artists and artisans Vankleek Hill has become known for, will continue.

…the current line up of confirmed events and artists participating include, but are not limited to:

— a full 1860’s Militia charge re-enactment at the Higginson Tower, with cannons, activities for kids, 1860’s soldiers, marching, guns, people with huge moustaches

— the Higginson historical artifacts exhibition in the Arbor Gallery, featuring rare and unique material from one of Vankleek Hill’s founding families.

— there will also be twelve artists showing at the Arbor Gallery — Wayne Fijal, Wilmi Nadal Ceara, Gillian Horgan, Susan Jephcott, Michelle Landriault, Reenie Marx, Moneek Miller, Manon Sauve, Jeannine St-Amour, Isabella Di Sclafani, Erica Taylor, Susan Valyi.

— ‘Make Art Outside’, a “en plein air” event where artists can join us at the Arbor Gallery during the historical reenactment to sketch, photograph or capture the day’s exciting visual moments (cannons!) in any medium of their choosing.

— Susan Jephcott and two other artists showing at Three Owls Studio

— free tours at Vankleek Hill’s Beau’s Brewery

— a pig roast at Beau’s

— ‘Drag The River‘ in concert at the Windsor Tavern

— an art exhibition at The Review (Vankleek Hill’s newspaper of record)

— arts exhibitions in local restaurants, including: Sam’s Kitchen; The Trillium Tea Room; Vert Fourchette; Nicko’s, and; The Blueberry Hill

— vendors and food artisans, including ‘The Chocolate Box’

— other cool stuff…

We’ll have more information in the next few days here on our blog, and The Review (and other local media) will have updates right up until the weekend…

For more information, you can also check out our ‘Coming Events‘ page, and our Facebook page for updates.

About Gabriel

I’ve lived in fifty-two places. I've been paid to pick stones out of fields, take backstage photos of Britney Spears, and report on Internet privacy issues. My photos have been published in several newspapers, and a couple of magazines.
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2 Responses to The ‘Vankleek Hill May Show’ is dead, long live the ‘VKH Victoria Day Weekend Arts Festival’… or something TBD later.

  1. We must revive this wonderful show in May

  2. Christiane Falardeau Picard says:

    Well , our vocal group Voix♪La would be very “Happy” to participate, anywhere in Vankleek Hill, we were there for the 2 lasts Mayshows and are ready for this year. We tought maybe at the “COOP” if possible…

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