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New festival in Cobourg will have art for everyone

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There is a tremendous creativity and diversity of the arts in our region. A festival to celebrate and acknowledge that is planned for Nov. 3 and 4 in Cobourg.

Felicity Sidnell Reid, writer of fiction and poetry and co-host of Word on the Hills, a popular radio program on 89.7 FM, is one of the many strong forces behind this upcoming festival. She is also an editor and contributor to all three anthologies, titled Hill Spirits.

“This is a really important festival, to celebrate Canada, Northumberland County and the culture in our surrounding communities,” Sidnell Reid stated.

“We have a reading of Marie-Lynn Hammond’s play with its French and English context, the premiere of a musical piece by Richard Herriott, a session on land, language and culture with Melody Crowe, an elder from Alderville, and a writing exploration with Kim Aubrey, a local poet.

“Children are included in a family workshop with three artists to make a large collage of Canadian images.”

There are 145 members of Spirit of the Hills, of which 45 are writers and 100 are artists and photographers.

There will be an art exhibit, a book fair, a panel discussion on art and migration, and several workshops — Diane Taylor will present on the topic of memoir writing, Pegi Eyers on genealogy and Jennifer Jaquith on self-publishing,

“There is so much talent in Northumberland. We want to rejoice and gather people to enjoy it,” stated Sidnell Reid, who is the co-chair with local artist Susan Statham.

In response to my question of what writing means to her, Sidnell Reid responded, “I’ve always written poetry. My book, Alone: A Winter in the Woods (Hidden Brook Press, 2015) is a fictionalized story about a young boy who stayed alone in the woods in Presqu’ile Park.

“The Simpsons were a settler family, and there is a cairn in the park with an inscription about them.

“Writing for me is a way of resolving the world, a way of pulling it together. By focusing on one thing, it opens up a window to many other aspects of life.”

This exciting event will be at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, 240 College St. in Cobourg, on Nov. 3 and 4. Tickets for the play, combined concert-book launch, and workshops are $20 to $25 each and are available at www.spiritofthehills.org/. All other events are free.

The third and newest anthology, titled, Hill Spirits III — featuring poems, stories and photographs from the SOTH artists — will be launched at this event. Along with the book launch is a Saturday evening concert at 7 p.m., featuring readings by some of the writers and the music of Cale Crowe, Marie Lynn Hammond and Marianne Marusic.

Works by local artists and books featuring local authors will be available for sale.

This will be an exhilarating two-day event for everyone. An artistic sense or musical talent is not required, just an open mind ready for a good time.

Reva Nelson is a member of Spirit of the Hills, a local author and workshop leader. Reach her at revanelson77@gmail.com