Festival Inspire, which annually invites local and international artists to paint giant murals in tri-city community of Greater Moncton, returns for a 4th edition from July 9th to 14th this summer. Nine artists are invited to paint murals for the festival’s 4th edition, in addition to the various free events organised throughout the week, including several new programming items. The favourites of the public like the Colour Party and the Disco Bike Ride will of course, be back again with a twist.
With nearly 32 giant murals throughout Moncton’s downtown core, and in Dieppe and Riverview, the Inspire Festival has made a name for itself over the past three years. The organisers announced Thursday the programming of the 4th edition to be held from July 9th to 14th throughout the city and especially around Riverfront Park. Through all the program transformations, the murals remain a keystone of the festival with at least nine new pieces by both local and international artists.
“We wanted to give more space to local artists and women. Each year we offer a space for a New Brunswick artists, this year there will be three where the majority of them are female: Lysanne Lombard and Chelsea Gauvin of Moncton, and Gabrielle Brown an artist from St John. It is a priority for us to spottlight the women who are often the minority in the world of urban art. ” Lisa Griffin, director of the organisation
Two other Canadian artists are also on the program, Danaé Brissonet (QC) who creates imaginary worlds based on local cultures and Mique Michelle, a young Ontario artist from West Nippissing who creates colourful bestiaries.
Also on the programming: several international artists such as Miles Toland from New Mexico (USA) and his geometric and spiritual paintings, Maye, from Montpellier (FR) who exhibits in the most famous galleries his elusive mechanical characters, and the duo Conzo & Glöbel from Glasgow (UK) specializing in hand lettering advertising and humorous works.
The Festival Inspire team, which organizes several events during the year to energize the city and “make Moncton cool enough for us to stay” announced several new features for this year for everyone to enjoy.
The Sputnik will land at Riverfront Park for the whole week. An immense geodesic dome pop up bar complete with riverfront patio hosting programming each night for the festival week. “We have partnered with Parkindale Productions and Future Forest Festival for an exciting music line-up, but also with associations like CUPE, Alliance Française de Moncton, and the Repair Café to offer talks, workshops, bilingual karaoke and more for 6 days only. Everything is free except the bar that will offer local drinks with the best terrace and the best view on the river in town “adds Director of the Inspire Festival Lisa Griffin.
Another exciting novelty this year is Art in The Dark, based on the international concept of Nuit Blanche. From 8 pm to 2 am on Friday, July 13th. A grand total of 45 Maritime artists will be offering over 20 installations in 15 different locations throughout the heart of the city. The public is invited to walk around and admire several giant interactive sculptures, a tropical garden made of paper, multimedia projections, dance performances in very unusual places, pop up shows inside a limo, street theater, an emotional and unusual choral experience and many other artistic performances that may appear at the corner of a street and disappear immediately. ”This kind of event is an open door to creation. Community artists are given the opportunity to express themselves and create in the greatest freedom to bring art directly to the public. Our company is eager to bring the public with us on a trip to outer space without ever having to leave the city centre, “says Bianca Richard, director of the Théâtre la Cigogne company.
The festival is also hosting ”While having a soup”, a pop-up free soup restaurant that will appear at the forecourt of the town hall and propose to the inhabitants to meet a stranger and talk together just the time to share a soup. The makers of this experiential installation, ATSA-When Art takes action, are including Moncton on their world tour after Nunavut, Lebanon, France or Burkina Faso.
Flagship events are still on the agenda. The Colour Party, which brings together several hundred people each year to throw colored powder at eachother and create a giant living human canvas. This year’s party will take place at Riverfront Park on Wednesday, July 11th. The Disco Bike Ride, the brainchild of Mayor Dawn Arnold, organized in collaboration with the Cooperative la Bikery and sponsored by My Bike Shop will be back on Friday July 13th with a specially created disco mix broadcast live on CKUM radio. Hundreds of cyclists will ride through the city streets in music, creatively lit and costumed, discovering the new murals as well as some new surprises from Art in the Dark.
Several guided tours of the murals have been planned for the week, especially on the sidelines of the big family event on Saturday, which hosts a celebration of the increase of colour and culture in our shared city from noon to 1AM with a full day of music, an Art Bazaar with more than 30 creators and crafters, an artist’s panel with this year’s muralists before they fly away, a craft beer village with local and arty breweries for the adults and Inspire Land – a space dedicated for the kids. The festival will close under the Sputnik dome animated by DJs performances and projection art.
“In just four editions it’s amazing how our project has grown. Our very small team works incredibly hard all year round to keep the festival programming exciting for us and everyone who attends and to give the city new ways to love the place they live. Every year, it’s really cool to see the increasing number of people coming downtown or visiting from distant lands to tour the murals and take part in all the – sometimes crazy – projects we offer in this little east coast city we call home “concluded Lisa Griffin.
For two years Inspire has aimed as well to be the most eco-friendly festival in Atlantic Canada. The organisers rely heavily on recycling as much as possible to create their sets and facilities, the spray cans chosen are the least harmful possible for the planet and the used cans are turned in furniture or lamps. This year the public is invited to bring their own clothes to be transformed into Inspire merch to avoid supporting the conventional textile industries that are detrimental to both people and the environment. For the month of July this year the festival will also be launching a campaign called ‘Plastic Free July Moncton’ to invite anyone and everyone to join in the challenge of living for one month without single use disposable plastics.