Yesterday, in my capacity as Tourism Manager at the Region of Durham, I had the privilege of co-hosting a media launch to kick off the inaugural Durham Festival. Today, I am feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude and appreciation for all of the people who made the launch so incredibly special.
For a snapshot of the energy and inspiration, check out this video created by Mike Peleshok:
Huge thanks to Mike; as you can see, he did a great job of capturing the energy and variety of the day.
One of the highlights of the day for me was inspired by my friend and well-known Durham-based artist Patty Kingsley. Patty made this photo frame out of her daughter’s closet door, some donated supplies and assistance from Eleanor Cook of Central Counties Tourism. The Durham Festival photo frame was a hit! Special thanks to Michelle Webb and her team for the most excellent party favours and signage promoting our social media hashtag (#DurhamFestival).
Patty designed the frame to be a platform for people to connect and have fun, and THAT is the whole intention of the Durham Festival. Our vision for the Festival was to bring people together to celebrate culture and creativity. I love the way art and artists have the unique ability to facilitate meaningful connections and deeper interaction. Somehow, artists are able to connect the dots. Patty also started a collaborative painting with the help of attendees.
I received the sweetest text this morning from my friend and colleague, Kristyn Chambers, who was congratulating me on bringing our vision to life yesterday. I just wanted to let all of you know, that it wasn’t me. That’s what is so exciting about the whole thing! Yesterday’s launch represented a true collaboration between hundreds of members of our community who had one common vision: to celebrate everything that makes Durham Region so special. This includes the people, the makers, the artists, the musicians, the places, and of course, the locally grown food.
Our mission for the Durham Festival launch was to shine a bright light on the amazing people, places and experiences in Durham Region. For the launch, we wanted to create a mini-festival atmosphere and give people as taste of “Delicious Durham” – so we showcased Durham-based food trucks (Hollywood Cone, Stuttering John’s, Grillin’ Like a Villain & Smoke’s Poutinery) , incredible banh mi sandwiches from Farm & Wild, teas from Honey & Tea, Algoma apples, Ocala Winery and Archibald Estate Wineryand a selection of locally-brewed craft beer (Manantler, 5 Paddles, Brock Street Brewing Company, and Underdog’s Brewhouse). My co-emcee, Farley Flex, presented talent from all across the region including: Bruce Gorrie’s jazz trio, The Trish Robbband, Darrin Davis, Rory Tallion, the youth performers from Picasso’s Picnic, and many more. It was so great to see Durham shine!
I would love to thank everyone that contributed to yesterday’s launch, as it quite literally took a small army of people to bring our community together to design and kick off our Festival concept. However, I would like to express my gratitude to a few people who helped us craft the initial vision for the festival: Janice Price, Bernard Leroux, Will McGuirk, Grant Cole, Steven Frank, Erin Elliott, Wendy Boothman, Don Terry, Sarah Taniwa, Bill Lishman, Geordie Lishman and David Matys. Also, I would like to thank our amazing Durham Tourism Team: Lindsey Schoenmakers, Lori Talling and Christine Gallagher from the Region of Durham for always going the extra mile. Its all about the extra mile, right? Special thanks to our Durham Festival Team: Alison Kahnert, Brenda Brown, and Tammy Gay and dozens of volunteers! Hope you will join us this summer from August 13-16. Feel free to invite your friends and relatives to experience our beautiful region like never before.
Please join us in sharing the news that all of this is happening here in our beautiful region and help us to shine a light on the amazing culture scene that we have in Durham.
For more photos, CLICK HERE to check out this excellent aggregator that the team at Kleurvision built for us. It pulled all the photos from Instagram and Twitter that featured our hashtag that day. #CoolTool
“Artists connect the dots. The whole point of being an artist, I thought, was to be connected to people.” ~ Amanda Palmer in The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help📷