Shining Stars at Heart of the City

Artists, mentors, volunteers, and attendees made the festival extra special.

  • Artist Dawn Marie Marchand. Paula E. Kirman

  • Juno award-winning singer/songwriter Bill Bourne (left) mentored mother/daughter duo Wendy Gregson and Renee McLachlan. Fiddler Rod Olstad (far right) joined them on stage. Jakki Duttenhoffer

  • Birch Island. Bill Neis    

  • Carol Powder of Chubby Cree led a drum workshop at the Our McCauley teepee. Paula E. Kirman

  • The Confusionaires. Jakki Duttenhoffer

  • Janet Paskemin, the Indigenous cultural facilitator at the Our McCauley teepee. Sheryle Carlson

  • One of several interactive murals. Paula E. Kirman

  • A mentorship set featuring (from left) Miroslava Silva, Paula Kirman, George Zhang, and John Guliak. Paula and John mentored Miroslava and George, two incredible young people who ran the CreArt Youth Stage all weekend for the second year. Johnny Blackburn

  • Stella Johnson made her solo performing debut at the CreArt Youth Stage. Paula E. Kirman

My stars. I’m still seeing them whenever I close my eyes – all the shining “stars” who made Heart of the City (HOTC) 2018: “Knowledge sharing and growth” an immense success!

On June 2 and 3 in Giovanni Caboto Park, HotC showcased a multitude of bright and radiantly talented stars. To aid to this twinkling momentum, I’d like to take the “star analogy” a bit further.

To start, our T Tauri stars – a star in formation and evolution – are akin to all the mentees involved with the festival. They are individuals and young community leaders like Miroslava Silva and George Zhang who led the CreArt Youth Stage and played from their hearts on the Main Stage Sunday with their mentors. Their unique brilliance and organization was outstanding, and it is truly inspiring to see these young steadfast youth take such responsibility on their shoulders with such vision and grace.

This also transpired with mentees such as the mother-daughter duo, Wendy Gregson and Renee McLachlan, spoken word artist Nadia Sadiq, and HOTC 2018 logo artist Dana Belcourt.

Next up, are our Red Giant stars! These are the mentors of the sky like Bill Bourne, Paula E. Kirman, John Guliak, Nasra Adem, Faytima Goble, and all our volunteer shift leads. Special shout out to Angie Lee, Shelley Hollingsworth, Valerie Squires, Tracey Anderson, Randy Shuttleworth, Leanne Whiting, Andy Dukkenhoffer, and security guards extraordinaire like Sheldon, Jim Hamilton, James Rayfield, Phil Browatzke, Valerie Hanc, Kaeli Campbell, Meagan Sachs, Faye Wilson, David Molaro, Rachael Roberts, Keith Sarsfield, and if we forgot anybody – we dearly thank you as well!

Our Main Sequence stars shine so brightly due to our volunteers! My goodness…even compared to a torch, they sparkle so bright! The HOTC would not be possible without all the helping hands who build the festival and regularly maintain its organization.

The Red Dwarf stars’ are all the park attendees. They are the ones who keep the festival thriving, pumping, and flourishing! You are the stars that keep HOTC growing. We always work to bring you an event that is free, family friendly, and moreover – always fun!

And how could we possibly have a festival without Neutron stars? As Supernovas, they take the festival by storm and engage all park goers by displaying their phenomenal performances! You guessed it…Neutron stars are our Heart of the City performers – the stars on stage! We were blown away by all the performers, but a few “star“lights were: The Confusionaires, Rellik/Signal from Earth, Rebecca Lappa and The Revelry, The Seeds, Chubby Cree, Dextress, Jet Power, Bill Bourne, Lara Yule Singh, Karimah, Boosh and the Dip, Connexius, AT & the Mastermind, and bedside. In addition, we had Mile Zero Dance display their dancing expertise in the park, Also, Hip-Hop yoga, Saturday comedy session, and the spoken-word and art workshops encouraged future artists in the making!

Lastly, we come to the White Dwarf. Heart of the City recognizes the outstanding connections and awe-inspiring artistic draws to this neighbourhood. This type of star survives – and pulsates largely – by facilitating continuous individual involvement and supports the creation to build a gleaming beacon which will shine brightly in the heart of this city.

Charity is the President of the Board of Heart of the City.

More in this issue

Janis Irwin MLA
Vista Housing

Neighbourhood Views

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Next Issue . . .

Volume 41, Issue 2 will be published March 15, 2020. Articles and photos concerning community news, events, and opinions are welcome. We also accept submissions of poetry and cartoons. Deadline: February 20, 2020. Send submissions to: Articles should be 400 words or less and accompanied by photographs (JPG, in high resolution) when possible.