Get ready for a good time of banjo picking, canvas painting and art presentation. Wolseley’s Envision arts festival is back after four postponements.
“The last one we had was in 2019; 2020 was in the works and we had started to line people up and then COVID hit,” said festival founder and organizer Jim Palmquist.
Palmquist continued to try to solidify the dates, but in an all-too-familiar way, the virus threw up hurdle after hurdle for the social event.
But with the city resuming some semblance of social life, Palmquist finally managed to nail down the details of the festival.
It will be a two-day affair taking place Friday, May 6 from 7-10 p.m. and Saturday, May 7 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the RA Steen Community Center (980 Palmerston Ave.) in Wolseley.
The festival will feature works by 14 performers; 22 visual artists; four poets; and a host of elementary school students from Wolseley, Laura Secord, Mulvey and Gordon Bell. Works by visual artists and students will be displayed around the community center for people to enjoy, while musicians and other artists perform live performances.
“(The performers) each have 20 minutes on stage,” Palmquist said. “This allows us, during festival hours, to have non-stop music. Writers, authors and poets have mostly had static displays of books they have written, but sometimes we have a number of people showing up to read excerpts from their books or poems.
Much of the artwork will be for sale, Palmquist said.
Kicking off this year’s musicians will be Tim Osmond, a banjo and guitar player specializing in country and folk bluegrass.
“It’s a real community event,” said Osmond, who has been involved with the festival for the past few years. “It’s really laid back and relaxed, and you feel comfortable there.”
Osmond, a resident of Evanson Street, said festivals like this help create a “sense of cohesion” in the community.
“You meet people in the neighborhood that you might casually see, and you get to know them in a more open communal space and environment,” he said. “And you can also see what people in the neighborhood are doing for their art.”
The work of Garfield Street resident Kathleen Black, for example, takes many forms. She draws, paints and “everything else,” she said.
Lately this has meant glass work, ranging from stained glass to glass sculpture. At the festival, she will exhibit a mix of styles on the beautiful papers of “old Nordic maps,” adorned with paintings and glassware and whatever her artistic compass has discovered.
Black said she was delighted to return to the festival, which after two years of intermittent isolation is probably needed more than ever.
“It’s a great way to see neighbors, and we haven’t seen much in the last two years,” she said. “I suspect people went crazy doing isolated stuff.”
Both Black and Osmond praised Palmquist for his dedication to the festival, saying it simply wouldn’t exist without him.
Cody Sellar is the reporter/photographer for The Times. He’s a lifelong Winnipegger. He is a journalist, writer, detective, lazy man, book reader and lover of concise biographies. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 204-697-7206.
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