A two-week marathon of art exhibits, stage productions and concerts will draw revelers from across Ontario.
Artignite co-chair Roxy Denniston-Stewart said the festival will bring together the Kingston and Queen’s community with events at Union Gallery, the Kingston School of Art and the Screening Room.
“There’s a wonderful economic spring-off not just because it brings people into the community, but because of the events themselves,” she said, adding that over 30 of the events are free.
The festival has run every winter since its inception in 2009 — deliberately scheduled to fall over the coldest, darkest two weeks in the city.
“What we hope to do is raise everyone’s spirits and make them feel better through the arts,” Denniston-Stewart, Queen’s associate dean of student affairs, said. “It makes you feel warm and cozy, and that’s what Artignite is.”
Its original goal was to merge Kingston’s local art scene with Queen’s students, though Denniston-Stewart said the festival has grown to be a fixture for residents of the downtown core.
On Friday, Queen’s graduate student Barbara Meneley will run Illuminance, one of the festival’s headlining events. The collaborative project will exhibit her homemade lanterns, sculpted out of snow and ice, as well as ones made by community members at Spring Market Square, where the ceremony will take place, before the show. Meneley will be hosting a how-to session for the project beforehand and lucky participants will watch their lanterns light up after dark.
Queen’s all-girls a capella choir, the Caledonias, will sing through the event.
The 15- to 20-member choir will perform covers of Kings of Leon, Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles during their set at Artignite. “When you come back from winter break, everyone’s all pissed off to be back at school,” Caledonias co-director Megan Khan said. “But I’m like, ‘We have Artignite, we have something more than school.
“It’s just nice to be a part of something with other artists,” Khan said. “We get to really showcase more than just our choir side.”
Artignite will run until Feb. 12. For more information on events see artignite.ca.
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