It’s been a big year for Cape Breton’s only art-at-night festival, Lumière.
In January, the festival saw a change in leadership: three founding board members stepped down, including Chair Laura Schneider. New additions to the board were artists and community members Evan MacNeil, Tessa Kendrick, Steven Rolls, and Christie MacNeil. Alyce Maclean, Lumière Board member since 2013, stepped into Schneider’s seat as Chair.
Following the director changeover, the group took on a full rebrand for the association along with a new website, set to launch in late August.
“It’s been an incredible year so far,” says Maclean. “We’ve undergone some big changes, but what has been most impressive is the support from the community. I can’t count how many organizations that have approached us looking to partner or add to the festival in 2015.” Maclean notes that the number of community organizations participating in the art-at-night event has doubled over 2014.
This year’s art-at-night event will include over 45 artist and community projects. While the majority of artists in the festival are from Cape Breton, other participating artists hail from PEI, Montreal, Toronto, and Halifax.
Maclean notes that for the second year running, Lumière is participating in a project exchange with Art in the Open: Charlottetown, PEI’s art-at-night event, which takes place August 29, 2015.
“Last year we had PEI artist BJ McCarville with her listening project Through the ear of the Teacup, and it was a big hit. This year we can’t wait to welcome another PEI artist, Sandi Hartling, to Lumière.”
Visual artist Kent Senecal, based in Sydney, will take a project to PEI in August.
“The exchange gives Cape Breton artists an important exhibition and networking opportunity,” says Maclean, “and allows local audiences to see some of the most successful projects from festivals elsewhere.”
As planning ramps up for the September event, the organizing committee has started recruiting volunteers. Volunteer Coordinator for the festival, Alison Uhma, notes, “A successful Lumière is cemented by the generosity of enthusiastic volunteers. We’ve always had great support from people in the community.” Those interested in helping out can contact Uhma via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fifth annual Lumière Arts Festival will take place in Sydney on September 24-26, 2015. Organizers have planned artist talks and workshops on September 24 and 25, and the art-at-night event will take place in downtown Sydney on Saturday, September 26 from 6:57pm-11:57pm.