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Creemore Festival of the Arts returning after two years

Event runs Sept. 30 to Oct. 2; Organizers expecting 2,000 attendees over the weekend
Enya Dreams hosts a fashion show in Collingwood. Enya will be hosting Drag Me to Creemore on Sept. 30

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the Purple Hills Arts and Heritage Society (PHAHS) is bringing back the Creemore Festival of the Arts, Friday, Sept. 30 to Sunday, Oct. 2.

“We’re excited about the inclusive programming we’ve organized,” said Nadine Melemis Walters, festival chair. “Art is reflective of our world. In light of all the activist movements we’ve been witnessing, absorbing, we knew we needed to broaden the scope of the festival to ensure its cultural relevance.”

Creemore will be hosting its first drag show, with a runway and cabaret-style seating in the Legion hall. There will also be a PG-13 “Drag 101” workshop offering an opportunity for everyone to learn about the history, politics, etiquette and culture of this form of self-expression while getting some awesome hair and makeup tips. The Notorious Cree is being flown in from Alberta to perform an Indigenous hoop dance. And environmentalist Zwena Gray will be closing out the festival with her “Black on the Bruce” tales.

The core of the festival remains the Artists on Location. Sixty-five established and emerging regional artists will present new works across a great range of artistic mediums from gouache to mixed media, photography, pottery, oil, acrylic, metal, wood, textiles.

PHAHS is expecting 2,000 attendees over the weekend. The festival is organized and hosted entirely by a group of volunteers. It is part of the Clearview Small Halls Festival.

Arts festival program

Sept. 30

Drag me to Creemore hosted by Enya Dreams. Doors open 7 p.m. Show starts at 8 p.m. $20 per adult (19-plus). Creemore Legion Hall,  27 Wellington St. W. Purchase tickets at

Oct. 1 and 2

Artists on Location: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Interact with 65 regional artists showcasing new works in venues in and around Creemore. Free thanks to members and sponsors.

Kids’ Crafts Cabin: Engage your kids, ages zero to 12 years, in a wide variety of arts and heritage activities at our five fun stations. Drop in. Stay as long as you like. 1 to 4 p.m. Creemore Log Cabin, 151 Library St. Free thanks to members and sponsors.

Public art project: Add your brushstrokes to help create an incredible public masterpiece. Located outside next to the Creemore Apothecary, Mill Street and Caroline Street West. Free thanks to members and sponsors. 

Saturday, Oct. 1

DRAG it out with Justine, A Drag 101 presentation (PG-13): Noon to 1:30 p.m., Creemore Legion Lounge, 27 Wellington St. W. Pay by donation. Email to register.

Choir! Choir! Choir! The global sensation comes back to Creemore. All-ages audience sing-alongs at 2 and 7:30 p.m. St. John’s United Church, 192 Mill St. Sold out.

Sunday, Oct. 2

Notorious Cree. Indigenous hoop dance performance by celebrated artist and social media sensation James Jones, of Tallcree First Nation in Alberta. Noon to 1 p.m., Creemore Village Green Stage, 181 Mill St. Free thanks to members and sponsors.

Black on the Bruce. Environmentalist Zwena Gray will engage you in her ongoing journey along the Bruce Trail, highlighting some of the trail’s historical roots in the Underground Railroad, and how she’s creating a diverse and inclusive hiking community. 2 p.m., Mad River Park, Mill Street and George Street. Free thanks to members and sponsors. Email to register.