The hills are alive … with art for the annual Headwaters Arts Festival

It’s art. It’s music. It’s a whole lot more.

The Headwaters Arts Festival is the annual, 17-day artistic extravaganza that celebrates the very best creative talent this province has to offer.

And there’s no better backdrop for this event than the stunning fall colours that dapple the countryside in Caledon, Orangeville, Erin, Hockley and other parts of the Hills of Headwaters.

Visitors are encouraged to come out for an hour, a day or a weekend. Explore open studios, gallery shows, theatre performances, tours, concerts, community events and art workshops for the kids.

Organizers state “You won’t be disappointed. We promise.”

The Headwaters Arts Festival runs from Sept. 26 to Oct. 13.

This year the event features an Art Show & Sale at the SGI Centre in Alton (last year attended by some 2500 people), an Opening Night Festival Gala, a sold-out Author’s Night, Kidsfest interactive events, musical performances and 20+ open studios at 33 locations throughout the Headwaters region.

The intent is to further strengthen its links to Theatre Orangeville as well as the music component with the addition of Shining Stars, a youth talent showcase as well as professional development workshops. Future plans include adding film and dance elements.

The Festival Gala, to take place on September 26, launches the festival with an evening of art, music, wine, a stand-up gourmet dinner and awards ceremony.

Last year’s juried Festival Art Show & Sale included 200 pieces  of art by 46 of our area’s most talented artists, including 18 new participants. Jurors for this year’s exhibition include: John Kissick, Ted  Fullerton, Anne Stubbs, Tony Meers and Janet Dawson.

New this year will be the presentation of a small display of award winners from our spring Youth Art  Show & Sale as well as a memorial tribute to Ken Danby, with assistance from  his wife, Gillian Danby.

We will also be presenting a Lifetime Achievement  Award to Paul Burdette, presented by his long time friend, Robert Bateman.

This year,  the Headwaters Arts Festival joined forces with the Headwaters Arts Network, a grassroots, artist-driven organization with similar goals, to form  Headwaters Arts. We did a "soft launch" in April at Theatre Orangeville,  inviting successful local landscape painter Cory Trépanier to share his  marketing approach with his fellow artists.

The dynamic new board includes a mix of artists and business people (many are both), and a commitment to expanding both programming and marketing.

Headwaters Arts is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization formed to promote art in all its forms, encourage interaction among artists and the community, and identify Headwaters as a centre of artistic excellence. Those involved strive to make it possible for the hundreds of talented visual, literary and performing artists in the region to pursue their art — through collective marketing, professional development workshops and the creation of opportunities for their work to be seen and sold. In so doing, it creates an opportunity for residents and visitors to enjoy and participate in the arts, and nurture the next generation of artists and arts lovers.

The Hills of Headwaters region includes Halton/Peel, Dufferin and Wellington Counties, the Towns of Caledon and Erin and surrounding areas northwest of Toronto, Ontario. For more detailed