by Lorraine Payette, written April 29, 2014
(Gananoque, ON) What do magic hats, fire breathing dragons, balloon creations, live music and a whole lot of family fun in the sun have in common? They’re all part of Chalk the Walk in Gananoque, the first great outdoor event of the season.
The ever popular festival is returning to Gananoque on May 17, and organizers are anticipating that more amazing art will be hitting the pavement in Town Park.
“All of the chalk artists we’ve come to know and love will be there,” said Jan Gravelle of the Festival committee. “It’s the perfect way to kick off the summer season.”
This wonderful community event is made possible by partnerships with different local organizations including the Town of Gananoque; 1,000 Islands Visitor Centre; The Crayola Company; Dreams in Motion; Gananoque Public Library; Gananoque Intermediate and Secondary School – Event Ambassadors; Sleepy Hollow B&B; Gananoque Police & Fire Services; Gananoque’s This, That and Everything; Pepsi Bottling Company; Boys and Girls Club of Gananoque and Eastern Ontario Power Energy Conservation. They have all come together to make sure that everyone gets a great kick-off to a wonderful summer.
Included in this year’s line-up of artists and entertainment are 3-D chalk specialist Guy Wales, David Day, and Chalk Guy Dave Johnston, as well as children’s book creator and illustrator Wallace Edwards, who has delighted every age with his whimsical drawings in the fashion of those in his award-winning books. In addition, participants can enjoy the Crayola Air Castle, BBQ by the Gananoque Boys and Girls Club, face painting by Dreams in Motion, live music by Spare Change and Sheila Rosalie, and the great balloon twistings of Dr. Kaboom. For added fun, Joe “The Bee Man” Campbell will be along with some of his amazing displays.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Wales when asked about his work at the Festivals. “I use the same techniques they use for putting the lettering on the highways, and a lot of the same tools. When you’re done, the perspective is amazing. I love the questions people ask, and the way they react when they see the finished drawing come to life in front of them.”
Local artist David Day enjoys the ephemeral quality of sidewalk chalk art.
“You have to get out and enjoy it because Mother Nature will soon wash it away,” he said. “Then you create again.”
He is perhaps best known for his sketch trading cards of characters like Cryptozoic, Black Terror, Vampirella and Miss Masque, and for numerous murals.
Children’s author and artist Wallace Edwards is from Yarker. He graduated from the Ontario College for Art and Design in 1980 and spent the next 20 years as a commercial artist. The Metro Toronto Zoo commissioned his work for signage and animal identification plaques. Numerous pieces of his work may be seen in public and private galleries across Canada.
The event will be held in Town Park in Gananoque on Saturday, May 17 (with a rain date of May 24) from 10:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. There is a $2.00 fee for registration, which starts at 10:00, and free sidewalk chalk is provided. An advance registration form may be found at http://www.chalkthewalk.ca .
“We hope to see everyone come out to the Town Park for this incredible event,” said Gravelle. “You’re bound to enjoy the experience.”