Joyous gathering at Macaulay delivers on promise

ODE TO JOY (Right) Krista Dalby was a joyful standard-bearer on Saturday as participants danced in an event opening musical procession at the Circles of Joy at Macaulay Heritage Park. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)




A sunsoaked Saturday afternoon at the green expanse surrounding Macaulay House served as the perfect setting for a ‘joyous celebration’ in Prince Edward County.

A joint venture between the local Department of Illumination and Toronto’s Kick Start Arts collective saw members digest authentic life experiences from the local community and then craft unique art installations based on those stories.

The installations were incredible, unique and inspiring.

And what made this weekend’s Circles of Joy even more magnificent was a sense that after another long winter of cooped up COVID consternation, a slight sense of normalcy was grasped by the dozens of participants.

(Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

Even if it was just an afternoon outside grooving to lighthearted house music and mingling with creative minds, taking in inspired art, all seemed right with the world.

“It’s so great the weather cooperated and how wonderful that we had the opportunity to come back into the world with a live event,” Department of Illumination’s Kirsta Dalby told the Gazette Tuesday. “There was a ton of positive feedback from the artists and the people who came and took part.”

Circles of Joy was a happy and light event right from the start as a dance procession around the Macaulay grounds opened four hour celebration of inspired art.

“Looking back, we wish we would have built more time into Circles of Joy for the artists to inter mingle with one another,” Dalby noted. “Some of the Kick Start Arts folks really enjoyed the day but because they were so busy, they didn’t have a chance to connect with people outside their circles.”

In some cases, the stories that served as inspiration for the artists were more obvious as opposed to abstract however the overall concept created unique pieces and performances that honoured the story teller’s orignal tale.

Local graphic artist Tim Snyder took former Wellington Times editor Mihal Zada’s harrowing adventure of being lost in the Yukon wilderness and created a code book that corresponded with sign posts, trail markers, etc Snyder crafted. Using the booklet, event goers were able to decipher the secret message Snyder created as an artistic response.

“There’s an amazing network of trails here and there’s kilmoteres of nature to walk through and each trail has a colour coding that and I’ve chosen a variety of them to come up with the secret message I was trying to deliver,” Snyder explained.

Up next, The Department will deliver Wild Thing- A celebration of biodiversity on Sunday afternoon at Benson Park. The event starts at 1 p.m.