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Music lovers (like my colleague Jocelyn and myself) were in for a real treat last Saturday, July 21, in Vankleek Hill for the fourth annual Porchfest! The annual event gives visitors the chance to discover the town and its Victorian Gingerbread-like homes, while enjoying free performances from local artists on the houses’ porches.

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Between noon and 5 pm, more than thirty musicians, music groups, dancers, and other performers took to the stages (or porches, in this case). During any given one-hour slot, seven performances were going on simultaneously throughout the town. One could stick around and listen to one show for the full hour, or, as we did, walk around the town and hear a few segments of as many performances as possible. We didn’t have the chance to hear all of the scheduled performances, but we were pleased with the great variety it offered! We saw 1920’s dance, solo performers, cover bands, bands who played original music, folk music and fiddlers, among other things! What was particularly awesome was the attendance, people having a blast while supporting the artists. There really was something for everyone. Furthermore, the event gives many individuals or groups, whatever their level of experience may be, the opportunity to show off their talents and having a chance to work at their passion. Walking around Vankleek Hill from one performance to another, one had the chance to discover the beauties the town has to offer, most notably its specialty shops and other businesses.

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To cool down, during another very warm summer day (I am not complaining!), we sat on the terrace of the local restaurant Vert Fourchette, had a refreshing Beau’s beer, and listened to Martin Lacelle’s acoustic covers of some of his favourite songs. I appreciated his personal twist on some well-known tunes. So far, this summer, I quickly learned that CAPRAC members are immensely talented, and Martin proved me, once again, that even our board members are artists!

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Our stroll led us to the Arbor Gallery Community Centre, where we saw the local band Balance. They performed very groovy original songs. Special shout out to guitarist and singer Keith Morris, who improvised a harmonica solo without a harmonica! While we were at the Arbor Gallery, we took the time to go inside and see Christine Lenoir-Godin’s exhibit, “A Woman’s Dark Dreams”. The exhibit is on until July 29th so there is still time to go see her breathtaking, compelling and abstract works.

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Vankleek Hill was certainly alive and resonating, last Saturday! Anyone who was there will agree that it was a great event and I do hope that this initiative keeps growing. If you missed it, be sure to be part of next year’s edition!

What is to come?

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While I have your attention, let me talk about our upcoming event, Fields of Arts! Joining forces with Prescott-Russell Tourism, we provide artists with the opportunity to create in an inspiring outdoor setting and visitors with the access to the artistic process while discovering one of our local producers. Next Saturday, July 28th, Fields of Arts will be at the Vergers Villeneuve & Blueberry Farm. Before heading to Porchfest last Saturday, I went blueberry picking with my parents and it is confirmed: we are right at the peak of blueberry season! Did you know that there are many types of blueberries available to pick? Come and discover all of them next Saturday! Come see our artists at work! For more information on this event and other upcoming Fields of Arts events, as well as on how to register, be sure to follow our Facebook page and check our website.