ABOUT CAMBRIDGE ARTS FESTIVAL — Summer 2017, Cambridge City Hall
Cambridge Arts Festival is celebrating 22 years in 2017. The Festival began in September 1995 and has been a free annual event held in Cambridge every summer. Our goal is to provide a space for local emerging and established visual artists, musicians, and performers to share their talents with Cambridge and the surrounding communities. In 2014, CAF introduced a Maker Lab in response to the growing popularity of the creative Maker culture in Waterloo Region and beyond.
Each year, CAF hosts an exciting variety of arts activities for children. Yearly favourites include our Children’s Activity Passport, face painting, colouring stations, balloon art, and sidewalk chalk. In 2014, CAF introduced children to the art of creating with recycled materials such as newspaper hats, tin can and pop bottle jet packs, and berry box backpacks. These were a great hit and in 2017, we plan to introduce even more creative activities that bring awareness to the concept of “reuse, reduce, recycle” and to the environment.
DICKSON STREET ART AND VENDOR MARKET
CAF’s Art Market lines over two blocks on Dickson Street where artists display their work in the mediums of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, mixed media, street art, and more. In 2016 we welcomed over 50 artists and merchandise and food vendors. This number is expected to increase in 2017.
From rock to folk to jazz and more, our main outdoor music stage hosts a variety of well-known and up-and-coming local musicians to entertain music lovers of all ages. Popular children’s acts also perform during peak children’s hours.
CAF is the founder and host of Cambridge’s largest Maker Lab – where arts meet technology with creative activities for makers of all ages. Established in 2014, our Maker Lab has now become known throughout the region. This year, the Maker Lab is growing with even more creative technology and environment themed activities including: robot assemblage, interactive video art, 3D printers, simple circuits lab, Bot Brawl and more!
Each year, CAF invites local groups to participate in the festival to help bring awareness to the great organizations that are right here in our communities. In 2016, CAF welcomed Idea Exchange, Cambridge Live Music, the Fashion History Museum, Cambridge Centre for the Arts, Cambridge Army Cadets, Preston House Scout Band, Long & McQuade Musical petting zoo, and an indoor art exhibit from Highland Public School among others.
CAF strives to cultivate relationships with sponsors and we continue to enlist support from the Region’s local businesses to help make the arts a priority in our communities. While the City of Cambridge is our main funder, we are proud to have long-standing support from TD Bank, Waterloo Region Record, Operandi Technology Solutions, Cambridge Farmer’s Market, Josslin Insurance, Angus Audio, as well as many other local businesses and organizations who donate to our silent auction. The number of supporters for CAF grows annually.
The Cambridge Arts Festival Planning Committee consists of a small team of dedicated volunteers who work hard all year round to make the event a success. Over the last 5 years, attendance at the festival has more than doubled and we consistently hear positive feedback from attendees about how much they enjoyed the festival. Our committee is strong with many members having served with the festival for 4 years or more. Every year, we undertake a thorough evaluation of our programming so that we can create an even better experience for future events.
In 2015, Cambridge Arts Festival received a Bernice Adams Award for making a significant contribution to arts in culture in the City of Cambridge. In 2016, CAF was nominated for a Region of Waterloo Arts Award for its outstanding accomplishment and service in the field of event production.