Prismatic Arts Festival thanks Artists, Volunteers and Community Supporters
The Prismatic Arts Festival took place, for the first time, at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth, August 21-24. Festival organizers estimate that approximately 10,000 people attended the cultural events featuring the work of Aboriginal and culturally diverse artists, including play readings, theatre and dance shows, music and spoken word performances, and visual and media arts installations.
Sunday night’s closing show, featuring Juno Award-winning A Tribe Called Red, saw thousands of people from throughout HRM and beyond travel to Alderney Landing. Fortunately, Halifax Transit agreed to extend ferry service until 11pm that night in support of Prismatic.
“We are thrilled that so many people from different communities joined us in for Prismatic,” says Artistic Producer, Shahin Sayadi. “Prismatic is an all-ages, accessible, diverse arts festival and it was great to see families, children and seniors in attendance throughout the weekend.”
“Of course, it was only possible because of the dedication and talents of the artists, volunteers, sponsors and community partners who put in hours and hours of work over the weekend of events,” says Maggie Stewart, Prismatic’s Managing Director. “We know that a festival on this scale is only possible when there is support from throughout the community and we were fortunate to receive that support.”
It is clear that Prismatic’s efforts hit the mark with audience members. Allana Downie raved that “an excellent array of performers and artists and an atmosphere of unity and understanding of the many cultures and diverse points of view made this a most memorable occasion. We are looking forward to next year already!”
Unfortunately, Prismatic was touched by tragedy. On August 27, just days after the festival closed, spoken word artist, Zaccheus Jackson Nyce, died in an accident in Toronto. The award-winning slam poetry artist, who has performed at the last three Prismatic festivals, was a favourite among audience-members and other artists at the festival. His loss is felt deeply at Prismatic and across Canada.
“When you see how much Zaccheus’ work touched people, from young students, to seasoned performers, to audiences from all walks of life, you come to appreciate the importance of connecting people through the arts” says Sayadi. “We will honour Zaccheus’ dedication to his artistic work and his love for life through future Prismatic Arts Festivals. Connecting people through arts and culture is not just important, it is necessary in today’s rapidly changing world. People need to see, hear and understand one another and arts allows us to do that.”
Stewart and Sayadi are already planning for next year. They confirm that the Prismatic Arts Festival will be an annual event held at the end of August at Alderney Landing. This news should please audience members who were clearly thrilled with Prismatic’s debut on the Dartmouth waterfront.