Harvesting the FAM – A Celebration of Artists and Community

A crowd interacts with a nighttime installation at the riverfront portion of Harvesting the FAM Fest Sept. 27. [Photo by // Kar-Leigh Kelso]

by Kar-Leigh Kelso
The Lance – Arts Editor

From film to fashion, multimedia art, poetry and even music, a local festival revolving around community and celebrating Windsor arts has had another successful year.

Harvesting the FAM Festival returned for its ninth anniversary this year with dozens of Windsor’s independent artists displaying their talents in venues across the city. As Windsor’s largest independent inter-art festival, Harvesting the FAM Fest has brought together both artists and public alike in a fusion of artistic talent and community spirit, bringing forward supporters by the hundreds.

Chief organizer, Murad Erzinclioglu, said the support for FAM Fest has been overwhelming from the community, artists, local businesses and the City of Windsor Arts, Culture, and Heritage Fund.  Although it has had a great deal of success so far, he is hoping to go bigger and better with the event in the future, especially with the great deal of support the city has provided, which was touched upon this year when the riverfront sculpture gardens were added as a key location for events for the first time.

“We’d be very happy to collaborate with the city again and keep collaborating with them to keep doing events with a greater scope that speak to a wider audience in the community,” said Erzinclioglu.

Artists in the community certainly appreciated the opportunity for exposure. Kyle Marchand, guitarist of local band What Seas, What Shores said the ability to play for new audiences and the chance for the band to perform locally are why they signed up to perform at Harvesting the FAM Fest.

“We are always happy to see new faces at our shows and genuinely appreciative of people reaching out to us who haven’t seen us before, and there were a few people that saw us at the riverfront that haven’t heard us before so that was cool,” said Marchand. “We applied for the festival because we have really enjoyed playing it in the past and thought the riverfront stage was a really good idea and we wanted to experience playing our music in a unique setting … But the main thing for us is that we like making music together, and like getting on stage together, so we do it for the pure enjoyment of that more than anything else.”

Artist Julia Monk said FAM Fest is a great opportunity for local artists not only to participate and enhance their own work, but also for the community to get more involved in Windsor’s art scene.

“I think more people in this area should be putting on these types of festivals or just plain participating in them,” said Monk. “It’s a great way to get yourself out there as an artist but it’s also just a great outlet if art is your thing and it could mean something to visit Windsor for. I think we have an incredibly talented art and music scene here in Windsor and I’m really excited to meet some new artists within this FAM festival.”

Moving forward, Erzinclioglu is considering talking with Walkerville Collegiate Institute to create a new spring time festival geared towards encouraging young artists to participate in the community.

Alena Matos and her daughter Persephone McGrath work on a painting together at the riverfront portion of Harvesting the FAM Fest Sept. 27. [Photo by // Kar-Leigh Kelso]

Alena Matos and her daughter Persephone McGrath work on a painting together at the riverfront portion of Harvesting the FAM Fest Sept. 27.
[Photo by // Kar-Leigh Kelso]

Tara Watts performs at the riverfront portion of Harvesting the FAM Fest Sept. 27. [Photo by // Kar-Leigh Kelso]

Tara Watts performs at the riverfront portion of Harvesting the FAM Fest Sept. 27.
[Photo by // Kar-Leigh Kelso]

David Dubois performs with Tara Watts at the riverfront portion of Harvesting the FAM Fest Sept. 27. [Photo by // Kar-Leigh Kelso]

David Dubois performs with Tara Watts at the riverfront portion of Harvesting the FAM Fest Sept. 27.
[Photo by // Kar-Leigh Kelso]

Ron Leary performs with Tara Watts at the riverfront portion of Harvesting the FAM Fest Sept. 27. [Photo by // Kar-Leigh Kelso]

Ron Leary performs with Tara Watts at the riverfront portion of Harvesting the FAM Fest Sept. 27.
[Photo by // Kar-Leigh Kelso]

JIM 'JFX' Han performs with London breakdancing crew Ill at Will at the riverfront portion of Harvesting the FAM Fest Sept. 27. [Photo by // Kar-Leigh Kelso]

JIM ‘JFX’ Han performs with London breakdancing crew Ill at Will at the riverfront portion of Harvesting the FAM Fest Sept. 27.
[Photo by // Kar-Leigh Kelso]

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