A new two-day festival is set to bring a unique mix of art, entertainment, community, and history together in Colwood next month.
The first-ever In Sight Festival, organized by the Arts and Culture Colwood Society, is scheduled for Sept. 10 and 11 at the Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site and will feature everything from kids activities to outdoor painting, artist exhibits to circus acts and live music.
“Really what we are trying to do is provide an opportunity for everyone to experience arts and culture through personal engagement,” said Laura Davis, the society’s president. “The festival will showcase local artists and cultural practices by presenting and connecting them with the public.”
Davis said the location is a big part of the event, with Fort Rodd Hill providing a variety of locations for the festival’s presentations, and serving as an excellent backdrop for conversations about Colwood’s history and Indigenous Peoples. In fact, the event’s name was inspired by the site’s connections to the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.
“The First Nations land you see – the surrounding mountains, the ocean – our past and all the possibilities for a bright future are all in sight,” she said.
Building on the site’s Indigenous connections, the festival is set to include performances by the Esquimalt Dancers as well as Indigenous storytellers and artists.
Organizers also hope the event provides a positive distraction from the challenges of the past few years, and helps the community continue to recover by providing a fun and family-friendly event to gather and socialize safely.
While the event is much larger than any other the relatively new society has put on to date, Davis said organizing it has been a very smooth process, thanks in large part to how supportive Parks Canada has been. She said the government agency has even gone so far as to provide plenty of volunteers to ensure everything is set up and run smoothly.
Beyond providing volunteers, Parks Canada is also waiving the park entrance fee on Sept. 11 and opening an extra entrance gate so people are able to attend the festival free of charge and with more parking options along Ocean Boulevard.
On Sept. 10, regular park admission of $8.50 for adults, $7 for people 65 and older, and free for children under 17 will apply. The festival is set to run from noon to 3 p.m. on Sept. 10, with a one-hour performance by Island Circus Space starting at 1 p.m., while on Sept. 11 the festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with even more programming.
A full schedule for the festival is available at artsandculturecolwood.com/events.