Who We Are

Blog Photo - FOTA SOTH Writers booth

We’re the artists behind FOTA –  Northumberland’s Festival of the Arts.

We live and work in the villages, hamlets and towns of Northumberland Hills east of Toronto, and in the surrounding regions. Many of us are also proud members of the Spirit of the Hills Arts Association and other arts groups in Ontario.

Blog Photo - FOTA Judy painting

Blog Photo - FOTA Dane Swan

Blog Photo - FOTA - Einstein's Fridge in Performance

Blog Photo - FOTA Ted Amsden Performing Poetry

Blog Photo - FOTA - Audience WOAW

We were honoured to have Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor open FOTA 2019

Blog Photo - FOTA LG Tours Clay Art Booth with Felicity
Left: Hon Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, and Felicity Sidnell Reid, founding chair of the Festival of the Arts, visit the Artisan Show and Art Fair

Blog Photo - FOTA Artist Painting 1

Blog Photo - FOTA LG Meets Stained Glass artist

Normally, we’d be busy creating our next Festival of the Arts – the last one in October 2019 was such a fabulous success, we could hardly wait to create the next!  But along came the pandemic, and the Festival, like many other public events, had to be delayed.  Please feel very welcome to suggest ideas for the next Festival.

*As soon as we have a date for the next one,  we’ll let you know.* 

In the meantime, you’ll find two things here: 

1: A visual and literary record of the creation and staging of the  2019 Festival. 

2: “Between Festivals – A Journal in Time of Pandemic and Lockdown”.  It’s a series of  short pieces from artists’ own lives during the pandemic.

Yes, even idyllic-seeming rural areas, and quaint lakeside towns and villages like ours are affected by the realities and concerns that accompany COVID. None of us is immune. 

Blog Photo - Cobourg Street in autumn

Blog Photo - FOTA Patricia Calder - Fields and Farm in Autumn

Blog Photo - FOTA Patricia Calder-Village of Castleton

Blog Photo - FOTA CobourgBeach2 - Credit to Town of Cobourg
Photo Credit: Town of Cobourg
Blog Photo - FOTA Keene Pumpkinfest
Photo Credit: Ronald Mackay
Blog Photo - FOTA Reva image of lake and boats
Photo Credit: Reva Nelson

Below are photos of some of the many artists who took part in the 2019 Festival of the Arts:

MUSICIANS

Blog Photo - FOTA marie-lynn-hammond2

Blog Photo - FOTA San Murata Jazz Violinist

Blog Photo - FOTA DavidNewland with guitar by PeterCroalBlog Photo - FOTA Kim Doolittle2

Above, clockwise: Marie-Lynn Hammond, Sam Murata, Kim Doolittle, David Newland

WRITERS

Blog Photo - FOTA Jennifer BOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Blog Photo - Doors Open 2016 CR at Ebor House

Blog Photo - FOTA Michael Croucher Portrait

Above, clockwise: Jennifer Bogart, Gwynn Scheltema, Mike Croucher, Cynthia Reyes

VISUAL ARTISTS

Blog Photo - FOTA Susan Statham painting cover image for The Painter's Craft
Photo: Jessica Blaine Smith / http://jbsmithphotography.com

Above: Susan Statham, Jenni Burke

POETS

Blog Photo - FOTA Dane SwanBlog Photo - FOTA Ted Amsden Portrait

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

Above, clockwise:  Dane Swan, Ted Amsden, Kim Aubrey

PLAYWRIGHTS

Blog Photo - FOTA Katie H.Blog Photo - FOTA Ronald Mackay MCU

Above, left to right: Katie Hoogendam, Ronald  Mackay

DANCERS

Blog Photo - FOTA Allison and Toddler in Warkworth

Above, Allison Townsend

ACTORS

Blog Photo - FOTA Play Rehearsal
Reva Nelson, Piers Walker

ARTISANS

Blog Photo - FOTA Anja Hertle SOTH Artisan
Artisan Anja Hertle

Putting more than a hundred artists together to plan, produce, promote and perform in a 3-day Festival of the Arts was a slightly risky business!  All are from very different disciplines, and many are used to working alone to create their art.

Blog Photo - FOTA Artisan Lorelyn-Morgan-5

Blog Photo - FOTA MLH masks3

But we created something absolutely fabulous! We hope you’ll discover this for yourself as you visit these pages.

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Drama, music, dance, books, paintings, poetry, photography, clay, glass, mosaic and textile art all “shared the stage” at FOTA, the Festival of the Arts. See More

Come share with us through these pages! The Festival ran from October 24 to 26, 2019 in the gorgeous and accessible Great Hall, Hutton Lounge and other spaces of magnificent St. Peter’s Church in Cobourg, Ontario. 

Most events were by FREE Admission, with tickets for performance events running from $10 to 25    (In Cobourg, you could also purchase tickets at let’s Talk Books, on King St east of Division.)

We are enormously grateful to our sponsors and partners, to Spirit of the Hills Arts Association and to everyone who contributes in some way to making the Festival of the Arts fabulous. 

To learn about Spirit of the Hills, click here. To learn more about our sponsors, click on the links below:

FOTA 2019 was Sponsored by:

Friends of Music

SMM Law

DiversiPro Inc.

Let’s Talk Books

Oriana Singers

89.7 FM

Lighthouse Books

Marlin Travel

St. Peter’s Cobourg

The Dutch Oven

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