Festival of the Arts

Spirit of the Hills Festival of the Arts will be held November 3 and 4, 2017.

About The Festival

by Felicity Sidnell Reid

To mark Canada’s 150th anniversary, celebrate the growing variety and diversity of our arts community, and engage more members of the public in the arts, Spirit of the Hills is holding a Festival of the Arts on November 3 and 4.

We have been working on the Festival since last October. How quickly time goes by!

The events—featuring members of Spirit of the Hills who are writers, artists, musicians, performers, and teachers— have now been confirmed.

We’re thrilled to hold the festival at beautiful St Peter’s Anglican Church in Cobourg. It has wonderful facilities, including an auditorium and a great hall, and is known as a welcoming centre for the arts. We are beginning our promotional and publicity campaign, hoping to bring in a diverse audience for the presentation of a bilingual musical, an art show, a book fair, workshops, and a concert combined with the launch of our third anthology, Hill Spirits III.

We will also host a special exhibition, Shades of Our Sisters, created by relatives of two missing women and eight media production students at Ryerson University in Toronto. “From its conception, the mission of Shades of Our Sisters has been to honour the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Transgender, and Two Spirit People and to put their families at the forefront of telling their stories.” See www.shadesofoursisters.com.

I’d like to introduce you to a few of the people who are involved in this project.

Cynthia Reyes has set up our Facebook page and is working with publisher Jennifer Bogart Jaquith on publicity.

One of Cynthia’s delightful stories will be published in our new anthology, Hill Spirits III.

Cynthia with members of the audience when she read from An Honest House at a recent event, Memoirs and Music

Take a look at Cynthia’s own website and blog https://cynthiasreyes.com.

Diane Taylor will be giving a workshop on Memoir Writing in which she’ll help participants write the story of their lives or a slice of it. Diane has given many workshops on this topic, and her book, A Gift of Memoir, has inspired and supported many writers in this genre.

She blogs at www.dianemtaylor.com

Diane selling copies of her book, A Gift of Memoir at Word Northumberland 2015.

Co-chairing the Festival organizing committee with me is Spirit of the Hills President Susan Statham. Susan is a well known portraitist who just completed a commission to paint portraits of 12 of Canada’s Prime Ministers.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau by Susan Statham

The show opened on July 1st, one of the many celebrations of Canada’s birthday held that weekend.

Susan is also a writer and one of the editors of Hill Spirits III. You can find out more about her at www.sstatham.com

And finally for today, our festival will open with a staged reading of Marie-Lynn Hammond’s musical play De Beaux Gestes/Beautiful Deeds.

Marie-Lynn is best known as a singer, with numerous CDs to her name, but she is also a writer, playwright, editor, and animal advocate.


De Beaux Gestes/Beautiful Deeds was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore award when it was first produced.

Marie Lynn will direct this presentation as well as perform in it. She, too, has a story in our new anthology. Find Marie-Lynn at marielynnhammond.com and watch her sing at https://www.youtube.com/user/chevalgal.

Marie-Lynn and Reva Nelson selling books at the local Lilac Festival this May

I hope to give you more news of our festival over the coming months, but in the meantime, if you have a moment to visit and like our Facebook page that would be wonderful.

2017 Festival of the Arts Writing Contest

Do you have prose or poetry pining for publication?

Yes! Then we have an opportunity for you.

Spirit of the Hills invites you to celebrate Canada’s 150th with your prose and/or poetry. Winning entries will be published in the third of our successful anthology series Hill Spirits III to be launched at the Spirit of the Hills Festival of the Arts November 3 and 4, 2017.

Festival Writing Contest Rules:

  • Entry fee $10
    • for each short story or memoir, maximum 1500
    • for a maximum of 3 poems no more than 100 lines in total
    • payment through PayPal
  • No restrictions as to style, content, number of submissions.
  • Send your entries from now until July 10
  • Each entry must be in a separate file. Send in the body of your email or as an attachment using pdf, pages for mac, ms word, or open office.
  • Multiple submissions and previously published material welcome.
  • Must be a resident of Canada
  • After clicking Upload, follow payment instructions to conclude your submission

For the Winners:
One prose piece and one poem will be chosen for publication in Hill Spirits III. Winners will also receive a copy of Hill Spirits III, enjoy promotion at the Spirit of the Hills Festival of the Arts; on social media and with a radio interview on ‘Word on the Hills’ Northumberland 89.7 FM.

Canada – 150 years young, celebrate with us!

2017 Festival of the Arts Writing Contest Registration Form

Click the link below to submit your work and pay your registration fee.

Please Note: Registrations will only be complete when Registration Fee has been received.

Click Here to Register