Event Schedule

The W(here) Festival will take place June 26 to 30, 2o12 in Pictou Nova Scotia!

Highlights of the festival  include:

– local resident/artist-led “field trips” throughout Pictou County

– engaging visiting artist projects by Marlene Creates and Sheilah Wilson

– fun and fabulous talks by local Pictou County artists about their work

– a special discussion about art, place and community with invited guests

– and an exciting family friendly closing event that will bring you back in time

Wondering how you can be involved?? Check out the “Participate” section of this website! See you in June!!

Download the festival schedule here.

Full Festival Schedule


7pm – “kitchen pARTy”, a social evening of local artist talks, Carvers Coffee House, Pictou

This event provides a professional development opportunity to local artists in a fun and social way while also acting as the official launch event of the festival with cocktails inspired by the presenting artists. Here, the traditional artist talk is transformed with each presenter having  10 minutes to show a recent project or a work-in-progress. This event also introduces the general public to its artists in a way that encourages discussion and reflection across disciplines.

Presenting artists: Eliza Furnbach, Susan Tilsley Manley, Amanda MacDonald, Dawn MacNutt, Stephanie Robertson, St. Clair Prest, Carolyn Vienneau+ Fenn Martin.

Carvers is located at 41 Coleraine Street in Pictou.


9am-1pm – Award Ribbons for Places in Pictou County, a special project by visiting artist Marlene Creates (Newfoundland), Day 1, Bay View Community Hall 

For this project, visiting artist Marlene Creates invites participants of all ages to share some of their meaningful places in Pictou –– either natural or built ––  in order to reveal some of its invisible layers of meaning. Participants will be given the materials to create an award ribbon, which will be installed in their chosen spot. This is a chance to commemorate a place that people value in their everyday environment.

Marlene Creates is an acclaimed environmental artist and poet who lives and works in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland. Born in Montreal, Creates studied visual arts at Queen’s University (ON). For over thirty years her work has been an exploration of the relationship between human experience, memory, language and the land, and the impact they have on each other. http://www.marlenecreates.ca

Check out the Participate section if you want to be a part of this project!

Bay View Community Hall is located on the Bayview Road heading out of Pictou towards Braeshore.

12pm-6pm – Walking in Place: Field Trips in Pictou County, Walk 1, Susan Sellers **FULL

Led by local community members and artists, 4 field trips will lead participants to various sites throughout Pictou County. Each location is transformed through storytelling, on-location performance and collaborative making. Through visiting local sites and listening to local stories, the goal of Walking in Place is to encourage new ways of thinking about “here”. Each walk is unique and devised by the artists themselves.

Walk 1 – Susan Sellers – “Following the Footsteps of an Unsung Heroine” – Pictou Island, NS

Using the framework of the life and times of Pictou Island nurse, Margaret MacDonald (1897-1977), this field trip will begin and end with a voyage at sea. On Pictou Island, Susan will lead us to various sites that played a major role in MacDonald’s life. At one time, 20 families lived on the island year round. In addition, Sellars’ walk will also include a dramatic telling of the legend of The White Lady.

Susan Sellers has traveled back and forth to Pictou Island for the past 25 years. Sellers is a retired school teacher with 28 years experience, five of which she was the enrichment teacher assigned to students on Pictou Island. Sellers is also a writer, photographer and lover of horses, having recently published images in Saltscapes magazine.

 Space is limited for this one, so please contact wherefestival@gmail.com to secure a spot on the ferry.  We will leave Pictou from Pier B, in front of the Customs House Inn at noon. Suggested donation $10 for our ferryman. 🙂


9am-1pm – Award Ribbons for Places in Pictou County, a special project by visiting artist Marlene Creates, day 2, various locations throughout the county **FULL

On day 2, participants will travel together awarding their special places. Marlene will video document each participant and the content will be uploaded to an online interactive map that will live on after the festival is complete. Visitors may accompany the group on their adventure or interact online and add their own award.

Meet at the Bayview Community Centre parking lot at 9am for a ride/caravan with us.

2pm – The Invisible Inside the Visible, site-specific audio installation, Lee Tik Service Centre, River John

In this project, Sheilah Wilson records stories from the local community about the area’s almost forgotten but still famous racetrack. A part-time resident of the area, Wilson also investigates the importance of social sites of exchange, here being Lee Tik Service Centre where residents buy groceries, get gas and spend time exchanging information. These oral histories will be installed in two listening stations at the gas station throughout the festival. On June 28 at 2pm residents will have the chance to meet Wilson and hear her talk about the making of this project.

Sheilah Wilson was born in Caribou River (NS) and studied photography at the Instituto Allende (Mexico) and visual art at NSCAD University before receiving her Masters of Fine Arts from Goldsmiths College (UK). Wilson’s work is an investigation of the seam that binds experience to language, story to teller and fantasy to history through photography, site-specific public art and performance. http://sheilahwilson.com.

Lee Tik Service Center is located 1971 Sunrise Trail just out side River John village.


9am-1pm – Award Ribbons for Places in Pictou County, a special project by visiting artist Marlene Creates, day 3, various locations throughout county

On Day 3, this project continues with more awarding of special places throughout the community.

Meet at the Bayview Community Centre parking lot at 9am for a ride/caravan with us.

2pm – Walking in Place: Field Trips in Pictou County, Walk 2, Linda Little & Sheree Fitch

Walk 2 – Linda Little & Sheree Fitch – “From the Bridge “–  River John, NS

In this adventure Sheree Fitch and Linda Little  lead a troupe along a stretch of the Jitney Trail to the old iron railway bridge just outside River John village. Both published authors, Linda and Sheree will read site-specific poetry and passages from their work that feature elements of the landscape around us. The old rail-bed and the bridge are transformed through story bringing new thinking about the physical structures and their metaphorical applications in art. Followed by tea and a small workshop.

Sheree Fitch is an educator, literacy activist and author of award winning poetry, picture books, nonfiction, plays and novels for all ages. Her books include: Toes in My Nose (1987),  There Were Monkeys in My Kitchen, Mable Murple. If You Could Wear my Sneakers. In 1998 she won the prestigious Vicky Metcalf award for a body of work inspirational to Canadian Children. Her work as a poet and literacy educator has taken her to the Arctic as eight-time poet laureate for Peter Gzowski’s fundraisers for literacy and to Bhutan where she taught writing and participated in that country’s first national reading week.

Linda Little lives and writes in River John. She has published short stories in many reviews and anthologies, including The Antigonish Review, Descant, Matrix, The Journey Prize Anthology, and The Penguin Book of Short Stories by Canadian Women. Linda has two award-winning novels, Strong Hollow (2001) and Scotch River (2006). In addition to writing, Linda teaches at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and is involved with River John’s annual literary festival, Read by the Sea.

Meet us at the Royal Canadian Legion parking lot on the West Branch Road in River John to begin.

7pm – Here Today Here Tomorrow, a interactive discussion about Art, Place and Community, with invited visiting and local artists, Pictou Academy Auditorium

In this discussion, artists are asked more critical questions that pertain to festival’s overall themes, successes and failures sharing experiences from the past few days. How important is place in the art of Pictou County? What is the future of rural art practices? are some of the questions that will will explore. The public is invited to have their say as well.

Pictou Academy is located at 88 Patterson Street in Pictou, NS.


9am – Walking in Place: Field Trips in Pictou County, Walk 3, Raina McDonald “I AM HERE”

Walk 3 – Raina McDonald – “I AM HERE” – Brookland, NS

Gathered in an old overgrown foundation, Raina McDonald will invite us to explore the surrounding world (considering here as a specific geographical location with stories that create notions of past, present and future) along with the world within each of us (considering here as an intimate space within our bodies that we inhabit when we allow ourselves to be truly present). Rain or shine!  Dress in boots and rain gear if needed. This walk is approximately 2 hours on uneven ground and so likely not suitable for very young children.

Raina McDonald lives in Pictou County where she enjoys engaging with her rural community through art and teaching yoga.  Originally from Victoria, BC, she graduated from NSCAD University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.  Raina looks to the worlds around her for metaphors to describe her own evolution, creating work through printmaking, installation, sculpture and community projects that speaks to the current human experience.

4pm – Walking in Place: Field Trips in Pictou County, Walk 4, Sharon Nowlan

Sharon Nowlan – “Where Sky Meets the Sea” – Waterside Beach Provincial Park, NS

In this excursion, Sharon Nowlan will lead a group to Waterside beach where she will share thoughts about her work that incorporates beach stones and pebbles as a main medium. As her work naturally begins with a walk on the beach, so will our adventure. Collecting stones together we will construct a large beach installation together as a group. This walk is open to all ages, families and friends. Afterwards, the results will be sent to the World Beach Project, an online database of beach-art hosted by the Victoria and Albert Museum (London).

Sharon Nowlan has been gathering pebbles all her life.  Her interests in nature and art lead her to study Fine Arts and Environmental studies at the University of Waterloo. She has combined those same interests to creat her Pebble Art of Nova Scotia. A resident of Pictou, Sharon also has an online shop and studio here at Etsy.com.

7pm-10pm – Closing event, Launch of “Memory Factory” at the Palace Theatre, 41 Water Street in downtown Pictou and music by Al Tuck.

Filmmakers David Craig and Katherine Knight of Site Media Inc., in collaboration with the Northumberland Fisheries Museum,  embark on an exciting online project that features reflections, images and stories about the Maritime Packers lobster cannery in Caribou NS. What once was, gives us foresight in shaping the future. Join us for the launch of this project and closing reception of W(here) featuring music by the amazing Al Tuck.

In 2006, Katherine Knight and David Craig founded Site Media Inc to produce documentaries on creative individuals in extraordinary places. Site Media has produced four documentaries on Canadian artists: Annie Pootoogook; Kinngait: Riding Light into the World; Pretend Not to See Me: The Art of Colette Urban, which received Special Mention at the 2010 Ecofilm Festival in Rhodos, Greece; and KOOP – The Art of Wanda Koop, which premiered as the gala night selection at the 2011 Reel Artists Film Festival, Toronto (see story ). She is currently developing a film on the architecture of Todd Saunders.

Born in Summerside, PEI, Al Tuck has shared the stage with Garth Hudson, Feist, Sarah Harmer, Superfriendz, Old Man Luedecke, Buck 65, Matt Mays and Joel Plaskett. He is an awesome encyclopedia of popular music, a roving troubadour familiar with the inside of nearly every bar and club from coast to coast. Country, blues, r&b, rock, dub and maybe even a little vaudeville are all on his map. His consummate musical grace and dreamy drawling vocals belie one of the sharpest and most deliberate songwriting minds in music today. www.altuck.ca. Suggested donation $10.


2 thoughts on “Event Schedule

  1. Jeffrey says:

    This looks like a wonderful week of activities. I am unable to get away for it having just found out about the details, but will pass it on to many other people here in Antigonish that will be interested. Great variety of events extremely well planed and I hope you have a very successful week. If at all lucky, I will clear the slate and travel down for at least one of the many events of interest listed. Jeff

  2. […] day one, the Kitchen pARTy, the community was buzzing with excitement; Carver’s, the local coffee shop in Pictou, was […]

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