Fantastical worlds, dance parties take spotlight during 10-day art festival in Hamilton


Published October 11, 2023 at 5:12 pm

Art Gallery of Hamilton Jeeyoung Lee La Vie En Rose
South Korean artist JeeYoung Lee created this artwork called La Vie En Rose. JEEYOUNG LEE

The art on the walls won’t be the only creations attendees will be experiencing at this festival.

The DJs will play the music loud, lights will be dim and at times flashing, someone will be “flying” above the crowd and a drag performer will be part of the party. People can create their own surrealism-inspired masks and wear their own creative outfits.

This dance party celebrates the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s newest exhibit Wonder: The Real, the Surreal, and the fantastic! at the AGH Pavilion on Friday, Oct. 13 from 8 p.m. to midnight. The exhibit is described as an “immersive experience” delving into fantastical worlds. (The exhibit itself on Thursday, Oct. 12 is free but the Fruit Salad x Wonder dance party is $40).

The events are part of a 10-day arts and culture festival that’s set to kick off its celebration of local artists with parties, screenings, live performances, music, films, craft, workshops and exhibits.

The Art Gallery of Hamilton Festival is happening from Oct. 12 to 21 with free admission to the AGH Galleries during that period.

“You are invited to explore the Art Gallery of Hamilton and the venues across the city to experience the dynamic and engaging community that play host to the myriad of activities planned,” wrote Shelley Falconer, president and chief executive of the Art Gallery of Hamilton, in the festival’s pamphlet.

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The events, pop-ups, concerts and parties will take place at the Art Gallery of Hamilton and five other venues throughout the city.

On Oct. 13 and 20 from noon to 1 p.m., people can join curator-led discussions and vault tours for $15.

On Saturday, Oct. 14, a block party (free admission) will celebrate 50 years of hip hop from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. There’s a DJ from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., for instance. In the sculpture garden, four graffiti artists will be working.

For $15, families can check out food and activities on Sunday, Oct. 15, such as activity and craft tables and an interactive music performance by The Lone Rhubarbarian. Starting at 1 p.m., family friendly gallery tours will begin and the Hamilton School of Music will perform. At 2:30 p.m., the Hamilton Beat Harmonic will perform interactive music at the Sculpture Garden. From 3:30 to 5 p.m., people can join a defining movement dance class followed by a kids dance party.

There’s also a weaving workshop at Hamilton Craft Studios for $60, student/senior for $55 and AGH member for $50.

Click here for more on the events happening during the festival.

While people can purchase tickets at the venue 30 minutes before the event, buying them in advance online, in person or by phone is recommended as some events may sell out.

The event is in its second year of using a multi-arts format and its 15th year in general as a festival.

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