Festival celebrates cultural days

NANAIMO – Arte de Carnavale part of nationwide culture days

Venice in the 17th century is the inspiration for the third annual Art de Carnavale Festival in Nanaimo next month.

Organizer Shalema Gantt says the Sept. 28 event is part of the Culture Days celebrations, which take place between Sept. 27-29 right across the country. The Arte de Carnavale Festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“Arte de Carnavale is to celebrate the different ethnic cultures in our community as well as to celebrate Culture Days, but the theme of Arte de Carnavale came to me from the Venetian carnival they do in Venice,” explains Gantt. “We wanted to celebrate the Venetian mask and the 17th century clothes, costumes and we celebrate it by bringing this event together at Diana Krall Plaza.”

Gantt says this year’s celebration will include visual and performance artists, live music, face painting fashion shows and vendors amongst other things, and it will also take place for a longer period of time than festivals in the past.

“This year we want to introduce something new, having it go into the evening so that we can take advantage of the beautiful downtown and have an open market at night as well,” she said.

The Arte de Carnavale will also provide an opportunity for downtown businesses and downtown association to join in, according to Gantt.

“This is an opportunity to invite all the retailers and all the businesses downtown to help support people who support the downtown,” she says.

While there is about a month between now and the Arte de Carnavale, there will be model auditions this Thursday (Aug. 29) at Nanaimo’s conference centre for the fashion show/model search portion of the festival. The auditions will take place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and again between 4 and 8 p.m. Anyone interested in the audition can call Gantt at 250-729-9332.