A Decade of Ochre Fest

A Decade of Ochre Fest

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Beloved local arts festival institution Ochre Fest celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2022, boasting a stacked lineup of artists and authors

A decade of influencing the local arts community serves as the backdrop for the 10th annual Ochre Fest, which will emulate from the Ochre House Retreat in Ochre Pit Cove, Conception Bay South from July 8-10th of this year.

The event, which returns to its in person format for the first time since the pandemic era, spotlights Newfoundland and Labrador’s vibrants arts and culture landscape, celebrating everything from books to art, wine and of course, music.

“We’re delighted to be running our 10th edition of Ochre Fest this year – especially since we’re getting to do it in person after two years of digital presentations,” shared Rebecca Rose, Co-Chair of the festival. 

“That’s a key priority for us this year, as so many authors and musicians released new work through COVID, but were prevented from adequately showcasing their work and finding their audiences.”

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Number of artists

The 10th annual Ochre Fest kicks off on Friday July 8th with Wine & Words, which will see Sommelier Lynne Henley of TastingsNL ‘delight palates with a wine tasting event’, while acclaimed poets Douglas Walbourne-Gough and George Murray will serve up readings of their latest works. 

From there, a crop of local authors, including Gerard Collins, Aimee Wall, and Olivia Robinson, as well as the energetic stylings of Zay Nova, are on deck.

“We’ve almost doubled the number of artists in our show for this year in an effort to help those who lost performance opportunities through 2020-2021 and to highlight new work by the province’s writers and musician,” shared Rose. 

“There are so many talented Newfoundland and Labrador artists living here and away, and we’re really pleased to be offering a festival line-up including a great selection of them.”

Saturday July 9th begins with an afternoon panel led by Ainsley Hawthorn and featuring Sonja Boon, Dr. Dolores V. Mullings and Heather Nolan will explore Belonging Here, and finding a voice in this place. Evening entertainment includes authors Claire Wilkshire, Elisabeth de Mariaffi and Eva Crocker and country music powerhouse of the much-lauded Carolina East.

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10 amazing years

The festival wraps on Sunday July 10th with the distinct voices of Megan Gail Coles, Dr. Hassan Khalili and Terry Doyle, who will read from their diverse works and have a lively discussion with Leslie Vryenhoek on why Home is Hard Work, before a free-for-all Closing Party to celebrate 10 amazing years, and set the organization on the path to another decade of fruitful content.

Originally debuted as The Festival at Ochre Pit Cove in 2013 by Rose of Breakwater Books and Ochre House Retreat’s Lisa Porter, Ochre Fest is a homage to the organizer’s love of storytelling, music, visual arts and culinary delights.

Ochre Fest 2022 proudly features ASL Interpreters supporting three of the festival’s events (Belonging here, Closer to the Heart and Home Is Hard Work). Ochre Fest tickets are on sale now and available online at ochrefest.ca/2022schedule

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Dillon Collins is a writer based out of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Multi-time MusicNL nominee for Media Person of the Year. Lover of heavy metal, hoppy beverages and the loveable canine.

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