Cathedral Arts Festival Street Fair a valuable asset for local artists

The Cathedral Village Arts Festival street fair is a valuable resource according to many of the artists and vendors who attended Saturday's event.

People from all walks of life packed 13th Avenue, near the heart of Regina's downtown to see the sights and sounds of the festival, which was celebrating its 28th year.

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Before the skies opened up and dumped rain on the city, artists were set up and ready to display a variety of different wares and goods to people in Regina. For them, the festival is crucial to what they do and in terms of getting their names and faces out there.

"Social media can only go so far and you can only have so many friends, and friends of friends," said Cara Fucht, who was advertising her custom hat painting business on Saturday. "This is a really good opportunity for people who you don't know, or who would never run in your circle to get a chance to see what you're doing."

It was Fucht's first year at the Arts Festival. She started painting hats just one year ago, and noticed it was a rather unique business she was in.

Fucht said she's received a lot of good feedback in her first year attending the street fair.

"People think it's really cool, I've gotten a lot of surprises, people [asking] 'Oh, they're hand painted?,'" Fucht said.

Joe Tapaquon has had a booth at the festival for the last 11 or 12 years, he said.

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For Tapaquon, it's the people he meets that keep bringing him back.

"Coming out here, the crowd is so phenomenal, you get to explain yourself as an artist," Tapaquon said. "I like meeting people one on one and there's no bigger high for me than to be out here, to just enjoy the day, enjoy the people and to enjoy the crowd."

He said as a First Nations man, he's experienced a lot of ups and downs since he fully committed himself to art.

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Taoaquon said the Cathedral Village Arts Festival gives him another avenue, alongside his online sales, to promote his work in person, whereas traditional gallery settings would only feature a bio with some information about him.

For Amber and Jade Wolfe, the street fair is a collaborative effort. The sisters, who make jewelry and art respectively, shared a booth along 13th Ave on Saturday.

It's an important tool the sisters have for getting the word out about their work.

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"It makes it more meaningful to be here," Amber said. "Just being able to show what I do and be vulnerable and show my product and my art and have people enjoy it and see smiles on the people that I'm selling to. It's more personal."

For Jillyn Kashuba, who attended her third Cathedral Arts Festival Street Fair in 2019, the event creates a platform to find potential customers and gather feedback on her work.

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"I really enjoy coming out to the Arts Festival, because you get to hear everyone's opinions, something that I wouldn't normally hear just selling prints online or something like that," she said.

"It's really cool to hear everyone's thoughts on your art that I wouldn't be able to hear."