Magnetawan keeping tourists and residents engaged with new programs

Magnetawan is hoping to build on a new program it started this past summer.

It's called Art in the Park and was introduced as a way to support local and area artists.

The event was initiated by Laura Brandt, the Village of Magnetawan's deputy clerk.

Brandt is already taking bookings for next summer.

“We're hoping to attract more artists and grow it year by year so that it becomes a big tourist draw,” Brandt said.

Brandt said in its inaugural year Art in the Park attracted about two dozen artists from the region who specialize in painting, sculpture and crafts.

Art in the Park started the May long weekend and ended during the Labour Day weekend.

Each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. artists would set up at the Village Green which is a space the municipality has between the Heritage Museum Centre and local LCBO.

Brandt says members of the Burk's Falls Arts and Crafts Club also showed up.

In this instance the club members were part of Art in the Park for 10 Saturdays.

Brandt said not only did the artists sell their creations, they were also asked to include demonstrations of them working on a painting for example.

Brandt says in addition to Art in the Park returning next year, an activities program the municipality began this past summer will also be back.

The village bought six bicycles visitors and residents can use to ride around the community.

The bikes are kept at the Heritage Museum Centre and users just sign them out for free and can use them all day.

Additionally for tourists coming into town and looking for easy to do activities, Brandt says they can borrow any number of games the museum also has available.

She says there are lawn games and board games and it's a service the Village started to help keep visitors engaged while in the community.

Brandt says it seems the public liked both new programs because from June to Labour Day, which is the period when the museum is open, 35 bikes and nine games were signed out.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget