The World Culture Fusion Festival returns September 17 and 18 at multiple outdoor locations, presenting a variety of performers and artistic experiences.
Fusion Fest is a new festival, a co-production of three not-for-profit organizations—the Nipissing Region Curatorial Collective, UNIK Theatre Canada, and the Gateway Theatre Guild.
The aim is to explore and celebrate diverse cultures through food, music, drama, and other artistic forms via intimate performances easily accessible to audiences.
This is the first year for the festival, but technically the festival is returning, as the first event was held this July 3 at Lee Park. Day two and three of the inaugural run happen next Friday and Saturday.
The festival is a “gathering and celebration of the creative imagination,” organizers explain on the event’s website, and offers various performances ranging from spoken word artists to DJ’s, graphic artists to actors.
The goal is to create “a festival of fun and involvement that will invite people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds to come together to share in the magic of creativity, expression, collaboration, and unity,” festival organizers enthuse.
Given the terrible time performing artists’ have had this past year due to the pandemic, the festival will “revive the spirit of artists,” explained Justine Gogoua, one of the festival founders.
The festival promises “diversity” among talents, Gogoua emphasized, mentioning a specific focus on “minority artists and ethnic people of all backgrounds” will gather to present their works.
“For artists by artists” she said, “and for the community,” noting how one of the main purposes is “to get connected, explore and share” through the common language of music and art.
This weekend marks a “big test” for the festival, and Gogoua is eager to gauge “how the community reacts to the concept of the new festival.”
She has faith the response will be positive. Plans are already underway for 2022, and Gogoua is hopeful the festival gains traction as an annual event within North Bay.
“It belongs to the big family of Nipissing and particularly to North Bay,” she said, referring to the festival.
“So, I’m inviting everyone to have a hand on it, and this will become a festival that celebrates who we are as human beings.”
For a full line-up of talent performing at the festival, as well as venues, visit the World Culture Fusion Festival’s website.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca