Hamilton

Weekend of festivals in Hamilton has activities for everyone from Aug. 12 to Aug. 14

With a string of events coming up in Hamilton as the summer progresses, here's a guide to some things you could do this weekend.

Some events are coming to Hamilton for the first time while others are coming back after a pandemic hiatus

Art Crawl is one of the many events and festivals happening this weekend in Hamilton. (Harold Madi/Twitter)

A summer-festival-filled weekend will be taking Hamilton by storm starting on Friday, and it promises to have a festival for everyone.

From a picnic at the park to the Unity Rally, here are some things to do this weekend in Hamilton.

Picnic at the Bay 

A new Pier 8 Pop Up is happening this weekend with a "Picnic at the Bay."

"A night of free family fun, delicious food, and an opportunity to spend an evening chilling by the water," read Pier 8 Pop Ups Instagram page. 

The picnic will run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday at the Hamilton Waterfront Trust Patio, right behind the Discovery Centre (also called the Hamilton Waterfront Trust building).

The event, presented by the city, will feature various food vendors and "family-friendly activities, tunes from DJ Donna Lovejoy, some special visitors, and the prettiest sunset you ever did see!"

Art Crawl on James North

Hamilton's longstanding Art Crawl continues this weekend along James Street North.

According to their website, visitors can expect street art, performers, vendors and craft markets while they stroll down the street.

Art Crawl starts at 5 p.m. on Friday. 

Exhibition at Hamilton Artists Inc.

This Saturday is the last chance to see the "Turf Wars" exhibition at the Hamilton Artists Inc. gallery on James Street North. 

The exhibition brings together work by artists Atticus Gordon, Eryn O'Neill and Violeta San Juan that focuses on land, borders, the resources of our planet and more, according to the gallery's website.

"How do we shape the places we inhabit? How do those places, in turn, shape our lives? What are the consequences of our control over land, both in the present and future?"

The gallery is open Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

ArtsWest

Starting Friday until Sunday, the ArtsWest Festival is bringing several musical performances to Westdale Village in Hamilton.

There will be country concerts from Hamilton artists such as Mahima, the New Rebel Westerners, the Redhill Valleys and more, as well as a Johnny Cash tribute.

There will also be other live music from Friday to Sunday.

An artisan market will also be present at all three days of the festival, starting Friday at 4 p.m.

Unity Rally

The second annual Unity Rally will be taking place on Saturday in front of Hamilton City Hall.

According to Hamilton Community Legal Clinic's Indigenous Justice Coordinator Lyndon George, residents can expect the rally to become a tradition in the city. 

"Indigenous Unity Rally will be held every second Saturday in August. Regardless of how many people show up, for Indigenous people, our friends and allies. It's a time for us to gather."

According to George, attendees can expect a few words from several Indigenous members of the community as well as allies. 

"There will be drumming, there will be dancing, there will be singing."

The event runs from 12 to 2 p.m.

"We recognize that during the summer months, that there are many Indigenous people who are not afforded an opportunity to be able to travel outside of the city," said George.

"We wanted to create more space, and more events for indigenous people and our friends and allies, to be able to gather that wisdom and knowledge about Indigenous people within the city limits.

Hamilton Philippine Heritage Festival 

The first-ever Philippine festival in Hamilton is taking place this weekend. 

On Saturday and Sunday, starting at 9 a.m., members of the community will be able to experience Filipino culture at T. B. McQuesten Park on Upper Wentworth Street.

The festival will have food, games, prizes and "non-stop entertainment," according to a Facebook post. 

The event is set to feature singer Filipina singer Lani Misalucha at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

BIPOC Showcase and Pop-Up Market 

Another Pier 8 Pop Up this weekend will take place on Saturday at this year's BIPOC showcase and market. 

Pier 8 Pop Ups teamed up with Black Owned Hamilton and BMRKT "to showcase some amazing local BIPOC-Owned businesses, delicious food, and some exciting musical guests," according to an Instagram post.

Visitors will be able to shop from over 20 vendors and will also have kids activities from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Stories in the Stones

Also on Saturday, residents will be able to take a stroll through the past at the Hamilton Cemetery during an Art Crawl Tour.

The tour will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will have visitors "meet the artists, poets, and musicians of the past and learn their stories," according to the city's website.

Hamilton Latino Festival 

The city's Latino Festival is coming back this weekend after a two-year hiatus.

The festival will take place on Saturday and Sunday at Gage Park. It starts at 11 a.m. on both days.

Several Latinx artists based in Hamilton and surrounding areas will be performing. 

The event will also have several food vendors and other Latinx businesses. 

Sous Bay

The last Pier 8 Pop Up of the weekend will be Sous Bay, a paid, 19-plus event run by Hamilton club collective Sous Bas. 

The event will have drinks, DJs, and dancing and will run from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. 

Attendants will be sitting by the water at the Hamilton Waterfront Trust patio and enjoy the music and drinks.

Blackberry

Also on Sunday, the play Blackberry,  written by Radha S. Menon, will be at Carter Park in the Stinson neighbourhood.

According to an Instagram post, Blackberry is a play examining the "lasting effects of growing up in colonized spaces through the lens of four IBPOC youth."

"Blackberry doesn't shy away from the realities of what countless youth are dealing with today in Canada: police violence, systemic racism, murdered and missing indigenous women, abuse of power."

Blackberry will be playing every night at 7:30 p.m. until Aug. 21.

Summer Japanese Festival

For the first time in Hamilton, the Summer Japanese Festival is taking place Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Canadian Japanese Cultural Centre on Hempstead Drive.

The festival will include food, arts and crafts, vendors, live music, martial arts and more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aura Carreño Rosas

Freelance reporter, CBC Hamilton

Aura Carreño Rosas is a Hamilton-based freelance journalist from Venezuela, with a passion for pop culture and unique people with diverse journeys.

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