Cathedral Arts Festival Street Fair a valuable asset for local artists

Saturday's Cathedral Arts Festival Street Fair is a valuable asset for local artists, who use it as a chance to show their work off to the world and meet potential customers while interacting with people face-to-face.

Cathedral Village Arts Festival marked 28 years in operation in 2019

People gambled on the weather to attend the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair on Saturday. (Bryan Eneas/CBC News)

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.

Artists, buskers, food vendors and a variety of other creative people said they were happy the weather held out, for the first few hours anyway. (Bryan Eneas/CBC News)
Cara Focht's booth displayed some of her custom hand-painted hats, which she said garnered the interest of quite a few people. It was Focht's first time participating in the street fair. (Bryan Eneas/CBC News)

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 Focht, 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 Focht'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.

Focht 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?,'" Focht said.

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

Along with works of art, crafted clothing and food, a multitude of dog breeds could be found in the crowds along 13th ave during the Cathedral Village Arts Festival. (Bryan Eneas/CBC News)
Joe Tapaquon said for him, interacting with people one on one during the street fair is a high like no other. (Bryan Eneas/CBC News)

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.

Tapaquon says that sometime he dreams of a particular colour, and immediately wakes up and tries to create his visions. (Bryan Eneas/CBC News)
Knitted figurines were one of a multitude of different crafts that were available for sale during Saturday's street fair. (Bryan Eneas/CBC News)

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.

Amber and Jade Wolfe, who share a booth at the Cathedral Village Art Festival Street Fair also occasionally collaborate on artwork together according to Amber. (Bryan Eneas/CBC News)
Amber's jewlery was displayed on one side of the sister's booth, while Jade's paintings were displayed opposite. (Bryan Eneas/CBC News)

"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.

Jillyn Kashuba said she's always surprised at what artwork gets sold first when she attends the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair. She's attended two previous street fairs. (Bryan Eneas/CBC News)
Various fandom items were offered for sale at multiple booths at the Cathedral Village Art Festival Street Fair. (Bryan Eneas/CBC News)

"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."