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Artsfest starts this weekend in Kenora after COVID hiatus

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, one of Kenora's biggest arts festivals returns to the Lake of the Woods.

KENORA -- The Lake of the Woods arts community is getting together to celebrate art in all of its forms during Artfest in downtown Kenora this weekend.

The free two-day event will take place at The Muse on Main Street South and will showcase literary, visual, and performing artists from Kenora and the Rainy River areas.

“What we have learned as an arts organization over the last few years is the importance of the arts in difficult times,” said Leanne Fournier, board chair of LOWAC, the group putting on Artsfest. "The real goal for us was to celebrate not only the creativity of the community but also the diversity."

The event will open with a traditional drum ceremony and a prayer by an Indigenous elder. This will be followed by musical and theatrical performances on a main stage Friday and Saturday.

A highlight will include a fashion walk taking place throughout the site on Friday and Saturday afternoons, showcasing creations by Evelyne Finlayson and other designers. Fournier said some of youth who are participating are modeling their own regalia.

Writers and visual artists will display their works with some doing demonstrations of their crafts including clay throwing on a pottery wheel, button making, and a writing workshop.

Many artists are exhibiting their works for the first time said Fournier. “As a community arts organization, LOWAC is dedicated to showcasing work from all stages of practice, whether you are an emerging artist or a long-time veteran of the arts.”

The latest updates about all the exhibitors and performers can be found at

All main stage performances will be livestreamed.