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Friday, August 5, 2011

Beyond the Borders: August 6th., Longbranch

Ah, those lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer…yes folks they have come, albeit limping, into our neighbourhoods, up and down the Sound. At the beginning of August, the world begins to bring its balance back towards the Equinox. Of course this means it’s time, on the Key Peninsula, to groove with the world in music, peace and love…with two great local organizations. That’s right friends, this Saturday, August 6th. comes another “Beyond the Borders” music and art festival, brought to you by the Longbranch Improvement Club and Two Waters Arts Alliance.

This festival is the jewel of Summer on the Key, and this year promises to sparkle. There will be Steel Drums to take you to the Islands, Latin Jazz to get your hips moving, and so much more (you can check the Key Peninsula News, online, for exact line-up and schedule) in this noon-to-six music program. It would not be Longbranch without a great Drum Circle, wonderful food, and a relaxed beer and wine garden. TWAA will have a show of works to satiate your eyes and everywhere you stroll, whether it be inside our beautiful hall or outside on the grounds, you will feel a committed community that welcomes a world-journey, and keeps young by celebrating the Arts!

Beyond the Borders was created by Longbranch neighbour, Mark Runions, so I asked him to tell me its story. Turning it over to Mark….


In answer to your questions about the germination of Beyond the Borders: it was as much a slip of the tongue as anything else. A few Two Waters folks and I were sitting around after participating at a re-creation of Pioneer Days at the Civic Center about 6 years ago. Two Waters had funded live music for the event, and I wasn’t too thrilled with the music – one rock band after another – and I think I threw out the idea of bringing in some more interesting live music to the Key Peninsula. I remember suggesting zydeco and klezmer. People seemed to like the idea. On the spot, I said we could put on a sort of festival, maybe combined with an art show, and food, maybe with an international flavor, maybe call it “Beyond the Borders” or something. Bingo!

At that time, I was the only person involved in both TWAA and the LIC, so I approached the LIC about helping put on such an event, and donating the use of their grounds. Again, I received a positive response. It fit well with their “mission statement.” Carolyn Wiley in particular supported the idea, and really helped rally the LIC troops. TWAA committed to fund the music component and to organize an art show.

I became the coordinator in part because I had opened my big mouth.

There’s more to the story of course. But all along I have wanted Beyond the Borders to be a welcoming, open and friendly, and somewhat low-key event, with the hope that the local folks could enjoy a special event in their own back yard while experiencing the sights and sounds and tastes of other cultures. I did not want to see corporate banners flying and did not want to re-create the atmosphere of a county fair, with vendors and hawkers competing for your attention and dollars.

So, after 5 years, it’s still a pretty seat-of-the-pants operation to get Beyond the Borders off the ground. I think it has strengthened the ties of communication and friendship between the LIC and TWAA specifically, and the South KP with the rest of the Key in general. It takes a lot of time and energy to organize, and especially now, to keep costs down. And it takes the help of many volunteers to make it happen, and that’s good because we’ve seen that it’s actually sort of fun to work together towards a common goal, especially in the mad rush of Saturday morning when people join in to create a festival site in 3 hours flat!


Thank you Mark!

So neighbours, bring your worldly appetites and those dancing feet…or hearts, jump on westbound hwy.16 to the Purdy Exit, hang a left at the first lights you see and head down the Key Peninsula Highway to Longbranch…World Central on the first Saturday of August.

1 comment:

Kim Thompson said...

I loved this festival the last time I went. We had plans and couldn't make it out this year. Boo! My folks went though!