Arts News, Collingwood News, Summer Getaways

Downtown Collingwood Reimagined: Art Crawl 2015

Downtown Collingwood Reimagined: Art Crawl 2015 featured image

+ an interview with the woman behind the curtain, Andrea Rinaldo

On Saturday, September 26th Art Crawl will showcase the richness of arts & culture in South Georgian Bay: from graffiti art to video installations, original musical performances and local delicious food, this evening extravaganza is free and runs from 6-9 p.m.

It is the go-to art event of the season.

In 2013, Andrea Rinaldo set her mind to organizing an event that would bring together art, food, music, and people in Collingwood’s beautiful heritage district. A self-guided walking tour that brings local artists out of the woodwork and into the spotlight, Art Crawl is an all-ages event that welcomes locals and visitors. Andrea is adamant that for new-comers to the area, this is a must-attend evening: “If you don’t know anyone is town, this is the best thing you can do!” she tells me, “You can be anonymous, or you can start a conversation. Come out and integrate.”

Art Crawl Year 1 saw 8 venues showcasing the work of local artists. Held in mid-November, a surprise snowstorm didn’t stop the close to 300 art-loving attendees.

Art Crawl Year 2 saw 20 locations participating in the event, 10 musicians, and over 100 artists. This year, there are 30 locations and 20 musicians for you to enjoy— it just keeps getting better!


From top pianists celebrating the Street Piano project, to Aerial Silk performances in front of a video loop prepared by Simcoe Street Theatre, this year promises to be the most daring yet. Bring your love of canvas and competition to Battle of the Brush, a fiercely creative public paint-off. Preliminary competitions will be held on the previous Saturdays leading up to Art Crawl, and the finals will take place at 7 p.m. outside Town Hall. Then watch 8 artists compete for the title!

New this year is the Foot Fetish fundraiser, an art auction that raises money for high school art scholarships. Anyone can donate a piece of self-fashioned art to this fun, community-oriented fundraiser. Each piece starts at $150, and will drop in price as the night progresses. Do you spring for the piece you love, or hope it will drop and risk losing it to someone else? The choice is yours, and all proceeds go to local art scholarships. Follow your favourite piece online at


One of the big-buzz installations is “Beehave,” an interactive piece that advocates for the honeybee. This animation loop projects black and white honeybees and flowers on a musician dressed in white. When the bees successfully pollinate the flowers, the petals will burst into vibrant colours. Attendees are invited to wear white as well, step in, and be a temporary canvas for this powerful piece.

“There is a highly concentrated artist colony in Collingwood,” says Andrea. And it’s only getting better— in recent years, more artists have moved to the area for the lifestyle and beauty and the local arts ‘hive’ has been growing. Support for the arts is widespread in Collingwood. When approaching local business owners to ask for their participation in the Art Crawl Andrea said she was “completely overwhelmed by their enthusiasm.”

Andrea has spent over 6 months setting up this autumn festival. I asked her a about her work as a contemporary artist, the event itself, and the local community:

Q: What do you like best about being an artist in Collingwood?

A: The opportunity to work here in beautiful surroundings, and spectacular work spaces.


Q: What inspires you in your own work?

A: I am inspired by colour, driven by music.


Q: What advice would you give to first-time Art Crawl attendees?

A: Bring an umbrella based on the weather forecast!


Q: What do you find most rewarding about organizing Art Crawl?

A: The best thing is meeting so many people. People are so grateful to be helped to ask, I’ve been overwhelmed with the response, it’s incredible. I’ve even been contacted by musicians and artists from Hamilton and Toronto who want to join. I’ve asked the musicians to play less covers and more original songs. I’ve encouraged the local buskers to come out. Anyone who wants to be involved— I won’t turn anyone away. All ages, it’s open to absolutely everybody!


Q: How would you define ‘art’?

A: Art is the emotion of that person. It doesn’t matter what the medium is. You can work in any medium. People constantly say “I’m not an artist,” and I tell them: “You are an artist. You just haven’t found your medium yet.”



After an evening of good food, good company, inspiring original melodies and stunning works of art, head to Duncan’s Café for the after-9 after party. Rock band SuperstacK will end the evening on a musical high note with their captivating home-grown sound.

Art Crawl 2015 in Downtown Collingwood, September 26, 6-9 p.m. FREE

Find out more at, and we look forward to seeing you there!


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