Ontario Festival of the Arts - Event Recap

The Ontario Festival of the Arts took place almost two weeks ago on Saturday, September 15. The day went by so fast and it was so much fun! We made a good profit in sales and made lots of new contacts (we are a business after all!) It was a very successful event, the city was anticipating 2,000 visitors but received over 3,000 throughout the day!

We arrived early to check in just before 9am and with the help of the wonderful JROTC volunteers carted all our stuff to our booth, which was right next to the Arts Area’s booth. Then we had two hours to set up before the festival opened. Tommy and I planned in advance that he would have one half and I would get the other half of the booth. Our booth sponsor, the Arts Area, was super generous and loaned us the grid walls (plus they also helped assemble them onsite).
View of our shared booth. Tommy took over the left half and I took over the right. Tommy's 8x10 photo prints were very popular. I had paintings, drawings and t-shirts for sale. We were happy to display the Arts Area's banner in our booth.

Tommy's side of the booth. Those grid walls were perfect for displaying work. 

My side of the booth had a variety of paintings and drawings. 

The event started at 11am and ended by 6pm. The busiest time was right after it opened and in the early afternoon. Since I was so busy talking to so many guests I didn’t take as many pictures as I hoped to. We took a break for lunch around 3pm when my sister and her family stopped by to staff our booth. We had hot dogs from the Jo-Jos Grill a Dog food truck - the chili dog was amazing!

After the festival we went to the Arts Area’s Third Saturday event across the street at Casa Pitzer. They were having the opening reception for another Chaffey alumni artist. We got to catch up with John, CEO of the Arts Area and art history professor at Chaffey College, and learn about his goals and strategies for what he wants the Arts Area to do in this region. If you are an artist or creative business owner in the IE/San Bernardino county area, I highly recommend you sign up for a free membership as they provide lots of professional development, exhibition and networking opportunities. We got to talk more to Uncle Bacon who teaches block printing at the Garcia Center for the Arts in San Bernardino and even helped with his community print. It was great learning about printmaking from an expert since this is a media I’ve never touched but have been curious about.

This was such a great day that went above and beyond anything I was imagining. We plan to participate again next year and learned a lot from this first time experience - what worked and what didn’t, which pieces were more popular, etc. Next year’s event will take place sometime in the fall. The organizers aren’t sure what they ideal date will be but it’ll be sometime between September-November. Better start planning now!


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