|Photo Credit: Blair Smith (Byward of Mouth)|
Just when you think summer is over (typically signified by hoards of students returning), September has lots still in store for those of us who never want it to end. The ninth annual House of PainT Urban Arts and Culture Festival runs Sept. 13-16 and features a variety of artists and activities. What I think is great about this kind of festival is that it is purely community-driven and brings together several art forms including graffiti art, music, dance, film, photography, clothing & crafts, spoken word and much more. On top of that, there are workshops for young people and new professionals who want to become more engaged in Canadian urban culture, which I think brings a positive and constructive atmosphere to the whole thing. This kind of grassroots festival, which is much different from the likes of Bluesfest, is has remained just that: a local-level series of events that reinforces how diversified and talented the arts in Ottawa really are. Chances are if you’ve seen some of the street art around the city, the artist will in some way be associated with this festival. With the Sunday HoP concert happening Sunday, Sept. 16th, new school and old school are coming together with acts like Shad, Maestro Fresh Wes, Kid Koala, Flight Distance, Radio Radio and Atherton taking the stage under the bridge to finish things off. Who says summer needs to end so soon?