Special to The Record
The Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens Artisans’ Festival has become one of the highlights of the outdoor festival season in the Comox Valley. Always taking place on Labour Day weekend, this year Sept. 3- 5, it brings together the very best artists and artisans in a unique setting that highlights their creativity and the works of Mother Nature.
This is truly a destination event as many people have made it an annual activity on their must see and do calendar. In fact many people take the opportunity to do some serious shopping for finding that unique gift or conversation piece to add to their home decor.
From garden art to hand crafted pottery, from wood turned creations to items forged in steel, one of a kind jewelry to original works of art, there is literally something that will appeal to just about everyone’s taste.
“One of the reasons why we do the festival,” says Bryan Zimmerman, the garden’s owner, “is the fact that visitors get to meet the artists and artisans which gives them the added opportunity to get the story behind the creations.”
In addition to the artisans there are a number of musicians who help round out the festival experience. From the unique sounds of perennial favourites like Jorge Alfaro, Bruce and Judy Wing, Anela Kahiamoe to the classical guitar of Brad Prevadoros their music adds to the ambiance and enjoyment of the gardens. Other musicians performing throughout the weekend are Alan Jossul, David Somers, Greg Joy, Fred Saliani and the Canuck Country Band.
While the festival is the focal point of the weekend, visitors are encouraged to take in all that the gardens have to offer. There are quiet pathways that lead through the forest down to the babbling waters of Kitty Coleman Creek or off to the labyrinth where they can find a little bit of serenity and harmony.
One thing to remember as visitors take in the nearly 24-acre private gardens is that they are the creation of one man, his family and friends who have tilled the soil, planted thousands of flowers, shrubs and strategically placed fountains and unique garden features so that all can enjoy nature in a more natural setting.
The festival hours are; Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regular admission rates apply. For further information about the gardens visit the website at www.woodlandgardens.ca