Art! Colour! Energy! For the third year in a row Moncton’s Festival Inspire, a free street-art festival designed to “activate the imagination in the celebration of all things ART” is happening July 10th to the 16th. This is one of those events you will not want to miss!
Festival Inspire promises to bring a vibrant colour party pumping creative energy into the region this summer with an incredible lineup of artists, concerts, workshops and parties all designed to connect people in a creative way. The event draws top-notch artists from all over the world to participate in covering some urban surfaces with eye-catching art, transforming them from drab to fab. More than 6,000 people showed up at Festival Inspire last year to participate in the slew of activities and see many beautiful murals go up around the city. This year will likely see an even bigger crowd and literally paint the town red. And blue, and yellow and, and, and…
I haven’t been able to make it in past years but after looking at last year’s photos I feel like I definitely need to make the trip to Moncton this time! I love their whole philosophy of breathing life into public spaces through art and furthering positive change with creative energy. And they’re doing it with purpose and solid community values. (ARTivisim) (Inspire Goes Green)
Not to mention these incredible murals!
Eelco van den Berg
Festival founders Matt and Lisa are infusing creative energy into their hometown of Moncton through sheer force of will and a lot of hard work. They took a moment to tell us a bit about themselves and the festival.
How did you (Matt & Lisa) meet ?
L&M: We are both born in Moncton area but we only met in our 30’s. Each of us decided one day to travel the world to work, learn, create and live something else for a few years. On returning home at the age of 32, Matt from Montreal, Lisa from India, we met at Laundromat, a micro beer tap house downtown. It was apparent to both of us that the town we loved as home needed a “pick me up”. We decided that if we were going to stay, we had to do something to make it cool enough for us to be here and, judging by the fact that many years had gone by for this town, where not very much seemed to be happening at all, and no one seemed to be doing anything about it. So we decided to do it.
What do you do during the rest of the year ?
L: We both work year long on many other cultural projects and events we are hired to organize with our company l’Art ici SVP, but Inspire is a child we take care of year long. I give yoga classes too between meetings with partners, authorities, accountants and sponsors and Matt is a multidisciplinary artist.
Where did the idea of murals come from ?
We have visited and lived in many cities. Street art is not a clandestine movement any more and has become a major urban development tool in big cities. A city landscape can be changed by the installation of art, making a neighborhood more safe, more enjoyable, more attractive, more inspiring. We thought that bringing colors of worldwide artists to the public throughout their city would reinvigorate civic pride in the community and make Greater Moncton a better place to live, to work, to visit. A place cool enough to stay !
How do you fund the event ?
We work year long to fund Festival Inspire. The province and the city fund a part of the organisation but we mainly partner with dozen of small business owners who understand that our town need what we do. It’s pretty simple to understand that if people enjoy their downtown they will visit it, they will settle in town, make the economy work. It’s a win-win action for everyone. We couldn’t do anything without the sense of community people have here.
Do they think to go further than Moncton or keep it local ?
Moncton is our core project but since 2015, many cities in New Brunswick and North America got in touch with us to learn about us, how we brought all this to life, how we work. This year we are allowing ourselves a little step out of town by installing a mural in Petitcodiac in June. We still study other proposals. But for sure Moncton is and will stay our focus and… in July Sussex will have to move over as the mural capital of NB!
Mural by Jared Betts
Find out more about Festival Inspire!