Co-produced annually by Still Moon Arts Society and the Renfrew Park Community Association, the Moon Festival is a community art and sustainability festival that celebrates the full moon, harvest abundance, and diverse cultural traditions. The festival showcases the artistic talents of the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood and communities beyond, as well as the natural beauty of Still Creek and the Renfrew Ravine, one of the few remaining places in Vancouver with an open stream in a natural forest.
For the 19th edition of the Moon Festival, the theme was Balance. ‘As we collectively heal and grow from this challenging year and a half, we want to remember that we are seeking to live in harmony with our community members, both human and not. We all have the opportunity to work together to reimagine, rebuild, and find the balance that our world needs to thrive.’
This year we also launched the SMOLT (Still Moon Opportunities for Luminary Transformations) pilot project supporting young emerging artists in Renfrew-Collingwood with mentorship, resources, and studio space to create lanterns/illuminated art pieces to showcase during the 19th Annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival’s Streamside Lantern Installation event.
We also laucned a Moon Festival Graphic Design Competition for this year’s edition of the festival. Our winner was August Johnson! For six weeks, Clara worked with our mentor artist Eva Dominelli to collaborate in creating the final design for the Moon Festival poster and tshirt. Here is the poster:
This year’s festival featured 11 different events and was supported by over 1600 attendees, We want to respectfully acknowledge that all of these events took place on the unceded territories of xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil–Waututh) peoples, who have been stewarding this land since time immemorial. We strive for right relations with the diverse peoples of Renfrew Collingwood and the land and waters of the Still Creek watershed.
Shedding Light on Beaconsfield Wetland
Sep 6 – Beaconsfield Park
The 2021 Moon Festival got underway on a beautiful sunny day in Beaconfield Park, which featured an announcement about the Beaconsfield Wetland Project, music from Sospiro Mysterioso, and presentations from Indigenous Artist Randy Tait (Nisa’a / Gitksan Nation) and setttler historian Bruce MacDonald on the history of the land. Photos by Varsha Gill.
Discovering Beaver Installation and Workshop
Sep 10 – Aberdeen Park
The first of two events previewing our Beaver Pond(er)ing Lodging collaborative lantern installation, we set up at Aberdeen Park and invited the community to create jar lanterns and enjoy the music of Sundanda. Photos by Alger Ji-Liang.
Harvest Gathering Workshop Series
Sep 11 – Colour Me Local Dye Garden
Part of a full day of Moon Fest activities, we gathered at the Colour Me Local Dye Garden for an an afternoon of learning and crafting with native and invasive plants. Community members took part in three workshops: ivy weaving, natural dyeing, and salve making. Photos by Carmen Rosen.
Harvest Fair & Lost Streams Lantern Parade
Sep 11 – Slocan Park to Collingwood Park
Two of the Moon Fest’s signature events, we celebrated the harvest season at Slocan Park with live performances (from Moonstone, Georgia Couver, Hot Water Trio, Bukola, and Balkan Shmalkan), community booths, and a veggie competition. Then, led by Tsatstu Stalqayu (the Coastal Wolfpack), we followed the route of one of Still Creek’s lost streams. Photos by Alger Ji-Liang.
Discovering Beaver Installation and Workshop II
Sep 15 – Cariboo Park
Our second event previewing the Beaver Pond(er)ing Lodging collaborative lantern installation, featured jar lantern and ivy weaving, music from Moon Festival Production Manager Madelyn Read, and a variety of fun facts about beavers from interdisciplinary artist, mycologist and educator Willowby Arevalo. Photos by Keegan McEvoy.
Streamside Lantern Installation
Sep 18 – Renfrew park
One of Moon Fest’s signature events, saw the transformation of the Renfrew Ravine into a magical oasis of illuminated lanterns and live music, put on in collaboration with over 20 artists and 15 musicians. Find the installation map here . Photos by Alger Ji-Liang and Keegan McEvoy.
Full Moon Labyrinth Walk
Sep 20 – Renfrew Ravine Labyrinth
For this event we invited the public to celebrate and honour the Harvest Moon with a walking meditation in the Renfrew Ravine Labyrinth. lluminated by candlelight and with the soothing sounds of the Hang Drum performed by David Yates, the labyrinth was at its most magical. Photos by Keegan McEvoy and Carmen Rosen.
Equinox Celebration and Dyers Showcase
Sep 22 – Colour Me Local Dye Garden
For this special event celebrating the Fall Equinox we showcased our Dyer’s Guild work, and enjoyed music by Clara Rose Chisholm, warm tea, and the beauty of the Colour Me Local Dye Garden. Photos by Alger Ji-Liang and Keegan McEvoy
Sep 25 – Renfrew Ravine Park
For the finale of this year’s Moon Fest, we took attendees through winding and hidden pathways of Renfrew Ravine for a series of movement-based performances which explored this year’s theme, Balance. Choreographed by movement artist, Isabelle Kirouac, (Re-)Balancing invited us to ponder our relationships to the natural and built environments around us: what does it mean to find balance between these two realms? What is this separation we have constructed between them? How can we facilitate harmony within our human and non-human community members? Stay tuned for a video of the performance. Photos by Alger Ji-Liang and Zheng Zhaozhong.