International Lifestyle Magazine Jan 2013 - Page 27

I n the Haliburton Highlands, there is adventure in art. With the highest number of working artists per capita in Ontario, Canada – landscape painters, potters, weavers, jewellery makers, dancers, actors, songwriters and musicians - there are memorable experiences to be had. Forest Festival sits on shore watching the sun set to live jazz, blues, opera, folk and country music magic, to be sure. Dusk Dances add sparkle to summer evenings along a trail in Head Lake with dance performances by professional and local dance companies. Visitors and locals alike can see, hear, taste and touch the artist’s world during the annual Haliburton County Studio Tour, now in its 26th year and the second oldest in Ontario. The prospect of driving the scenic back roads of the Highlands in the blazing colours of autumn to discover studios where amazing artists present and demonstrate their craft prompts an early entry on the calendar. On that same calendar is Winter Folk Camp where you can spend the weekend in a camp setting learning and playing music with award winning artists-in-residence while experiencing a Canadian winter snowshoeing and cross country skiing on wilderness trails. Barrie Martin, owner of Haliburton’s Yours Outdoors, a company that specializes in experiential tourism believes that art combined with recreation, heritage, and nature offers truly distinctive adventures that result in lifelong memories and expressions of art. As a self proclaimed experience broker, he works with artists and other community partners to create packages for independent and small group travellers that provide opportunities to appreciate and create art, engage with local folks and connect with the faces, spaces and places that inspire works of art. Many of the packages take you behind the scenes and into places not normally accessible to regular travellers. The establishment of the Highlands’ large and vibrant arts community began in the late 1800s, alongside the arrival of farmers, loggers, railway workers, and grist and sawmill owners who settled in this wild, tree covered land with their families. A private pavilion was built at Head Lake where pioneer families gathered for evenings of plays and music. Today, that location is now the site of the state of the art Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion, home to the Highlands Summer Festival and dozens of other musical and performance events throughout the year. With the arrival of the Haliburton School of the Arts in 1968 and the formation of an Arts Council in 2003, the arts became firmly established in the community. The adventure in art starts with the artist. Their work, inspired by wildness, water and landscapes, sets the stage for exploration and discovery. Art adventures take many forms. It can involve walking, biking and or skiing through the Haliburton Sculpture Forest to discover over twenty unique outdoor sculptures. Or soaking up the sweet sounds of world class performances on a floating stage located on Bone Lake in Haliburton Forest. The audience attending the annual