About Our Festivals
Festivals bring together our walling community to build a unique feature, which remains as a gift to the host community. The festival feature makes the space accessible to the public, demonstrating the power of this historic craft to draw people together.
Our international guests are a core part of the design and energy of dry stone festivals. The exchange of diverse insight and experiences contributes to our success, and the guests acquire new perspectives on their practices and assumptions.
Beyond building a permanent legacy structure for public use and enjoyment, festivals include live demonstrations which promote appreciation of the craft and educate the public about dry stone construction.
Learning is a fundamental value of Dry Stone Canada; it is built into our activities, from professional development for seasoned wallers, to workshops and formative experiences for children and youth through exploration and play.
The festival is a valuable opportunity to both enhance and showcase local knowledge and respect for built heritage. Our festivals includes community engagement and try to incorporate aspects of the following into our planning:
- Custom, site-specific design
- International and invited wallers
- Advanced skills development
- Presentations by leaders in the craft
- Beginner workshops
- Young Wallers and Children’s Area
- Local Community Groups
These are key people involved in making the magic happen each year.
Eric Landman and John Bland
Design and Execute
For most of our festivals John Bland (right) did the initial conceptual design. And during the lead up to the weekend event John and Eric (left) would prepare the site.
For the 2018 and 2019 festivals Hilary held regular meetings throughout the year leading up to the respective events. Everything was documented. Ultimately we now have a comprehensive handbook that we can use for future festivals.
Andrea joined our group in 2014 and every year she works with our festival hosts to find sources of funds (public and private).
While most of our membership is in Canada we do have members from beyond our borders. And there are some (like pictured here, Dan Pearl from Rochester NY) who come every year (at their own expense) and help us build. Thank you Dan, Brian, Scott, Karl, and Torben.
Craig Logan of Derusha Tools
At almost every festival Craig has been on hand to provide a fresh supply of Trow and Holden tools for the wallers.
Build, eat, drink, sleep, repeat. That is the easy part. But we need a site, a host, volunteers, and wallers to make a festival succeed. And these festivals would not be such a success without the help of all of you who keep it all going.
We can’t have such successful festivals without the support of so many people and associations. Corporate sponsorship, donations, and the support of individuals who give us their time, and in some cases their homes, that make running the festivals easier and fulfilling. Our thanks goes out to you.
We are grateful for the generous support of our funders, sponsors, community supporters, and federal, regional, and local governments.