The Carolina Bluebirds perform at the Esquimalt Arts Festival. The band will return to this year’s event on Sunday

Arts festival kicks off at the English Inn

One of the most popular art events in Esquimalt will be returning to the grounds of the historic English Inn next month.

One of the most popular art events in Esquimalt will be returning to the grounds of the historic English Inn next month.

The 5th annual Esquimalt Arts Festival, put on by the Township Community Arts Council, brings together artists from the township and around Greater Victoria, musical performances, activities for children, food trucks and an art walk.

New this year is Author! Author!, which takes place inside the manor house of the Inn and features a number of local authors, including Elaine Cross, Sean MacUisdin, Connie Kurtenbach and poet laureate Yvonne Blomer, who will be reading from their work. Story Theatre will bring a literary circus and fantasies to life, while the Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival will be on hand to celebrate the death of William Shakespeare.

Musical performances include Rig a Jig, accordionist Mary Ross, vocalist Lorraine Nygaard, Carolina Bluebirds and Crimson Sky.

Local actress Molly Newman will also return to the festival as part of Splash of Paint with Emily Carr, where people can create their own pieces of art with “Emily Carr.”

There will also be a strawberry tea served, face painting and button making.

Morlene Tomlinson, founding president of the arts council, said the event highlights the diversity of artists in the township and across the region.

“(We want people to take away) a greater appreciation of the level of talent that exists in Esquimalt and in Greater Victoria, connecting with friends and family in a gorgeous venue,” she said, adding the festival offers a different range of fun compared to other festivals.

“I think people will take away even the knowledge that they have more talent than they thought.”

Last year 550 people showed up to the event and organizers are hoping to increase that number by 20 to 25 per cent this year.

The Esquimalt Arts Festival runs on Sunday, Aug. 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information visit esquimalt.ca.