- A Tribe Called Red at the 2012 edition of Prismatic.
Since its first season in 2008, the overriding vision of the Prismatic Arts Festival hasn't changed.
"We present different art forms and artists from different cultural traditions, and we look for opportunities for audiences and artists to engage," explains Maggie Stewart, co-founder and managing director of Onelight Theatre, the company behind Prismatic.
That vision is reflected in this year's program of theatre, dance, video installations, workshops and concerts put together by Onelight's artistic director and other co-founder, Shahin Sayadi, who travelled across Canada in search of innovative performers and shows.
Audiences who have been used to the semi-annual festival being spread out across several days and many different venues will be delighted by how compact and accessible Prismatic is this year.
"We are showcasing almost all of the performances at Alderney Landing and, with the exception of the theatre and dance shows in the Alderney Landing Theatre, access to the grounds and all of the performances are free," says Stewart, happily emphasizing the word "free."
"This year, everything happens between August 21 and 24, a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There are outdoor performances, workshops and other events from 1pm to 10pm. Much more programming in a shorter period of time."
This year's Prismatic is also aimed at a very wide audience. In addition to the arts events, there will be food vendors, community groups and other on-site activities. It's a family-friendly, all-ages arts event with performances like the Sanctified Brothers, A Tribe Called Red, JP Cormier, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Reeny Smith, Dinuk Wijeratne and more.
And Stewart believes it's this inclusivity and diversity that gives Prismatic a unique place in the Halifax arts scene. "I think Prismatic is important because it's a unique opportunity in Canada to see diverse artistic practices and diverse artists together in a high-quality arts festival. There are many great arts events in Halifax, but nothing quite like this."
Prismatic Arts Festival