Chesterville residents encouraged to join lawn decorating contest for June 3-4 Art on the Waterfront

A scene from last year's Art on the Waterfront. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

May 31 deadline to register

Kelsey Smith
Nelson Zandbergen
Nation Valley News

CHESTERVILLE — The town will be buzzing with music, motors, artistry, and crowds drawn to the June 3-4 annual Art on the Waterfront festival.

More than 50 artists have signed up as the main attraction so far.

Parking is limited in Chesterville, and with this in mind, the committee has teamed up with Wubs Transit to provide free shuttles on the Saturday (June 3) only. Shuttles will run from the arena to MacEwen’s from 11-4 p.m. Wubs has generously donated their bus and North Dundas Deputy Mayor Gerry Boyce will be volunteering his time as bus driver for the day, reports Art on the Waterfront Chair Cheryl Beasley.

Speaking of busy streets, the Ride for Dad will also be rolling through town on around 2,000 motorcycles, after those thundering riders make a scheduled stop in Winchester. Be sure to wave and donate as they rumble on by that Saturday.

On the musical side, the beer garden has been revamped with two larger main tents in front of the Chesterville Community Hall (library building). Music organizer Michael ‘tic’ Houston says that nine bands are so far set to play at that spot on the south side of the river. The upstairs hall inside the building will serve as “plan B” in the event of rain; Art on the Waterfront is a ‘rain or shine’ event.

Houston also enthusiastically reports that he’s working with Peter Gilroy of Ottawa Special Events on outfitting the stage areas in Chesterville.

‘Greenfront’ contest

Now that the rain seems to have subsided and the grass is greening, it’s time to get your design on.

As a precursor to Art on the Waterfront, the committee wants to get the community involved — with Chesterville residents encouraged to decorate their lawns for the inaugural ‘Art on the Greenfront’ contest. The winner will be chosen based on the following qualities: artistic spin, uniqueness, creativity, colour, and gardening/landscaping.

Art isn’t necessarily drawing or painting, explains Beasley. “Some people are talented at gardening,” she says, pointing out that “everyone can be an artist and be creative.”

Beasley added later, “As long as you’re being creative that’s an art … it’s a great venue for everyone to show their artistic side.”

Open to Chesterville residents exclusively, Art on the Greenfront competitors have a shot at winning:

  • A certificate for a tour and tasting at Smokie Ridge Vineyard, valued at $150 each;
  • Byer’s Lawn Service mowing, valued at $75;
  • A wooden bear sculpture donated by Top Notch Tree Maintenance & Removal.

Judging will take place on Friday, June 2.

With the soggy start to spring, no Greenfront contest entries have been submitted to date, says contest organizer Ashley Small, who hopes interest will “pick up soon.”

“I strongly encourage everyone to take part and really want to see everyone’s creativity shine,” she says..

“Play up” with the festival idea, she suggests. “I’d love to see lots of plants, throw some colour on your lawn, and put out some art.”

Competitors need to complete the registration form, found on the event website, and email it to Ashley Small — or by May 31.

Children and youth colouring page design contest

Art on the Waterfront also reprises its Youth Colouring Page Design Contest: Youth of any age, up to Grade 12, are welcome to submit a black-and-white handdrawn colouring page. The theme this year is ‘Canada 150 — What represents 150 years of Canada to you?’

Each entry must be drawn on a standard 8 ½” x 11” printer paper using a pen or pencil. Drawings must not have too much detail, to make it easier for younger children to participate in the upcoming colouring contest. Top prize is $25.

Submit entries by Friday, May 19. Drop them off in person at The Gathering House or by email at

Youth Talent Show

The Festival will also feature a talent show, with the first-place winner of each category receiving $25. Second place earns a movie pass. Each act will be judged on preparation, stage presence and overall performance.

Performers take the stage Sunday (June 4) behind Louis’ Restaurant at 12:30 p.m. (ages 10 and under), and 1 p.m. (ages 10 and up).

Pre-register by emailing with the child’s name, age and talent to be presented. Pre-registration is encouraged; last minute registrants must otherwise arrive by noon.

Kid Zone activities and schedule

All Kids Zone activities also take place in the yard behind Louis’ Restaurant, weather permitting. All weekend, the Zone will feature bouncy castle, face-painting ($2 each) and play areas.
The Saturday lineup includes  Monkey Rock and Luv 2 Groove.

Local teen musicians Sons of Gord are scheduled 1:45 p.m. on the Sunday, after the youth talent show.

North Dundas Township will also play a free family movie, A Dog’s Purpose, at dusk on Water Street.


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