The 12th annual celebration of local artists kicks off Saturday, Aug 11 in Strathcona Park.
Fittingly dubbed Art in Strathcona Park, the collaborative event is organized by the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (SSO). Artists and vendors taking part will each donate a piece to a silent auction, with proceeds acquired from the auction benefiting the SSO.
Cynthia Clark, the SSO's family and community coordinator for the Ottawa region, says the event was born when a SSO member's friend passed away and the member wanted to create a project that would raise the visibility of the disease while also acting as an outlet for Ottawa's artistic community.
"What is so special about this event is the focus isn't on illness. The focus is on creativity. It's about being different and being accepted as different," Clark says.
"It's very rewarding to see the outpouring of support for people who are living with schizophrenia and their families. The talent that you'll find there is very representative of Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley. And there is a broad spectrum of artists and artisans on display every year. The quality of work is there, and there is something for everyone. There's not just very expensive works of art; there's also smaller pieces that the average person can afford to buy."
Local crafter Chelsey Wall, of Little Chickie's Crafts, will be vending her handmade wares and says her participation at Art in Strathcona Park is more than just an opportunity to move her merchandise.
"One of my very close friends has schizophrenia, so the cause is very close to my heart. I'm selling a couple of her items because she cannot attend the event herself."
The artsy attraction begins at 10am, rain or shine.
Art in Strathcona Park
Sat, Aug 11, 10am-5pm
Strathcona Park is bordered by Somerset Ave E and Laurier Ave E in Ottawa's Sandy Hill neighbourhood.
An example of Wall's jewellery.