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(Posted 9:30 p.m., July 20)
'Art in the Park' event an Orléans first
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Elizabeth Bourque and Marie Claude Lalonde of did brisk business during the first annual Orléans Art in the Park event in Fallingbrook Park on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo


On most summer days, Fallingbrook Park, located on Princess Louise Drive between Farmbrook Crescent and Falwyn Crescent, sits largely empty, save for the odd person walking their dog, but on Saturday the park was filled with a sea of tents as it hosted the first annual Orléans 'Art in the Park' art show.

The event brought together artists and artesans from across the east end, including many who didn't have to travel very far at all, like Audra Horne from South Fallingbrook who makes hand-crafted gemstone and glass jewelry.

It was Horne's first show and she was thrilled with both the exposure and her sales.

"For me it's been okay. I've made a bit of a profit which is nice. I'll definitely come back," said Horne.

The mother daughter team of Elizabeth Bourque and Marie Claude Lalonde also did well and are looking forward to coming back next year.

"This is the first time we've done an outdoor event. Usually we participate in craft shows and that sort of thing, but I enjoy this a lot more," said Lalonde. "It's such a beautiful setting and the weather is fabulous. With a little more advertising and some more signage I think it will really take off. We need more things like this in Orléans."

The pair have been selling their wares professionally for the past four years. Lalonde makes all natural soaps, bath oils and lotions while her mother makes hand-knitted garments for children.

"We do it all in my basement. I help her with the knitting and she helps me with the mixing," said Lalonde. "It's nice to have something we can do together. Even my daughter is starting to think about making something."

The first time event was the brainchild of special event organizer and Fallingbrook resident Natasha Belram who modeled it after similar events in Toronto.

"It's such a great location and we have so many talented artists in the east end, I just thought it was something that people would appreciate and come to," said Belram. "The weather's been perfect and the some of the vendors have gotten some good exposure. It's definitely something we can build on next year."

Raymonde Kearney dropped by the Art in the Park event with a friend visiting from Fredericton. The two women purchased several products from Bourque and Lalonde, before strolling through several of the artist tents.

"I think it's marvelous. We need more events like this in Orléans," said Kearney. "There's quite a lot of interesting stuff."

Sketch Orleans used the occasion to exhibit several large works by local grafitti artists which were eventually sold. It also gave them an opportunity to promote their virtual youth centre which organizes and promotes local events for youth such a TOAST which will take place next Saturday at the Orleans Skatepark next to the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Centre.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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