(Originally published in The Chronicle on Nov. 18. 2014 and online at http://chronicle.durhamcollege.ca/?p=2898 with the infographic which can be seen at the bottom of the article)
Four-days. Four-venues. Four-art installations. And 23-bands. The Next Winter Festival was the first of its kind in Oshawa.
The non-for profit events collective Next Summer put on the festival.
“Why can’t we put on a terrific four-day festival get people from all across southern Ontario coming out to Oshawa and we can show them some of the fantastic venues and bands that we have in Oshawa,” said Harley Rex, artistic coordinator for Next Summer.
Next Winter was held in four different venues in Oshawa’s downtown. Next Summer wanted to make sure the festival was all ages, accessible, and all near the downtown core. Most of the events were held at Wasted Space.
Wasted Space has become known for its art and unique decor.
“Wasted Space is the heart of our festival,” said Rex. “They are the only all-ages music venue in Durham Region.”
The rest of the events were held at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery during their RMG Fridays event, The Vault and Berry Hill Catering all in the downtown Oshawa core.
The venues weren’t the only local part of the Next Winter Festival. During the four-day event on Nov. 6 to Nov. 9 there were 14 local artists out of the 23 that were performing.
“Hopefully what we are trying to achieve is a sense of community in the music scene around here,” said Christopher Russo, music coordinator of Next Summer. “By matching up artists from Toronto and Guelph and places like that, showing what we have to offer is on that same level.”
RedVIOLET was the first band to open the Next Winter Festival at Wasted Space. RedVIOLET’s music sound is R.E.M. with jazz chords, according to Michael Lisinski the lead vocalist and rhythm guitar for RedVIOLET. Lisinski is also a UOIT communications student.
“It will be cool down the road to say that we were the first band ever to play the Next Winter Festival,” said Sarah Brooks, bassist and backup vocals for RedVIOLET, and is a Durham College graphic design student.
Juggling school and their musical aspirations gets tough but there is one thing that keeps them going.
“I think part of the way we make it work is setting time away each week to jam,” said Lisinski. “When you are really committed to something you’ll find time to do it. It doesn’t matter how much stuff you are doing.”
The Next Winter Festival kept going Thursday night with the opening of Peterborough’s Earl O Sandwiches art exhibition. The visual art exhibition stayed on display all weekend. There was 19 pieces of art from Earl O Sandwiches.
Along with the musical acts and art, a documentary debuted on the first day called “This is Now Here,” made by Colin Medley. “This is Now Here” is about the music culture of Sackville, NB. It covered 10th anniversary of Stereophonic a music festival in Sackville.
“I’m proud to be from Oshawa,” said Medley. “I think definitely not growing up in Toronto was the best thing, ever.”
The festival moved to The Robert McLaughlin Gallery on the second day with bands Bad Child and The Elwins. There were also drawings by Ron Shuebrook. Shuebrook has had his work in the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Later in the night it moved back to Wasted Space with bands DeerGod, Viva Mars and Persian Rugs. There was also another art installation by Evin Lachance.
The biggest night of the event was Saturday with about 100 people at Wasted Space. It was at capacity before 10 p.m. One of the biggest draws on Saturday night was the final show from the Toronto all girls punk band Unfinished Business.
“I’ve just been going to shows every night for the whole weekend so it’s been pretty fun,” said Natalie Paproski-Rubianes.
Ivory Park also made its debut Saturday night and was introduced by the girls of Unfinished Business before they took their final steps off of the stage.
Patti Cake closed the night. Patti Cake started with the three female vocalists in the hallway singing to pull the crowd back into the stage area after a short intermission. Not a beat was missed while they walked back onto the stage. If lead singer Kritty Uranowski hadn’t told the crowd that the drummer was a substitute, no one would have guessed he had only had one rehearsal prior to the event.
“He’s also an architect ladies he’s not only good on the drums,” joked Uranowski as she was introducing the band to the crowd.
This was Patti Cake’s first time in Oshawa.
The festival ended on Sunday with a lower key day filled with an open stage, literary readings, board games and performances later in the night by Things We Can’t Untie, Bird City, Lint and Shopkeeper.
The Next Winter Festival was created to help build the musical community in Oshawa and create a safe place for local artists to play.
“Sometimes we complain about there not being a great scene but it’s like if you are not a part of the solution you are a part of the problem,” said Chris Panacci, member of Next Summer. “So we just wanna do what we can to get more music out there, and get people to see that there is good music in Oshawa, and you don’t have to go to Toronto for it.”
Next Summer isn’t going to stop with the Next Winter Festival, they are currently working on more events for December and the new year.