A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Gage Park 1000 Main Street East

When I first saw promotion for A Midsummer Night’s Dream pop up a couple months back, I knew it was an event not to be missed. Organizer and founder of Pure Creation Institute, Mark Gowland, described the event as a Peace Festival that combined Holi, India’s Festival of Colours. A beautifully shot short film was created to promote the event and, most importantly, it was also a food raiser for the Neighbour to Neighbour food bank, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre.

The event launched Pure Creation Institute – all about creating joy, it’s “A company devoted to finding the secrets of the universe.” Following along on their Facebook page and website has been really inspiring and I’m excited to see what is to come.

I recruited friends Vanessa and Sarah to join me for the day, who were just as excited as I was to experience something new. The event began at 3pm with several different musical acts throughout. I arrived in the evening just in time to catch a performance by the incredible Hachey the MouthPEACE, beatboxer extraordinaire, who I’ve seen play around the city for a few years now.

As exceptional as Hachey was when I first saw him, four years ago, he is even more amazing now. He just released his first EP, Outside The Box, and had his CD Release the previous night, which I was bummed to miss! Covered in colourful paint and powder, Hachey delivered an impressive set, as usual, and his beats were a great soundtrack for the event. Watch the video I took of Hachey’s performance below.

As I waited for the girls, I got to witness my first colour throw. I wanted to watch and capture one before getting in on the action myself. A big group crowded in the middle of the park, and at Hachey’s countdown from the mic, it was a colourful powder explosion as everyone threw the powders (available for purchase at the event) into the air. It was an amazing thing to witness – I hadn’t seen anything like it before.

It was dusk in the park by that time, and the dusty rainbow that hit the air, against the golden glow of the setting sun and the piercing blue sky, with clouds that looked like they were painted up there, was such a beautiful sight. In perfect timing, Mark, dressed in a purple jacket and top hat, à la Willy Wonka, emerged from the huddle and danced on by. As quickly as it came, the dust settled, and everyone went back to mingling and enjoying the tunes as they awaited the next throw. Watch all the action in my video below.

Thanks to Vanessa for the photo

Meeting up with Vanessa and Sarah, we took a walk around the park as we contemplated which colours we would buy. Sarah chose purple, Vanessa got pink and orange, and I went for the green. To get into the spirit and so we looked the part, we had a little mini colour throw of our own in preparation for the next one. We opened up the bags and threw around the powders on each other – which may have totally defeated the purpose, but was festive, nonetheless. We also got a good fashion tip out of it – a little streak of colour in the hair? Not a bad look!

The time came for the next throw, and we opted for standing at the periphery of the huddle so we could watch while still getting in there. We didn’t get as messy as some, who were head-to-toe rainbows with colours splattered everywhere by the end of it, but we did manage to get pretty messy. Nothing a couple of wetnaps didn’t fix.

The party continued into the night with the creation of a giant glow peace vigil and glow-in-the dark concert. This event is definitely unlike anything I’ve experienced before and made for an excellent edition to my summer adventures in the city. It was also inspiring to see an event that was simply about creating joy. There was a wonderful energy in the park and I was happy to be a part of it.

– Kristin

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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