James Street North Art Crawl

Time sure flies when you’re having fun! It seems like I was just excitedly sharing my findings at June’s Art Crawl, and here we are again. We lucked out with another sunny day and this Art Crawl seemed even bigger than the last.

Once again, I Heart Hamilton co-presented the Raise the Roof concert at Dr. Disc with Hamilton Magazine. With the amazing lineup of The Safety Collective, Quails in the Nest, Redanda, The Monarch Project, and Ginger St. James, it was difficult to stay away from the DD headquarters, but I did do a bit of exploring.

Following the path to Sweet Ice Snow Cones
Following the path to Sweet Ice Snow Cones

Arriving early, I beelined for James North General Store. As I got closer, “Y.M.C.A.” started getting louder as it blasted out of huge speakers outside the shop. There were colourful paper lanterns hanging on the tree outside and from the shop’s awning. By the time I walked in, “In the Navy” was playing. A little Village People to kick off my Crawl? Don’t mind if I do.

I just met owners Setenio and Mathieu when they opened their shop during last Art Crawl and we noted how fast the time as gone. I’m so pleased to see how well they’re doing and they’re perfectly at home. I checked back with them later in the night and they had an even busier time than last month. Luckily, being a coffee shop, they had enough caffeine to fuel them until they closed up the shop at midnight!

James North General Store
James North General Store

Stepping outside, my eyes were drawn to La Bichette‘s summery clothing. Complimenting General Store’s lanterns, there were colourful paper airplanes in the boutique’s window.

La Bichette’s owner Lauren popped outside just as I was having a look. She agreed with how fast the month has gone, but said it also feels like she has always had her shop, at the same time. It was nice checking in with these two shops a month later. It’s exciting to see the area continue to grow with all of these new local businesses.

Twig showing me how to stand on the unicycle
Twig showing me how to stand on the unicycle
Twig helping Francis on the unicycle
Twig helping Francis on the unicycle

From there, I wandered down the street and ran into my friend Francis Fiction, the talented artist behind Humans of Hamilton and Human Stories.

We came across a guy named Twig who was offering demonstrations on how to ride a unicycle. Hesitant at first, Francis and I figured we would give it a shot. Needless to say, we won’t be riding off on unicycles any time soon, but it was a new experience for the books! Twig made it look so effortless as he peddled back and forth on the sidewalk. Never a dull moment at Art Crawl.

Quails in the Nest playing the roof of Dr. Disc
Quails in the Nest playing the roof of Dr. Disc

Then it was time to Raise the Roof at Dr. Disc. The Safety Collective kicked things off, followed by Quails in the Nest. It was a hot one out on the roof as the summer sun beamed down. Mikey and Nicholas’ laid-back music sounded fantastic in that setting. Their album Live at Cottonwood Mansion will be released August 1st and they will celebrate with an album release at Homegrown on August 2nd. Check out their performance of “I Know I’m Home” on the rooftop.

Redanda playing the roof of Dr. Disc
Redanda playing the roof of Dr. Disc

Next up were Redanda. I declared it “Redanda Week” because they had just played another “I Heart Hamilton Presents” event a couple days before at Homegrown. We were on a roll! The band also had the benefit of alliteration – Raising the Roof with Redanda! Check out my footage from their set on the roof.

After their set, we ventured up to the very top of the building for a little impromptu photo shoot. New album cover?

Redanda
Redanda

The Monarch Project took the stage as the sun began to set. The warm orange glow as it turned into the cool blue night sky suited their 60’s-inspired, psychedelic rock’n’roll sound. You can see in my footage from their set that the colours change with each song. The guys were all on a high after their set – I can only imagine how cool it must be to play up there.

Ginger St. James. Photo by Mark Furukawa.
Ginger St. James. Photo by Mark Furukawa.

There was a huge crowd below for Ginger St. James and her band – I think the biggest audience yet. Ginger & company killed it! The fiery performer was on the cover of View Magazine for the week and it was a blast having her energy brought to the night. Her blend of country, blues, and rock’n’roll is so much fun and she does it with style and charm. I dare you not to fall in love with Ginger when you see her!

Phew, another fantastic Art Crawl! Next up on Friday, August 9th we have a really exciting lineup for Raise the Roof – Still Life, Beard, Jessy Lanza, and New Hands. You won’t want to miss this one!

– Kristin

kristin
ihearthamiltontour@gmail.com
Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing an influential 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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