Inspired by the Hindu Holi Festival, Hamilton’s own A Midsummer’s Dream coloured the Gage Park sky with vibrant hues on August 15. The people of Hamilton came together for a festival celebrating music, art, food, and a close-knit community. A Midsummer’s Dream was organized by Mark Gowland with the aim to spread positive vibes and encourage cultural diversity. Mark partnered with the Hindu Samaj Temple and other community groups to promote his message.
“When A Midsummer’s Dream was created, it was created with a single purpose. The purpose, to aid with the movement in helping humanity push forward towards a bright new future, that embodies inclusion, balance, and service,” says A Midsummer’s Dream website. “It was created to serve as a massive force for good in the community, and to create a spiritual vibration that would echo through the energies of the people who attend.”
The event was free but organizers collected canned goods for a food drive for Living Rock (who also had their new Harvest Food Truck in attendance). The past three years of the festival raised over 3,300lbs of donations for The Neighbour to Neighbour Foodbank and The Good Shepherd Foodbank.
The fourth year of the festival brought over 6,000 people including lots of children to partake in the fun-loving activities. Colour throws took place every half hour, where people would gather in a crowd and throw packets of colour into the air and spread it on friends (1 for $3, 6 packs for $15).
Every hour between 11am and 7pm, a different Hamilton yoga studio instructed a yoga class in the same area as the dance recitals and mediation. I participated in a relaxing family yoga during Yoga Fest with Evolve Massage and Wellness. Other entertainment included impressive stilt walkers and aerial performances, bright community paintings in the arts and crafts area, and live music throughout the day. Toronto’s Young Empires headlined the festival, closing with their hit The Gates.
Vendors set up tents with everything from James Street’s Burlap and Twine to Locke Street’s Naroma Pizza. Fresh coconuts, refreshing ice cream, and mango smoothies kept people cooled off on this sunny day.
At 8pm, people left A Midsummer’s Dream with a happy heart and body full of colour, feeling energized from the party, pumped up by Young Empires, and and ready for next years’ festival on August 20.