In 2009, the monthly James Street North Art Crawl gave birth to Supercrawl, an ambitious annual cultural festival created by a team of Hamilton’s most fervent artists and community members. Supercrawl combines Hamilton’s diverse passions: music, performance, fashion, and visual arts to attract enthusiastic audiences that grow in scope every year. What was once a one day festival grew into a weekend event with much success. Last year saw 165,000 people in attendance and generated over $14 million for the local economy. Now in its seventh year, Supercrawl boasts an extensive list of supporters, from sponsors to government and media partners to community leaders and local businesses. To help you navigate Supercrawl 2015, we’ve narrowed down some of the activities and events. Expect loads of craft and food vendors, free concerts, and lots to do for the whole family. Read through this guide and determine what you don’t want to miss. Clear your calendars September 11, 12 and 13 – the 2015 James Street Supercrawl will be an action-packed weekend!
Supercrawl organized two ticketed events this year including August 7 at Pier 4 Park featuring Caribou, Jamie XX, Jessy Lanza, and Egyptrixx, and an upcoming concert September 10 at New Vision United Church featuring Whitehorse, Corb Lund, and Etiquette ($34.99 in advance; $42.50 at the door). There are a ton of free concerts at four different stages for a total of 50 some music acts. Headliners include Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Daniel Lanois, Monster Truck, Elliott Brood, Hayden, HEALTH, The Killjoys and Fred Penner. Last year’s headliners included Arkells, Spoon, and Charles Bradley.
View the full schedule online to make sure you’re not missing your favourites. Highlights include Basement Revolver (6pm Friday), Terra Lightfoot (9:15pm Friday), Hamilton’s Children’s Choir (3:45 pm Saturday), the HPO with Illitry (7pm Saturday), Laura Cole (3:15pm Sunday), Steve Strongman (3:30pm Sunday), and Tomi Swick (5pm Sunday).
Supercrawl will feature three exciting performances at this year’s event. On September 11 (9:15pm) and September 12 (5:00 pm), the Hamilton Aerial Group will impress with their precise aerial arts. I’ve seen them before and their movements are graceful and captivating. Defining Movement Dance Company will showcase their choreography on September 12 at 3:00 pm.
Circus Orange, a four-year Supercrawl highlight, will perform at 8:45 pm, September 12 on Wilson Street between James and Hughson. The performance, special event, and stunt company will dazzle with their pyrotechnic performance of fire, aerial art, clowns, and circus tricks. Can’t wait for this one!
With Hamilton’s fashion scene growing in terms of trendy people and unique boutiques and vintage shops, I’m looking forward this segment of Supercrawl – especially spotting the street style.
The Supercrawl Fashion Zone will be located on James Street between Barton and Murrary. The Mohawk College Fashion Stage will host a variety of runway shows and talks all weekend long, with lots of vendors to gawk at their wares. Featured designers include Blackbird Studios, Designs by Mallory, Eye of Faith, Gattina, Inna, Lissa Hill Leather, Vespidame and Volver – all on Saturday – and Plastic Wrap on Friday.
Featured speakers include Talli Osborne (7:30 Friday), Agata Waclawska (10pm Friday), and Queen Cee (12pm Saturday). The history of fashion talk is at 1pm on Sunday.
The Supercrawl Talks at Mills Hardware is a series of presentations all weekend on a variety of topics.
4pm: Ontario Association of Architects: Hamilton Placemaking as a Driver of Economic Growth, a series of presentations, panel discussions, followed by networking
6:30pm: Hamilton Health Sciences: The Art of Healthcare
8:30 pm: Useful Knowledge Society
1pm: Steel City Stories: Storytelling from real Hamiltonians
3:30pm: AGH TIFF Top 10 Short Films
8:30pm: Three’s Company
1pm: Shoots and Scores: Nathan Fleet leads a discussion on the music industry
3pm: AGH TIFF Top 10 Short Films Day 2
The monthly art crawls are largely built upon the participation of independent galleries and local artists as well as vendors showcasing their creations on the street. Supercrawl 2015 will feature 10 contemporary artists from across Canada, including three Hamilton-based artists: Tor Lukasik-Foss, Nancy Anne McPhee, and Ann Marie Hadcock.
I’m looking forward to Foss’ performance experiment as well as the commissioned sculpture project for Supercrawl 2015 by Toronto-based Jaime Angelopoulos that alludes to community events like Supercrawl. Be prepared for installations involving music, photos, indigenous themes, interactive sculptures, and other urban art.
On Friday night of Supercrawl, The Spice Factory is hosting an Art Crawl Market from 5-11pm with space for artisans to line up their merch with music and a licensed patio.
Check out this unofficial Facebook group for insight into the vendors: I spot make-up artists, jewellery makers, cartoonists, and more!
This year’s Supercrawl features an impressive range of family programming. There are a ton of fun kid-friendly activities to enjoy, including lots of hands-on learning.
- Take part in arts and crafts at the Art Gallery of Hamilton tent and McMaster Children’s Hospital tent.
- In the Culture of Kids in the Arts workshop, children can learn the Japanese tradition of crafting origami.
- As part of the Dundas Valley School of Art’s programming, kids can create their own artwork to later form a mosaic mural.
- Visit the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre to create your own button or visit Centre3 for fun screen printing.
Aside from arts and crafts, performance arts are promoted with with hip hop dance performances by Defining Movement Dance Company, concerts by the Hamilton Children’s Choir and Hamilton All Star Jazz Band, puppet shows and storytelling with the Hamilton Public Library, and the chance to touch different instruments at the Instrument Petting Zoo organized by An Instrument for Every Child.
To encourage physical activity, the YMCA is holding a family obstacle course challenge while the Hamilton Bulldogs will give the opportunity to test your hockey skills.
That’s not all:
- McMaster Children and Youth University is organizing interactive learning opportunities and mini educational workshops.
- At the Royal Botanical Gardens tent, you can check out some animal artifacts and grow your own plant.
- The Hamilton Firefighters will be on site encouraging kids to explore the Fire Safety Trailer.
- When it’s time for a snack to refuel from all the excitement, head to the Hamilton Market and choose from one of the special outdoor food stalls.
This is one of my favourite parts of Supercrawl! It’s so nice to see the community emphasizing children’s learning and encouraging families to come out to the events.
Supercrawl director, Tim Potocic of Sonic Unyon, shares what he’s looking forward to this year:
We are doing some interesting on-street activations including bringing a real life 80 ft long LRT train to James St. The public will be able to get on board, a foreshadowing of what it is going to really be like to ride LRT. We are also parkifying a car lot for people to eat and enjoy sitting in a parking lot in a totally different experience. – Tim
His top must-sees:
- Eilliott BROOD – 10:30 pm Friday Night (Music)
- Terra Lightfoot – 9:15 pm Friday Night (Music)
- Circus Orange – 8:45 pm Saturday night (Spectacle)
- Sharon Jones – 10:45 pm Saturday Night (Music)
- Hayden – 4:30 pm Sunday (Music)
- Dan Lanois – 5:15 pm Sunday (Music)
- Family zone activities on Saturday and Sunday, including Fred Penner on Sunday afternoon
The party doesn’t stop after hours. Head just off of the main strip indoors to partner venues like Baltimore House (events listed here: Supercrawl at The Baltimore House), Club Absinthe and This Ain’t Hollywood.
On Saturday, 93.3 CMFU will be broadcasting live on location all day, interviewing some of the artists.
What are you looking forward to most at this year’s Supercrawl?