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Local art takes the stage at Creative Simcoe Street Christmas

Organizers describe the annual event as a 'holiday open house for arts and culture'

Simcoe Street is set to come alive with holiday festivities as Creative Simcoe Street Christmas makes its return, bringing together local artists, galleries, and the community for a joyful celebration. 

Described as a "holiday open house for art and culture" by Anke Lex, one of the event organizers, the self-guided tour will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering a number of artistic experiences for both residents and tourists to enjoy.

Anke and her husband, Rick, have partnered with the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts (BMFA) to bring the event to life. 

"We always love it when Simcoe Street is full of people, meeting the artists and seeing the art,” said Anke. 

Creative Simcoe Street Christmas will feature over 25 local artists and galleries, each contributing unique creative expressions to the gathering.

At 65 Simcoe Street, the BMFA will showcase crafts and gifts at their shop and gallery. There will also be an opening reception for the Winter's Gift Exhibit, which highlights the works of 13 BMFA member artists, running from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Press Room Gallery will host the Ann Clifford exhibit downstairs, while the Press Room Mezzanine will feature the Tjalling Photography exhibit.

Fleetwood Dance Studio will have an open studio event from 1-3 p.m., offering a glimpse into rehearsals for Christmas Living Windows, mini Nutcracker ballet performances, classical ballet displays and competition pieces. The hallway will showcase Christmas decorations crafted by local children from Magic of Children in the Arts.

Next door, Jason Alexander's Art School and Art Supplies will exhibit the works of his students. On the second floor, the Scarlet Gallery will be open for art lovers to enjoy, while across the street, the Tremont Building will open its 1st and 2nd floors, showcasing even more local artistic talent.

“It's a very enjoyable event, being able to talk to the artists,” said Anke. “You always walk away feeling excited and enriched.”

"It's also a great opportunity to purchase art before the holidays,” said Rick. 

Poppy’s Bistro will be open for brunch and once shopping is complete, visitors are invited to join the artists for a drink and live music at Black Bellows. 

This year will mark the event’s first return to Simcoe Street since the pandemic. 

“It's bigger and better this year,” said Rick. 

For event details and schedules, visit the Blue Mountain Foundation of the Arts website or contact Rick and Anke Lex for more information.

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Maddie Johnson

About the Author: Maddie Johnson

Maddie Johnson is an early career journalist working in financial, small business, adventure and lifestyle reporting. She studied Journalism at the University of King's College, and worked in Halifax, Malta and Costa Rica before settling in Collingwood
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