I've written before that interPLAY was the first event we attended when we arrived in this community a decade ago. We have attended every year since, enjoying every aspect of the festival from street performers to live music to laser tag to face painting to the beer gardens. We have even planned summer vacations around it, trying to ensure we would be here for the festival. And this year we will attend again, although for me this year will be a bit different.
You see, this year I am working with Events Wood Buffalo. Just as at Canada Rocks I will be doing artist hospitality, and just as with Canada Rocks these will be long days. I will be there when the gates open every morning, and close every night. I will be there all the hours in between, chatting with the artists, attending to their needs, solving the occasional crisis if they arise, and generally speaking ensuring the artists enjoy their time at the festival too. For the artists from outside our community I suppose I will be a community ambassador, and will likely be telling them about my experience of life here. I will be relying on good friends (and frankly total strangers) to bring me coffee to keep me functioning, and by gate close time on Sunday will likely be running purely on caffeine and adrenaline. And I will, just at I did at Canada Rocks, have the time of my life.
There is something magical about a festival like interPLAY. I was on site last night, watching as tents were erected, the stage finished, and food vendors setting up. Suddenly a street in front of Keyano College becomes a street party, and today crowds will begin to filter in - until eventually they begin to pour in if previous years are any indication. There will be the sound of laughter and children's voices, the smell of mini-donuts (I hope!), and a visual feast for the eyes as every corner will come alive. There will be the plays indoors, and the acts outside. There will be families and young couples and senior citizens and every demographic of this city. There will be live music and street performers and marketplace vendors. There will be this community enjoying an annual festival of arts and music.
And there will be me, witnessing it all as I so love to do. I will be there this year in a way I have never been before, not as an attendee but as someone on the inside of it all, someone who gets to see the hard work that goes into making it happen, and who gets to be a part of making the magic happen for others.
So, Fort Mac, I hope to see you at interPLAY this weekend. If you happen to see me do stop and say hello. And if you happen to be bring me a coffee (a plain latte is preferred!) I can guarantee a smile regardless of how tired I may happen to be and how seriously I want to crawl under a table and curl up for a nap. Aw, hell, even if you don't bring me coffee I can guarantee a smile - because how can anyone resist smiling when at a community event that brings us all together like interPLAY? I know I can't - and I bet you can't, either!
Hope to see you all at interPLAY 2012!
Located on King Street
in front of Keyano College.
interPLAY website can be found here :)
And please note that for McMurray Musings
coffee donations are always gratefully received ;)
(just kidding, unless you really do want
to bring me coffee, in which case I will quite
likely hug the stuffing out of you!)