“It will be bigger than ever”
That’s the prediction of Henry Kulik as the 29 members of the Rotary Club of Sarnia Bluewaterland prepare for Art in the Park at Mike Weir Park the second weekend in September.
The Club is gearing up to hold its second largest annual fund raiser and Kulik, who co-chairs the event with Peter Fitzsimons sees nothing but success.
“If we get the weather we’ll get the crowds” says Kulik who is enthusiastic about the event that generated $20,000.00 in revenue and a profit exceeding $11,000.00 last year. “We were organized last year but we are in a better position this year” says Kulik as more than 100 exhibitors with “original hand made products” have signed up. The cut off is August 15 and after that exhibitors who want to get into the show will be placed on a waiting list.
If everything goes as planned Kulik says Art in the Park could attract 5000 visitors, generate more than $20,000.00 and drop about $14,000.00 to the Club’s bottom line.
Gallery in the Grove, which ran the event for 32 years until the Rotarians took over five years ago will receive a portion of the proceeds.
“Our agreement with the Gallery goes back to 2013” says Kulik. That’s when the Rotarians stepped in to assist the Gallery which was having difficulty attracting volunteers. “The key to success is quality exhibitors, total Club involvement, lots of volunteers, perfect weather, food, entertainment and an artists’ raffle”.
Among the food vendors are Sitara, the Breadman, Yogurts, Curbside Food Truck and a specialty coffee and tea provider.
Activities for children will include face painting and art staffed by Gallery in the Grove volunteers. Music is being provided by Greg Robbins.
Kulik says for the first time the Rotarians reached out to the community to get sponsors and seven stepped up. They include TD Canada Trust, Bluewater Power, industrial supply company Ackland – Grainger, Point Edward based Gateway Casino, Preferred Electric, Dave Noel of the Investors Group, business publication First Monday and Huron Web Printing and Graphics of Wyoming.
Kulik predicts Art in the Park will eventually exceed the Club’s annual January used book sale in popularity and profit. The book sale attracts hundreds of book enthusiast to the Bayside Centre and raises more than $15,000.00.
Kulik says his Art in the Park Committee is focussed on exhibitors, families and kids and while it remains a one-day event there is potential for a juried two – day show but adds “that will require more exhibitors and a lot more co-ordination. It is something to think about down the road but right now we have our hands full co-ordinating for this year”.
Profits are being used to pay off the new playground and memorial garden at Centennial Park.