Chance to learn a new hobby at Napanee’s Big Creek Skills Sharing Festival Oct. 26

Adam Prudhomme

A wide assortment of experts will gather at the North Fred Lifestyle Centre on Oct. 26 to offer their know-how on a variety of interests at Greater Napanee’s Big Creek Skill Sharing Festival.

A first of its kind in the municipality, similar festivals take place in communities across the world. With the purchase of a $20 ticket, guests will have unlimited access to workshops, led by masters of the subject.

“The basis is you go for the day and there are a series of workshops that you can choose from,” explains Kelsey Pearson, a summer student with the Town of Greater Napanee who brought the Big Creek Sharing Festival idea with her from Canada’s east coast. “You pick however many workshops you would like to take within the time period. There will be morning workshops from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and then there will be a series from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.”

The workshops range from drop in sessions to more structured, two hour lessons. The workshops include basic bike repair, tips for beekeeping, visible mending, low waste living, t-shirt screen printing, guided relaxation, cyanotypes, foraging identification, square dancing and more. A softball tournament will also be taking place on the diamonds throughout the day for players aged 16 and older.

“The idea is that we are sharing skills that I think are prominent in this region and are of interest in this region,” said Pearson. “The workshops range from agricultural interests, to environmental sustainability to arts to athletics.”

Pearson says the timing of the festival, held in mid-autumn, is ideal as people look for ways to keep busy during the winter months.

“This is an opportunity to pick up a new hobby or look into a new interest,” she added.

The location, held at the recently renovated North Fred Lifestyle Centre, was intentionally chosen as well to highlight an area of the town that may often go overlooked by residents. It’s located at 1178 County Road 8 in Greater Napanee.

“We’re hoping these community groups that may sometimes be separate, will actually have a chance to intermingle and cross-promote,” Pearson said of drawing so many different interests into one area. “There’s a really prominent art scene in the region, there’s also an extremely prominent athletics scene and we are surrounded by farms and agriculture.”

The festival is also meant to serve as a starting point for people who may have been curious about any of these interests but were unsure of where to begin.

Tickets for the event, which must be purchased in advance, are available by calling Lyndsay Tee at 613-354-3351 or visiting 12 Market Square in Napanee.

A complete list of the workshops and schedule is available at

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