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Large turnout for 2017 New Glasgow's Art At Night

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NEW GLASGOW - The threat of rain didn’t cast a cloud on this year’s Art At Night.

Organizers estimate 2,500 people descended on downtown New Glasgow to view the work of more than 100 artists on Saturday night.

For the first time, the event coordinators were forced to come up with a rain plan after a special weather statement issued by Environment Canada promised less than favourable conditions.

Heavy Early was one of the bands performing in the former Roseland Theatre. They recorded a music video during Art At Night, asking audience members to send in clips of their performance, as well as other parts of the festival.

Ian Grant, who coordinates the event with Jillian Hennick, said developer Jamie MacGillivray helped them move the outdoor artists indoors, including into the former Roseland Theatre building that’s under development.  

“Even though it’s still a full construction zone, we were able to make it look really good and everybody’s talking about it,” Grant said, adding MacGillivray has been amazing and has done a lot of work with his employees to get spaces ready for the event.

Grant noted the patience of the artists, as there were many changes for the event over the days leading up to it.

“We really appreciate the patience and understanding from the majority of our artists who understood what we were dealing with and who helped us roll with the punches.”

Taylor MacLean, who was doing a live painting during the event, said he appreciated having the indoor space.

A display of live models dressed as animals was set up at Chelsea Laine Salon and Colour Bar as part of the festival.

“I just moved back from Vancouver and I’ve been looking to get in the community and get my art out there,” said MacLean, who is self-taught and has been painting for about 11 years. “It’s just relaxing, an easy way to express yourself.”

Also among the art on display was a project from the Pictou County Centre for Sexual Health called PhotoVoice in which participants used photography to tell their story.

Jordan Henderson, 18, created a piece of art incorporating the transgender pride flag, a childhood photo of Henderson who was assigned female at birth, and a drawing of Henderson now. Henderson said being a part of PhotoVoice introduced him to friends who are exactly like him.

“I feel really accomplished. I feel happy about it that people are going to find out my story,” Henderson said about showing his work at Art At Night. “I knew that I was a guy since I was five years old.”

Grant said they’re happy with how Art At Night went and are already thinking of the next one, hopefully with better weather.

“We’re already having conversations about what we can do next year to make things better.”

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