Harmony Arts Festival: Top 5 picks to get you started this weekend

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      The Harmony Arts Festival revs up this weekend along West Vancouver's picturesque waterfront, starting today (August 4) and running right through to next Sunday (August 13).

      Music, food events, and more vie for your attention. Here are five attractions you won't want to miss:

      A painting by Everything Under the Sun, at the Fresh St. art market for its second weekend.

      1. Fresh St. Art Market

      Along Argyle Avenue between 14th Street and 16th Street, August 4 to 7 and 11 to 13

      Art fans won't want to miss this outdoor sale under the white tents along Argyle Avenue. It's one of the fest's biggest draws: a giant display of everything from colourful painted canvases and cool photography to wearable art and jewellery. The quality is top-notch, as evidenced by some of the names participating this year, including Enda Bardell, Grass Mountain Pottery, Joanna Lovett Sterling, Leanne Christie, Tim Bennison, Wildish Wear, and many more. 


      Cousin Harley's Paul Pigat
      Adam PW Smith

      2. Cousin Harley

      At John Lawson Park's Onni Sunset Concerts stage, Friday (August 4) at 7:30 p.m.

      Pull out your rockabilly best: Paul Pigat's killer guitar playing will make you think of hot rods, vintage cowboy shirts, and pompadours, as he and his  crew serve up  everything from classic honky tonk to cow punk, western swing, and  jump blues. The Straight once dubbed the bandleader "one of the biggest guitar geeks going, with an encyclopedic knowledge of artists such as Les Paul, Jimmy Bryant, Scotty Moore, Duane Eddy, and Dick Dale at his fingertips". Warning: attempts not to stomp your feet, clap your hands, and jump and jive will be futile. 


      The Plein Air competition proves art can get as competitive as any sport.

      3. Plein Air Challenge

      At the ArtSpeaks tent from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

      This 10th-annual four-hour outdoor painting competition is something to behold: a chance to watch art happening right in front of your eyes, en plein air, bien sur. And you'll find it surprisingly competitive: prizes from Opus Art Supplies go to the top five artists, and jurors will select 12 artists to continue on to the Paint on the Mountain Plein Air Challenge on August 6th at Cypress Mountain.


      E.T. calls home at the outdoor cinema.

      4. E.T. the Extraterrestrial 

      At John Lawson Park on Saturday (August 5) at 9 p.m.

      We can't think of a better place to watch Steven Spielberg's '80s blockbuster than under the stars with your kids. Look towards the moon for aliens flying by. It's all part of Harmony's ongoing Cinema in the Park series.


      Anne Gudrun's Three Graces kimono

      5. Slow Clothes: The Art of Fashion Show and Sale

      At John Lawson Park from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday (August 4)

      Move away from mass-produced trends and discover the artful, eco-friendly world of slow fashion, a movement that's surging here. For proof, look no further than the fact that Harmony has gathered 25 artists--including names like Suzy Baker, Anni Hunt, Carolyn Bruce, and Anne Gudrun--who'll show everything from limited-edition clothing to accessories, first in a fashion show that starts at 1 p.m. on the stage at the foot of 17th Street in West Vancouver, and then in a sale till 4 p.m.