Afterglow Art Festival- A Bridgewater Art Experience

How do you become an Art Festival Creator and Director? You attend one, become so smitten with it, that you then set out to create and build something similiar in your own small town. Sounds easy enough? 😉 Well that is how the Afterglow Art Festival in Bridgewater, NS came to be.  Founder and Creator , Ashton Rodenhiser from Minds Eye Creative, was inspired after attending Nocturne, an art at night festival, in Halifax and came back wanting to showcase our community creativity and give people an art at night experience. 


Photo by John McCarthy

While growing up in the area, Ashton didn’t feel that there were always a lot of creative opportunities. Once she moved back home, she got involved in the community, started volunteering and decided to do something about what she saw as a lack of art and culture here in Bridgewater. She was hopeful that an “art at night” event could contribute to changing people’s mindset around seeing the town in a more creative light. In 2012 the first Afterglow Art Festival was held and has grown and each and every year since.


Photo by John McCarthy

This year’s Afterglow Art Festival has a record 41 projects, held over two nights- September 29-30th, and gives people a chance to come out to support and appreciate creative leaders and art in a free and accessible way. Afterglow aims to be as diverse as possible, and this year is no exception! Some of the creative exhibits and experiences include  pop-up galleries, dance, interactive displays, art installations, poetry, written and spoken word and more!


Photo by John McCarthy

When it started, Afterglow was committed to be part of the revitalization of the downtown and King St in particular,  Afterglow Art Festival is a free and accessible event with most projects being wheelchair accessible. Happening on King Street, with the first project being at On Tap Dance Studio (next to Fancy Pants Cafe) going all the way down to Dufferin Street. Part of the street will be closed to traffic and open for the Festival, so dress for the weather, stroll the open street and experience art in a unique and wonderful way!


Photo by John McCarthy

Friday, September 29th is the Kick-Off night from 7:00pm-9:30pm at the new Pijinuiskaq park on King Street. SQUID a percussion group from Halifax, is the big opening act and will entertain the crowd from 8:00 – 9:00pm. SQUID transforms traditional Bagpipe and Drum Band entertainment into a multi-sensory rush of excitement, featuring high energy bagpipes, electronic and world music, and visually stunning percussion! As they say on their website, “If you want ordinary entertainment, Squid is NOT for you”…;) As well, Art Happening will be there offering creative art activities and highlighting the full program that happens on Saturday night.

You can view the program online here. You will find everything from chain-saw art, jugglin bubblers, henna at night, chalk art, puppets, felting, live art, squash art, music and MORE are all a part of this years  2017 Afterglow Art Festival program!


Photo by John McCarthy

New this year is a Live Art Auction. You can purchase tickets to any of the live art projects for a chance to win some of the creations being made during the event. Tickets are $2.00 each or 6 for $10.00 with all proceeds going  back to the Afterglow Art Festival.


Photo by John McCarthy


Photo by John McCarthy

You can watch Ashton and I talk all about the Festival’s beginnings and her thoughts on the ripple effect of attending community events.

You are not going to want to miss this unique, cultural experience that allows everyone to experience art in an accessible, creative way. Afterglow Art Festival runs 2 nights-September 29th from 7-9:30pm and September 30th from 6:00pm-11:00pm.  Come out and support our local artists, experience artists from other parts of the province, and be part of an art at night at experience that you’re sure to remember.


Photo by John McCarthy