By Kendra Parnell
Townshippers’ Day is back with a new name, a new team and all the heart of its nearly 40-year-old tradition. Townshippers’ Association and partners are proud to present: Townshippers Festival (Festival des Townshippers), September 29th at Richmond Regional High School (RRHS). Freshly structured, with many of the same elements people rely on, Townshippers Festival is a free, one-day event bringing together French- and English-speakers alike, to celebrate the historical Eastern Townships’ arts, culture, heritage and community.
The event is made possible by a collaboration between Townshippers’ Association and partners, including the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS, the Eastern Townships School Board, local Community Learning Centres, CBC Radio and a growing group of sponsors. The 2018 Festival will also coincide with RRHS’s annual Autumn Artisan and Craft Show.
The entertainment program is still developing, but festival-goers can expect a wide variety of acts. Back by popular demand, humorist, singer, dancer, musician and native Townshipper Dominic St-Laurent will present, “I Have the Right!”. Learn your 12 rights as a user of our healthcare system while laughing out loud at this hilarious and educational, one-man comedy act. This year’s musical headliner will be the ever-popular, singer-song writer, Keenan Wilcox. Originally from B.C., Keenan spent time studying at Bishop’s University and now calls the Eastern Townships home. Other acts include the up-and-coming student band out of Bishop’s University, Queen Street, and even a hypnotism demonstration! Face painters and a caricature artist will be available for portraits and there will be children’s games organized by the CBC.
As always, Townshippers Festival is a valuable opportunity for community organizations, schools, and businesses to introduce their services, activities and educational/employment possibilities. Historical societies from around the Townships are invited to participate for free, so reserve your table soon! Registration for artisans, food vendors and entertainment acts, as well as community organizations, schools, businesses/employers and historical societies is open until August 15th! Contact Emily Prangley Desormeaux at firstname.lastname@example.org for your registration form. Townshippers Festival is still looking for partners, sponsors, and donations for its silent auction! If you’d like to support this important community event and contribute to showcasing the creativity, heritage and vitality of our English-speaking community then get in touch with Emily today.
Townshippers’ Day has been organized every fall from 1979-2016 by Townshippers’ Association, in collaboration with a different municipality and dedicated team of volunteers each year. In 2017, the association decided to postpone the event to remodel the fundraiser for the future. The event’s organizing committee is proud to be bringing back this well-established tradition with these changes and is excited to be working with regional partners to make the newly branded Townshippers Festival a success! Whether you’re a Townshipper for life or a Townshipper for the day, Townshippers’ Festival is for you!