Baysville Arts and Crafts Festival ... Since 1987
The Baysville Riverfront Group will host the 31st Arts & Crafts Festival in Baysville, Ontario Saturday August 12 and Sunday August 13, 2017 from 9 am.to 4 pm. on Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm. on Sunday. It is a two day outdoor event featuring unique and original artisans from all over Ontario.
In 1987 Richard (Dick) Robinson and his wife, Marlene, organized the first show. Eight vendors participated that year. It was held in Grist Mill Park behind Maggie's Restaurant, where Fork In the Road and Humble Pie Bakery are now located. It remained at this locale for one year and then moved to the arena due to inclement weather. In 1989 the decision was made to relocate the show to Centennial Park with the number of vendors increasing to 34. In 2001 the Riverfront Group began organizing the festival as a major fund raising event with the proceeds being used to support the community of Baysville.
In 2011 bridge construction on Highway 117 created challenges for the festival, resulting in the necessity to transfer the venue to the Community/Library Park. Once the construction was completed, it was felt that Centennial Park was no longer readily accessible for the vendors, and thus the 2012 festival remained at the Community/Library Park. Following the 2012 festival, feedback from the vendors, as well as the general public, caused the Riverfront Group to once again consider changing the location of the festival. The return to Centennial Park was not a viable alternative BUT the parks on the south side of Highway 117 were deemed worth consideration. The exhibitors wanted a more visible location and a setting that was aesthetically pleasing. In the fall of 2012 the Riverfront Group made the decision to hold the 2013 festival in Gristmill Park and the adjacent Robertson Parkette.
The park-like setting is adjacent to the Muskoka River and contains multiple flower gardens and trees. The two parks are separated by a band shell and public washrooms. There are docks that allow boaters direct access into the park.
In 2013 the festival was comprised of 76 artisans, all of whom displayed handcrafted items "Made in Canada".
Admission to the festival is by donation with the proceeds going to the Baysville Horticultural Society. The Anglican church group uses this event as a major fund raiser by selling beverages and food in the bandshell.
The Baysville Riverfront Group will continue to support the maintenance of the infrastructure along the Riverfront, including walkways, gardens, docks, lighting and seating. In addition, donations are directed to support various community organizations and projects and each year bursaries are awarded to students residing in Baysville who are continuing their education beyond secondary school.
We are looking forward to another successful Arts and Crafts Festival in 2017 and hope to see you there.