By: Kristen Borgdorff, Reporter
From coffee shops to stages, from basements to booths, from garages to fryers — Supercrawl 2017 was a great chance for local artists to get their names out into the world and for Redeemer students to see a bit of Hamilton’s downtown core. Every September since 2009, Hamilton has closed James Street North for a weekend to welcome local artists, musicians, food trucks, and hundreds of festival goers. Many Redeemer students know that this is an event that should not be missed. It is a perfect opportunity to master the bus system while creating memories with new friends. If you missed Supercrawl this year, do not fear — after reading this short article you will be caught up to date.
Supercrawl is known for its lineup of “hipster artists” — musicians that only your cool friends have heard of but that you pretend to know because you just want to fit in. Donovan Woods, an artist from Sarnia, is a prime example. Before his performance, he shared a story about how he was once paid in coffee beans at a local coffee shop because the shop could not afford to pay him. This inspirational story entertained a large group of fans (as well as some people who were pretending they were fans because their friends wanted to watch). The mixture of his cheeky humour with his angelic voice was an engaging experience for everyone listening.
Although the musical performances may be what draws so many people to the festival, booths displaying the work of local artists line the street. I had the opportunity of speaking to three of these local artists.
Aimee Cline is the owner of Vintage Charm, a store on James Street whose motto is “ReFresh, RePurpose, ReLove” — Cline does this by selling antique furniture, home décor, and gifts. To draw Supercrawlers inside her store, she had set up a booth just outside for the weekend. It was one of those shops that a Redeemer student would go in, take some mental notes, and then go home and recreate something they saw after a quick trip to Talize. Cline mentioned how Supercrawl is one of the busiest times of the year, but, unlike many other artists, Supercrawl is not her primary source of income. Rather, her primary income is from online orders, mainly from customers throughout the GTA. You can find Aimee’s store at 233 James Street North, or you can visit her website at vintagecharmhome.com.
Tracey, an employee at Homecoming Goods, was eager to discuss how her Supercrawl experience had been both overwhelming and positive. This was Homecoming Goods’ first year being at Supercrawl — they had heard the interest in local artists is rapidly growing in the Hamilton area, and they knew that this was their crowd. Their potted succulents, array of popular pins, and other miscellaneous fads would have spiced up any first year dorm room. Coming from Toronto, they were not sure if Supercrawl would meet their expectations, but they were amazed to have their expectations exceeded. For more information about Homecoming Goods, take a look at their website: www.homecominggoods.com.
At another booth I found Geek Trappings, a group of four friends that had taken their separate talents to create a brand that sells anything “geek,” from tutus to snow globes. These ladies have been at Supercrawl for the past four years and are constantly amazed by how many people come through. “Rain or shine, people come and it’s always busy.” The ladies were excited to share that this year’s business was even more successful than last year’s and that the geek culture is now more popular than ever. See? Supercrawl has things for everyone! Geek Trappings can be found on Facebook with a quick search of their brand name.
While Supercrawl was overflowing with art, music, people, and lights, I must say that my absolute favourite part was the food. The countless trucks, the endless opportunities, and the $10 I had in my backpack made for a challenging decision. Picking between powdered donuts, cotton candy the size of my head, steaming poutine, and countless other mouth-watering delights was not easy, but I eventually decided on a Potato Tornado. What is a Potato Tornado? It’s only the most wonderful treat you may ever be given the opportunity to indulge in (also known as a spiralled potato on a stick).
Supercrawl 2017 was the perfect weekend to pretend to sing along to music I didn’t know, steal ideas from local artists, and have a taste of some sacred food. If you missed the opportunity to attend Supercrawl, do not fret — Hamilton has monthly art crawls that you can attend for a similar experience! Dates for these events can be found at tourismhamilton.com.