Baysville Arts and Crafts Festival ... Since 1987
It is with sadness that the Baysville Riverfront Group is announcing that we will be cancelling the 2021 Arts & Crafts Festival in Baysville. We well understand that for many, the Arts and Crafts weekend is a highlight event of the summer, offering an opportunity for over 2000 visitors to come together and experience the event, and enjoy great Baysville venue and hospitality. Unfortunately, with the uncertainty regarding the timing of when public gatherings will be safely permitted, and wanting to err on the side of caution and safety to protect our community, volunteers, vendors and guests/visitors, we see no way of safely proceeding with our event. These decisions are not easy as both our vendors and community rely on these events. The uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and public safety dictates that we make this decision.
As you know, 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 2019 the festival was comprised of 76 artisans, all of whom displayed handcrafted items "Made in Canada".
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 2022 and hope to see you there. Mark your calendar for August 6-7th, 2022, and say hello to our artisans in Baysville!
Sites in the next upcoming show available.