Engaging, community and energetic are three words Shine On Festival of Music and Art volunteer Michael Degroot uses to describe the three day summer festival.
Shine On includes a diverse selection of local music and artistic performances, festival traditions and activities.
Degroot began his relationship with the festival in 2007 as an attendee and then performer.
“I began volunteering over the last two years,” Degroot says. This year Degroot is the coordinator of the stage and grounds projects.
Degroot says the size of the festival affects the way festival goers experience Shine On and is an important factor in building the festival community over the weekend.
“We cap the festival at a size that we feel allows us to deliver consistently the best experience possible,” Degroot says. “Large enough that you can get lost in a crowd of dancers, but small enough that by the end of the weekend all faces start becoming familiar.”
Degroot says Shine On creates a platform for local musicians and artists to showcase what they love to do; this love and support is a prevalent part of the festival atmosphere and creates that hyper-connected community unique to Shine On.
“By witnessing the energy and enthusiasm that our community has, it helps to inspire and motivate the volunteer organization that runs Shine On to always be improving our festival,” Degroot says.
Degroot explains the excitement around building a new dance floor and making repairs to the stage so performers will have a place to play for many years to come.
“My favourite part of the festival is watching the fruits of our labor come to life. Being able to witness an empty field turn into a sea of tents and smiling faces is always a good moment.”
Published in Volume 70, Number 27 of The Uniter (June 2, 2016)