By Ewa Chwojko-Srawley

Marking its 23rd year, the Briars Resort once again provided the perfect setting for the Purple Turtle Festival.

This year’s edition, held on July 8 & 9, featured 38 artists from Southern Ontario, including Georgina. 

They presented an impressive range of artwork, from paintings, photography, carvings, and jewelry to fashion designer clothing. 

Monique and Jean-Pierre from Keswick have become faithful attendees of the festival, returning year after year.

“It’s perfect for early Christmas shopping,” they say, “and we appreciate the festival’s picturesque setting. It’s much more enjoyable to connect with the artwork in a natural environment compared to the concrete jungle of Toronto’s larger-scale festivals.” 

Kristina Moraru, herself an avid photographer, said “I come here to support local artists, and I always purchase something. I also like to engage in conversation with the artists, finding inspiration in their stories and creations.” 

Andrea MacLeod (2nd L)
Artist Dawn Stanojev & Kristina Moraru
Penny Gyokeres

This year’s edition welcomed 10 new artists, one of whom was the talented Georgina painter, Andrea MacLeod.

For this festival, she decided to channel her artistic energy into capturing the essence of animals. Her bold and vibrant paintings proved irresistible to attendees, drawing them in like a magnet.

Andrea enthusiastically exclaims, “Sales are fantastic! The atmosphere is amazing, and everyone is incredibly welcoming. It’s truly a remarkable experience.” 

Penny Gyokeres and Cheryl Fulcher, the festival organizers, are thrilled to witness the growing popularity of the event. Having taken over the festival 13 years ago from the previous coordinator, they are pleased to see an increasing number of attendees coming from as far as Toronto, the Hamilton area, and even Kitchener-Waterloo.

“Space is limited,” explains Gyokeres, “which means that not every artist who applies can be accepted. However, we strive to provide place both for returning artists and for new talents. It’s through this delicate balance that our festival continues to captivate audiences year after year. It’s a significant event for community and tourists alike.”  

And will there be another festival next year?

“No brainer, we will keep doing it!” concludes Gyokeres.