Sunday, September 07, 2008

Jazz Festival and Waterfront Trail Art at Port Credit River Bridge Mississauga Southside Shuffle

September 9, 2010 Southside Shuffle coming up tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday - September 10, 11, 12 See This Year's Full Schedule. Going to be the best Port Credit jazz festival EVER!!

September 2009 Southside Shuffle AKA Port Credit Jazz Festival is on this weekend (September 11, 12, 13, 2009). Details for this year's performers and locations. My fave is the street shuffle on Saturday afternoon. See you there!

September 2008 On the way to the jazz festival (aka the South Side Shuffle) yesterday in Port Credit, I was walking along the Mississauaga section of the Waterfront Trail from J C Saddington Park. As soon as the bridge at the lighthouse came into view, I could see that there was a lovely new style of 'graffiti' on the bridge.

Waterfront Trail Art in Port Credit Ontario
The west side of the bridge where Lakeshore road crosses the Credit River shows this lovely painting below the lighthouse (sorry I cut off the top but couldn't be helped).

As well, the underside of the bridge has been primed the pale blue, in preparation for more art. The one week I don't go into 'town' and look how much has changed!

Walt Ruston Waterfront Trail Artist at work in Port Credit (Mississauga)
On the east (Toronto) side of the pedestrian bridge over the Credit River, I met the artist responsible for this wonderful change to the bridge's grey concrete underbelly. Walt Ruston is his name, and he is working in paint, not chalk, as I first thought.

With the Southside Shuffle closing Lakeshore Road from Stavebank to Hurontario on Saturday afternoon, I had it in my head that this art is all part of the annual Jazz Festival.

Walt Ruston Concrete Wall Art Lakeshore Road Mississauga

I stopped to chat with the artist, who gave me his card. Walt Ruston is his name and Waterfront Trail Art is (part of) his game. He says he began painting this area about a week ago, and plans to work over the next few weeks to adorn much more of the underside of the bridge, as well as the concrete supports out in the middle of the river.

Once the painting is complete, it will be given a special top coat to keep it vibrant. Sadly, however, some art challenged person had already sprayed the bad kind of graffiti on one area. (I can respect, even admire, some graffiti art, especially when it enlivens an eyesore. But to deface the work of an artist -- well, that is just wrong.)

See more on Waterfront Trail artists at Trailart org

Southside Shuffle Lakeshore Road Port Credit
First stop at the Jazz Festival was at Memorial Park, where dozens of vendors, a beer tent and several stages were drawing a modest crowd. The Mainstage events take place in the evening, and charge admission. But anyone can set up lawn chairs on the park grounds and enjoy the sweet, sweet sounds for free. Most of the music is free -- just come and enjoy.

From Memorial Park, I headed along Lakeshore where an incredible 31 performers and bands were playing in rotation. The street was closed from 3-7 p.m. ,though when I left around 8 p.m. the street was still closed, and the bands were still playing.

Sometimes the performers schedules overlapped, and instead of playing in a rotation, adjoining stages were playing at the same time. To compete with their neighbours, several bands cranked up their amps.

The resulting din did none of our ears any favours. The entertaining and irrepressible Danny Marks, performing outside the Souvlaki Hut, got a big laugh from his appreciative audience when he quipped that, next year, they were changing the name of the jazz festival from Street Shuffle to Battle of the Bands for Old Guys.

John Finley Quartet outside Impressionable Gifts Port Credit
The softer stylings of the John Finley Quartet, outside Impressionable Gifts (pictured above), and the solo blues of Harrison Kennedy (see harrisonkennedy ca) at Memorial Park were also challenged by rampant amp-crankers.

I made my way up and down Lakeshore, with a stop for traditional fish and chips and a Keith's at The Brogue Inn at Hurontario (Hwy 10), one of several Irish pubs in Port Credit. Bands also played off the 'strip', including outside the Waterside Inn and at the marina near Snug Harbour, as well as east of Hurontario at Elmwood Meat Market and north on Hurontario at Cousin's Market.

And, with as many people who jammed the streets during the day, even more seemed to be arriving for the evening performances. Restaurants were packed, and the rain held off. A fine day indeed.

The Southside Shuffle run Sunday from 10 a.m. until around 6 p.m. See the full schedule and maps on this page. And hopefully, today's rain will stop soon, or at least not dampen spirits.