History and Pictures Submitted by Danuta Cromwell.
This year’s Rednersville Road Art Tour on Labour Day weekend will mark the 10th Anniversary of the popular tour held annually in Prince Edward County. The concept for the Tour began in 2007 when several members of the Belleville Art Association realized that they all lived along Rednersville road or as it is more commonly referred to now as Prince Edward County Road 3. A meeting was later held among this group and other artists living in the same area to determine if there was sufficient interest to form an annual tour.
There was a good deal of enthusiasm for such a tour and a number of important issues were decided. The first concerned the restrictions on who could join the tour as hosts. This was an important issue as the main idea behind the tour was that it would follow pretty much of a straight line along the length of Rednersville Road allowing visitors easy and quick access to the various stops on the tour rather than meandering over a wide area. With this in mind it was decided that all hosts for the event should be located between Rossmore and Carrying Place within two kilometers of the south shore of the Bay of Quinte. The other major decision concerned the dates for the event. It was decided that Labour Day weekend would be ideal as the weather was usually good at that time and it would allow the Tour to be open for three days during which most people had the time off. Once these and many other less critical decisions were made the Tour went ahead and planned the first event for Labour Day weekend 2008.
The first Tour was an unqualified success. The Friday before the event all hosts visited each others venue with the aim of getting ideas to improve their set up and to keep in touch with each other’s work. The next day the event began on a beautiful sunny day and everyone involved was amazed at the enthusiast response from a huge number of visitors. Monday afternoon the Tour came to a close but not before many sales and new friendships had been made with visitors coming from the local area as well as the larger cities in Ontario. At the meeting following the Tour to discuss future shows the group were unanimous in their desire to continue the show in following years using the same basic approach that had been so successful the first year.
In the years that followed the Tour has been blessed with almost ideal weather and numerous visitors. Local businesses have come forward and provided both financial assistance as well as strong moral support. The Tour has been fortunate to have been invited to display their work at two month long shows at the Belleville Library as well as some other smaller venues in the area. Participation in the Tour has remained relatively consistent with an average of 15 hosts each year and 15 guests. Many of the original members are still in the Tour and still enthusiastically preparing for the next event hoping to make each year’s Tour even better than the one before.
Below a few pictures of some original members and founders from the first tour in 2008. (Florence Chik-Lau, Susan Moshynski, Dona Knudsen, Tina Osborne, Ron Sayeau, Marion Casson and Sheryl Gates)