Everyone now has a very good reason to visit the Niagara Wine Festival this Saturday.
Wine King Float in the Niagara Wine Festival Parade
Saturday 26 September
Wine King Float and Dominion on display in The Show Room Wed 30 Sept – Sat 21 Nov
Opening Reception Fri 16 Oct at 8pm
This year’s Niagara Wine Festival Parade will have twice the royalty. Since 1952, the Grape King has ruled over the festival, but in 2009 the Wine King of Dominion City will join the parade on a float of his own. The Grape King needn’t worry about a battle for supremacy, however, the Wine King character and the community of Dominion are fictional creations of renowned Canadian cartoonist Seth.
Artist members of the Niagara Artists Centre, with the support of the Brock Centre for the Arts, have teamed with Seth and RENDER* to create a parade float from far away Dominion City, the fictional setting where Seth’s stories take place. The float features the Wine King, a rotund wine lover about ten feet high, and a gathering of cartoon grape minions. Marching with the Wine King will be members of the Royal Orders of Connoisseurs and Aficionados, costumed performers of the Suitcase In Point theatre company along with students from Brock University. Among the performers will be two human-sized bottles of Megalomaniac and Henry of Pelham winesthe Good Stuff, meeting the expectations of a connoisseurs taste.
After the parade the float will be parked in The Show Room of the Niagara Artists Centre. Exhibited with it will be a scale model of Dominion City as well as historic images of the grandest days of the Grape & Wine Festival Parade. “The three things are a good fit,” says NAC Director Stephen Remus. “Dominion is a throwback to the hay days of fifty years ago. A sense of those times that escapes nostalgia is pervasive in Seth’s world. I think the Wine King offers us an opportunity to celebrate the history of our parade without being sentimental”.
Born in Clinton, Ontario, Seth began work as a cartoonist in the mid 1980s. After over twenty years of artistic output, he’s created a number of graphic novels and strips (including Clyde Fans, Wimbledon Green, and George Sprott), had his work featured three times on the cover of The New Yorker, contributed a twenty-five issue serial for the New York Times Magazine, and exhibited his Dominion City at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The exhibition component of the exhibit at NAC is being toured by RENDER and was curated by Andrew Hunter.
The Wine King Float and Dominion City will be on view in NAC’s newly renovated Show Room from Wednesday 30 September until Saturday 21 November. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on Friday 16 October starting at 8pm.
* A program established in 2006 to shift the University of Waterloo Art Gallerys focus to innovation. render.uwaterloo.ca