The fine newly minted addition to Theatre Lac Brome owes its existence in no small measure to a grant from the Feds. And Arts Alive Knowlton 2017! can thank Justin Trudeau for funding to help throw a cultural celebration in the town, June 25 to July 8.

Like the theatre project, Arts Alive! was kept biting its nails for money. But it did finally land, and chief organizers Laura Teasdale and Danny McAuley were quick to spread it around, for fear it might suddenly go away.

The Canada Day Committee, Knowlton Players and the Brome Country Historical Society all benefited from the largesse and will take part in the birthday party.

On the actual date, July 1, the museum is the appropriate site for the Knowlton Players’ premiere of Roger de la Mare’s new musical, United We Stand, an amusing look at the Fathers of Confederation and the happily dysfunctional family we call Canada. That’s at 11 a.m., and free. Also free is the concert that follows, featuring the Honeysuckle Sisters. Both are set outdoors, on the museum grounds.

More July 1 free celebrations are set for two tents at Lions Park. One houses a children’s arts studio, no doubt a tidy little affair. The other offers three workshops, including a drum session with Frederic Gauld, line dancing with Debbie Melanson and a surprise visual arts workshop organizers promise will blow a few minds.

Other workshops over the 8-day event include flower arranging with Debbie Hornig, lantern making, film making with Rugge Thompson, screenplay writing, bodhran drumming and kite making. All tickets priced between $5 and $15 – a steal – and available at Brome Lake Books.

“We started planning before the money landed,” said McAuley at the book store recently, “and we’re scrambling to get everything together. Now the website is up – arts-alive-quebec.ca – and we’re working on the wording.” The schedule may also be finessed slightly before the birthday balloon goes up.

McAuley is looking forward to the de la Mare play; the repeat of last year’s big hit, film writing, and a screening of the 2016 winner Cathy Canzani’s film; and the July 8 closing concert by gifted Montreal multi-instrumentalist Dave Gossage and his many friends, at Knowlton United Church, at 8 p.m. Tickets for that are $20/$25.

“It’s going really well, thanks to our volunteers,” added glass half-full Teasdale. “We’re just putting final details in place.”

Those details available at arts-alive-quebec.ca, with links to Knowlton.

Arts Alive! – what is it?

Six Quebec regions, including Knowlton, home to active English-speaking arts communities, have banded together to create an exciting festival which will span the summer 2017.