As the Arts Council Haliburton Highlands’ new promotional video begins, viewers witness a blend of art and nature: carving in motion, trees and the Rails End Gallery.

“We thought we’d just stay here for a little while and then we realized quite quickly it was a pretty vibrant community. Established artists were here as well as a big resurgence of new artists coming,” potter Lisa Barry says near the start of the video, that is filled with testimonials from local artists across the CoAunty.

The council released the commissioned video on its Youtube channel Feb. 1. It features interviews with artists talking about the Highlands, with images from last year’s studio tours. Project co-ordinator, Scott Walling, said it was a way to showcase the diversity of arts in Haliburton County.

“Everyone knows about potters and painters and we love them. But there’s this whole vast network of other people who should have the spotlight shone on them as well. We wanted to include as many people as we could,” Walling said.

The video features a range of different types of arts – including pottery, painting, music, sculpture and drama. It was funded by the Haliburton County Development Corporation and the County of Haliburton. The production team included Camexicanus and Upside Brown.

Walling said it is difficult to promote tourism during the pandemic. But he added the initiative also gives locals a chance to see more of their community.

“We felt this video kind of allows our artists in the area to get to know each other a little bit more. To see the depths of everything within Haliburton,” Walling said. “But then it also shows out-of-towners this is something they could come do.”

“It’s to promote both our artists and our members, and Haliburton Highlands, as a whole. It might interest some to come live here and start their art practice here,” he added. “We’re trying to hit a lot of bases with this.”

The project took six months to complete. Walling said he is trying to circulate the video as widely as possible locally. “Just trying to get it out so everyone can see how much arts and culture and heritage is in Haliburton County.”

“Come to Haliburton,” potter Wayne Rose says to cap off the video. “We’ve got it. You can. It’s here.”

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