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About the Festival


We would like to first begin with an acknowledgement to the First Peoples; Mi’kmaq, Beothuk, Innu, and Inuit, of these lands, Ktaqmkuk, Nitassinan, Nunatsiavut, and NunatuKavut, that we live, work, and create upon. HOLD FAST recognizes and supports the rights of Indigenous communities in their efforts towards an Indigenous sovereignty and reclamation of stolen voices across Turtle Island. We see, hear, and admire your powerful work. Thank you for allowing us the privilege to work alongside you.

HOLD FAST is a four day celebration of contemporary art practice in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, an evolution of the previous 24 Hour Art Marathon. HOLD FAST is St. John’s only festival dedicated to contemporary art and is the longest running festival in the province. HOLD FAST delivers accessible, meaningful and critically-relevant contemporary art programming across an array of media including: installation, performance, screenings, artist talks, dance, community events and artist-led workshops for people of all ages. 

Elijah Garrard, HOLD FAST Festival and Communications Coordinator

Elijah Garrard is a multidisciplinary artist, zinester, and storyteller. Originally from Seattle, they grew up performing at regional and international storytelling festivals. Their work, informed by by an interest in narrative and Jewish folklore, explores world-building, memory, queerness, and relationships to land through a lens of diaspora and cultural exchange.

Elijah holds a BA in Latin American Studies and Film from Bowdoin College. As a 2013 Fulbright grantee, they spent a year teaching in Argentina, and went on to work in Mexico, Turkey, and Mongolia. They attended North Seattle College as a nontraditional student, graduating with an AFA and League for Innovation award in printmaking. Elijah also serves on the board at St. Michael’s Printshop.






HOLD FAST is funded by Canadian Heritage.