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About the Festival

AUGUST 8-12, 2018

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.

Welcome Artists, local community, and visitors alike to the 19th edition of Eastern Edge’s HOLD FAST Contemporary Arts Festival!

HOLD FAST is a celebration of contemporary art practice held in August in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Now going into its 19th year, HOLD FAST is St. John’s only festival dedicated to contemporary art and the longest running in the province. HOLD FAST regular events are free and open to all. The four-day festival of contemporary art kick offs Wednesday at Quidi Vidi Brewery, continuing with workshops and more. Friday’s Fancy Artist Talk is for finery and cocktails. Saturday’s Art Crawl is the main event, an all-ages creative extravaganza.

“Our incredible HOLD FAST crew and artists have been hard at work at work to create a dynamic and diverse festival for you this year. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to them and you for all the commitment shown in growing this celebration of local and National artistic practices. This year we are presenting the work of Alana Bartol, Carrie Allison, Lenka Novakova, and Samajiik whom together bring us insight into ways we connect to the environmental and social narratives embedded within our experiences of our landscape. From colonial treaties of the 18th century to scientific data collected from the surrounding waters, HOLD FAST artists challenge us to see our communities differently and reflect with new perspectives. Additionally, we are thrilled to have over thirteen community and pop-up events included in our festival line-up this year! We hope you take moments throughout the week to enjoy and partake in as many events and workshops HOLD FAST Festival has available. Thank you again to all our artists, sponsors, community leaders, volunteers, and audiences for what is sure to be an excellent arts festival.”


Hannah Morgan, Festival Manager



The  HOLD FAST Festival Crew


Philippa Jones, Executive Director

Daniel Rumbolt, Assistant Director

Hannah Morgan, HOLD FAST Festival Manager

Faune Ybarra, HOLD FAST Festival Intern

We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have Faune as the Festival Intern this summer and could not have done it without the support of AXIS Career Services and the Association for New Canadians. Thank you!

Lucas O’Leary, HOLD FAST Communications Assistant

Charlotte Hobden, Eastern Edge Gallery Assistant & HOLD FAST Volunteer Assistant

Thank you to the Young Canada Works program for the support and making it possible to have Lucas and Charlotte as our summer students this year at Eastern Edge.


Special Thank You

Emily Critch, The Grenfell Gallery & Lead Volunteer

Mimi Stockland, Hand printed Hold Fast T-Shirts

Jess Barry & Pepa Chan, Out of Earshot Festival

Drew Pardy, Lead Volunteer

Catherine Moret, Lead Volunteer

Caitlin Murray, Lead Volunteer

Matthew Hollett, Tech Volunteer


Easter Edge – Hold Fast Committee

Nora Barker

Kailey Bryan

Jen Cake

Matthew Hollett

Jason Penny

Jane Walker

HOLDFAST 2018 Program FinalWEB