Hillside was a fantastic experience!
As my title aptly states, I saw some good performances. I ate some great food. I attended an informative 'eco' workshop. I had an artist paint a pretty design on my hand with henna (mehndi). And, I purchased a fantastic painting from one of my favourite Canadian artists, Wendy Ryan.
Did i eat pakoras? Yes. I had four of them. With tamarind sauce.
Did I have some Mapleton's Organic Ice-cream? Yes. Chocolate cherry.
What else did I eat? I had the most amazing cold chocolate drink made with raw cocoa and chili spices. Hot damn! I also sampled some "raw" vegan pizza which was superb! And I sampled some raw chocolate! I also had a spicy Jamaican veggie roti...yum! And a bit more raw chocolate! Are you surprised? I'm not. The food tent was one of my favourite places to hang out.
Sumac flowers, tea from stinging nettle, you can eat the root (wild carrot) from Queen Anne's Lace. The group was also introduced to other edible wild plants, such as pineapple weed, English plantain and some other plants which due to my bad memory, I cannot remember. It was an informative workshop where we were also given the opportunity to sample the various wild plants in a tea.
Hillside, is also making a conscious effort to enforce preservation of the environment by maintaining and encouraging visitors to practice ethical use of the island's facilities. Hillside was actually doing this years before it ever became trendy. Guests are encouraged to bring their own mugs, re-usable plates and cutlery. There are plates and cups that can be borrowed from the food vendor and then dropped of at the washing station where volunteers will wash all the cups, plates, etc. There was no styrofoam or other plastic take-out containers offered by the food establishments. There was a clean water station where you can fill up your water bottle for free. And I did several times. The water was refreshing and tasted great! Their music stages are also powered by solar energy. All in all, a very good thing.
Then it was time for me to explore the crafts. I saw some interesting jewellery which I passed up on. I know - ME! pass up on jewellery? There was also some nice homemade, natural body butters and lip balms which were tempting but I decided to pass on those as well.
Then I spotted an artist that I had once purchased a painting from on Etsy. I recently ran into her in Ottawa back in June at the Art in the Park event. Well, low and behold here she was at Hillside selling her gorgeous paintings. And I was so excited to chat with her again and see all her newest creations. Well, I was bitten by the "buy-it-bug" and so I bought one of her larger-sized acrylic paintings. It is now hanging up on my living room wall and I love it! Dreamy, ethereal, innocent, surreal, child-like...beautiful.
I also went by the Buddhist monks tent and had a look at the Tibetan handicrafts. The jewellery was beautiful. The hand-painted silk dresses and skirts were stunning too. Unfortunately, I missed a special Tibetan ceremony performed by the monks: the Tibetan Sand Mandala.
"Eight monks from the Sed-Gyued Institute of Buddhist Studies will take up residency at the festival as part of a five-week stay in Ontario, sponsored by the festival. The institute is associated directly with the Dalai Lama.
Speaking of creativity, I visited a henna artist's tent and after some thought and extra cajoling from my husband, I decided to have a arabesque design painted on my hand. I think the design is beautiful and I could not stop admiring it all evening. Don't laugh. I have no intention of ever getting a tattoo, so this is as close it it gets. Besides I have always liked mehndi on Indian woman's hands and feet from years ago, long before it ever became popular.
If you haven't had enough of Hillside yet and you want to learn more and see more photos, have a look at Blog Guelph.