Like many great ideas do, the one for the Breaking Waves Festival in Freeport, Digby County, started out years with a bunch of people sitting in a kitchen when someone pondered the ‘What if?’ question.
What if we had a music festival?
And then the brainstorming began. Break-a-rama? Freeport Fun Days? But nothing really clicked until someone came up with the idea of Breaking Waves – a name inspired by the sea.
Since then, things have evolved and grown into what is the annual Breaking Waves Music and Film Festival, which is being held this year Aug. 1 to Aug. 4.
“We’re super excited as usual. There’s about 700 people on the two islands, and we get about 550 people coming to this event,” says Rick Wallace, an organizer of the festival. “That’s not the whole islands. There’s a lot of people visiting relatives, people coming back for the summer, some tourists.”
Wallace says once again there is a great lineup for the festival.
Thursday, Aug. 1 features a Gala Opening at Art Gallery 217 in Freeport from 7-11 p.m. where people can enjoy a showcase of art from the Islands and Digby Neck. There will also be musical entertainment and a cash bar.
Friday, Aug. 2 features the Film Festival from 7-9 p.m. at the Tiverton Community Hall where people will have the opportunity to view the winners in three categories of short film that are two minutes or less. There were over 700 film entries this year, most of which were international. The festival continues to push for more local entries each year.
At 9 p.m. on Aug. 2 there is also a kick-off party at the Freeport Legion with The Tony and Lenny Show. The cost is $2 for members and $5 for guests.
Saturday, Aug. 3 features a full day of activities at the Freeport Ballfield from 12-8 p.m. There will be a kids zone, food vendors, beer tent, washers tournament, after-hours jam session and more. All-day passes will be sold at $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
“It’s just a fun weekend here in Natal Day Freeport,” says Wallace.
Asked if this festival is still a work in progress, Wallace notes this is the fourth season and it continues to be a work in progress.
“Surely as time’s gone on things have become easier. We know the routine about getting insurance, about getting permits, about setting things up, we know the logistics of it,” he says. “Each year is slightly different because you’ve got to rope in a whole bunch of volunteers from the community. The bands are different every year. Some things have expanded. The first year we basically had just the music. The second year was music and film. The third year was music, film and art.
“I think it’s reached a place where there is a certain level of sustainability to it as well,” he adds. “It costs roughly $14,000 to put on this festival and we try to get it back at the door, from some level of grants, beer garden, that kind of stuff. That’s always a challenge, how to make a festival viable and not lose too much money in a small, rural Nova Scotia community.”
One area where people won’t be too challenged is getting here, even though there are ferries involved.
“From the end of the Digby Neck to the island it runs on the half hour, so that would be 9:30, 10:30. But that weekend it will be going back and forth so I wouldn’t really worry about it.”
And so as the festival nears, yes, they’re excited, Wallace says.
But they’re also tired.
“There is a lot of work to do every year,” he says.
VIEW SOME OF THE PREVIOUS FILM SHORT WINNERS FROM PAST YEARS: