Killaloe – Eighteen Madawaska and Bonnechere valley artisans opened their studios to the public over the weekend for the annual Madawaska Valley Summer Studio Tour and the organizer of the event said the response to the event was very positive.

Tanya Lyons, who opened her glass-works studio n Killaloe for the tour, welcomed  more than 130 visitors during the two-day tour which was on par with last year’s visits. However, she noted the 2022 tour was held over three days, so the number of visitors was actually up this past weekend.

Ms. Lyons said many of the other artisans reported similar numbers, noting they added the summer tour to attract different visitors than the annual fall tour brings in.

“We get a lot of tourists and people here summer vacationing, so we had a lot of new people coming through as well as a lot of regular tour supporters that come through,” she said. “So it’s nice always to see repeat people who come back.”

There were five new studios on the tour and the feedback from a few of them is that they had good experiences.

“So that’s exciting,” she remarked.

She said the tour now features a lot of different materials, so it increases the diversity of what the visitors can see during their visits. 

“We have leather, ceramics, glass, metal, textiles and paintings,” she said. “It’s nice to have a very well-rounded tour.

Jessica Lin is a Toronto-based photographer and artist who moved to the Killaloe area with her husband, Norman, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Known for abstract landscape artwork, she was one of the 18 artists on last week-end’s summer studio tour.

Along with the 18 artisans who opened their studios, there were six guest artisans as well.

Ms. Lyons said visitors were buying as well as visiting, noting the weather co-operated well for the event. She stressed a big part of the tour is the fact the visitors can watch the artisans demonstrate their skills.

“Every artist has some kind of educational element to their tour experience, so they’re either doing demonstrations or have a tech display,” she explained. “On Saturday, I did 20 flame-working demonstrations and am basically on the torch flame-working all weekend.”

She said the fall tour is traditionally their larger tour as there are some studios in the Combermere area that don’t participate in the summer tour. This year the fall tour goes September 30 and October 1.