Worship and the Arts Festival Welcomes Brian Doerksen, Carolyn Weber and more

David Festival logo

PORT PERRY, ONT.– (CANADIAN CHRISTIAN NEWS SERVICE)–Last year, 50 churches were represented at the David Festival, a Port Perry, Ont., based worship and the arts festival that continues to grow. For the 2015 festival, there are even more workshops and highly skilled presenters known around the world – including well known Canadian worship leader Brian Doerksen and his band The Shiyr Poets.

The David Festival – run by a volunteer board of local church representatives passionate about the arts – will take place on the weekend of April 10-12, and the following weekend April 17-19, spanning Port Perry, Uxbridge and Leaskdale – small towns in Ontario, located approximately one hour northeast of Toronto.

The “small town” feel of the Festival is part of its genius, say organizers. The festival is small enough that it is reasonably priced and accessible to the Christian community who might not want to drive into Toronto for a larger, busier conference.

Brian Doerksen will lead the worship band workshop this year. “Doerksen’s songs are sung in churches around the world,” says Bev Foster, coordinator of the worship band weekend. “He is a highly accomplished global leader in worship music. The worship bands and individuals who come to the worship band workshops will have an opportunity few others have, to work closely and learn from one of the best in the world.”

Choral, writing, drama and visual arts workshops complete the David Festival offerings. Award-winning Canadian author Carolyn Weber, author of acclaimed books Surprised by Oxford and Holy is the Day will teach both beginning and professional writers the art of writing memoir. Dr. Lee Willingham, professor at Laurier University, and director of the Laurier Center for Music in the Community, will work with church choirs to teach them new skills and expand their repertoire. A drama workshop will focus on adults and youth with Jenny Boot, director of creative ministries at The People’s Church, Toronto, presenting along with a slate of other clinicians.

A Visual Arts workshop features a panel of experts exploring why worship spaces could and should be beautiful – and how those spaces can be improved. Participants are even encouraged to send in digital images of their worship spaces in need of refreshing and the experts – an artist, a decorator and a theologian/carpenter – will weigh in with practical ideas.

“We’ve been amazed ourselves at how the David Festival has grown since we began it in 2008,” says Foster. “Even though our focus remains on equipping local churches and individuals, we are seeing participants coming from further and further away as they discover this unique, affordable and hands-on workshop experience right here.” Visit davidfestival.ca for more information and the history of this unique festival.


Bev Foster
Port Perry, Ontario