Mark Gowland hopes to bring people together in harmony and peace this month.
The 26-year-old Stoney Creek resident is holding a Midsummer Night’s Dream Colour Festival on Saturday, Aug. 18 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Gage Park.
Attendees will be able to buy coloured powder to throw into the air every hour until dark, glow-in-the-dark sticks to help create a giant peace sign and glow-in-the-dark body paints to wear for a concert at the festival, which also will include food, local musicians and merchants.
Twenty-five per cent of proceeds from the event will go to the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre. People also are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item.
“The purpose of the festival is to break down all barriers people have with each other,” said Gowland, adding the event is inspired by the Festival of Colors in India. “All colours, classes and creeds are wearing the same thing, coloured powder, enjoying each other’s company and are gathered at the same place to have a good time.”
During the annual Indian Holi Festival of Colors, people celebrate and hurl coloured powder at each other to celebrate peace and break down barriers.
Gowland said the peace sign will be captured from the air using a camera attached to a remote control helicopter.
“Basically, I just want to throw the most epic festival ever,” he said. “There’s always these kinds of illusions that make us separate, that give us an idea of separateness. We have to actually learn that we’re together in this life.”
Gowland, who’s dipping into his own pocket to put on the event, said he’s decided to take “one giant leap of faith” to try to bring a different kind of festival to Hamilton.
“Since I began planning and organizing the event, there have been times when I thought I was going to give up, but whenever those times hit, there was always some kind of sign to keep me going,” he said. “This event will be like nothing people have ever seen before and, hopefully, it’s going to be the most fun they’ll have this summer. I want this event to have such a vibration of peace that everyone who comes is actually transformed, even if just for a day.”
The Midsummer Night’s Dream Colour Festival will take place Saturday, Aug. 18, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Gage Park. An after-party will follow at Club Absinthe.
For more information on the festival, including a promotional video, visit Gowland’s company Facebook page, Pure Creation Institute.