DIY culture alive and well in K-W

Do-it-yourself culture is alive and well in Waterloo.

Photo by Jessica Dik
Photo by Jessica Dik

Do-it-yourself culture is alive and well in Waterloo.

From local artists selling their work to an in-house created community zine, DIYDAY showcased the diverse artists and writers that called Kitchener-Waterloo home. Taking place at Chainsaw on Nov. 1, this was the second year for the mixed-media event.

Marc Lecompte, owner of Princess Café and Cheeses Murphy, orgazined the event. For him, the day was a chance for the community to engage with artists and writers.

“It was a gathering of mostly local artists, just hanging out in one spot, showing the work they put their time into,” he said. “It’s people who are making art in our city, altogether at the same time and same place, which normally doesn’t happen.”

Lecompte said around 26 artists were in attendance at the event on Saturday.

Wandering around the various tables set up in the infamous Waterloo karaoke bar, visitors for the event could observe and purchase the work of local artists such as Jon “Bearface” Johnson, Ellie Anglin, Branko Vranic, Weird Canada, Perish Publishing and Roan Bateman, to name a few.

Lecompte stressed the important thing for him was “the vendors were happy and got to show what they do and sell their work to people.”

He said the response from the artists and attendees was positive.

“I spoke to multiple vendors and they said they got to interact with a number of different people [and] got to sell a lot more stuff then they were anticipating … it seemed really positive for them.”

DIYDAY also played host to experimental band Absolutely Free’s album release party.

“[We’ve been] close friends since 2002 — [we’re] both from Richmond Hill. When [Lecompte] was doing DIYDAY, he thought he would ask one of his friends’ bands,” said band member Matt King.

Coming off the release of their debut album in October, the band’s performance in Waterloo was their last before hitting the road for an extensive tour across the United States with Alvvays.

King was believed the “ethos” of the DIY culture was represented strongly at the event.

“This is a kind of community great for people who might have an alternative opinion from the status quo.”

“As far as the importance of supporting things, there are things happening in Waterloo and creating a community of alternative mindsets worth checking out,” said King.

Lecompte said hosting DIYDAY again was based largely on feedback from people last year. It is this mindset that Lecompte has when thinking about the event going into future years.

“I think that’s sort of what made me want to do it for a second time this year. It was good for the vendors, the bands and a fun and unique thing. People were excited and wanted to do it again, so that’s why we did it again.”


Leave a Reply