There's so much happening in Barton Village this summer, and one of the most exciting things is the Business Out of the Box project! Have you had a chance to turn out this retired shipping container turned retail space yet? It's a sight to behold even when closed thanks to the gorgeous exterior mural by Kayla Whitney at KOE Design, and its doors open up to reveal an equally beautiful selection of handmade goods by local makers.
Business Out of the Box began as a collaborative effort between YWCA Hamilton, McMaster University's Office of Community Engagement, and the City of Hamilton, with funding from the Trillium Foundation. Along the way, they brought on additional community partners to help shape the vision: LeafBox Concepts provided the shipping container and supervised the building process, and St. Matthew's House provided a location for the project. With support from the YWCA, thirteen local women -- makers and entrepreneurs in various stages of developing their own businesses -- came together to the form the Women's Entrepreneur Collective and collaboratively manage the space. The shop is stocked with handmade goodies from jewellery to stationery to essential oils to gourmet popcorn, and members of the collective take turns staffing it each day.
We'll be profiling some of the makers featured at Business Out of the Box throughout the summer, so stay tuned!
On Saturday, June 1, Barton Village Festival celebrated its fifth year, and we can't believe how much this little festival has grown! This year's fest drew the biggest crowd yet, in a shorter time than ever since sadly we were forced to shut down early due to thunderstorms. We were gutted to have to cancel the headlining performance from Hamilton critical darlings Ellevator on the main stage, but we're so happy that we'll get another chance to catch them at Supercrawl this year!
Although the weather didn't quite hold out, most of the day was absolutely gorgeous, with sunny skies and not-too-hot temps, perfect for the Community Cup soccer tournament in Woodlands Park brought to you by our awesome community partners Empowerment Squared.
Parks were the theme of the day: in addition to the all-day activities at Woodlands, our friends at Green Street Challenge and Green Venture gave us beautiful pop-up green spaces to gather, play, and rest on Barton Street. We also had a mobile skate park and an on-street basketball court -- just a few of the community interventions we hosted as a hub for 100 in 1 Day, an international day of action celebrating active citizenship, community, and sustainability.
This year we had more vendors than ever (over 80!), a mix of local makers and independent businesses, community service providers, green initiatives, amazing food trucks, and more. But our favourite part of the festival was how many of our BIA members got involved. We felt the love from the very start, with Rumor's Safety handing out gloves to workers laying sod for the pop-up park, Diamantino's staff helping vendors set up their tents, and Helping Hands handing out coffee and cookies. Stores and restaurants hosted outdoor barbecues, pop-up patios, performers, artists, vendors, activities, and more! Duarte's smartly made more homemade burgers for their on-street barbecue this year after selling out last year, O Cantinho served up their famous chicken, Fragoso hosted a barbecue, and newcomers Tasco Da Chico roasted a whole pig!
We loved the pop-up shops and performances at Hello Baked, Lotus and the Bee, Stir It Up, Sage and Sapling, and Emerald Coffee; the perfect patios at Crumbled and Mosaic; the karaoke booth that new tattoo shop Smokey Bandits set up for their grand opening; Suru Studio leading free on-street yoga; the fill-a-food-truck drive at St. Matthew's House; sidewalk sales at St. Vincent De Paul Value Store, Rumor's, Canadian Variety, InterTech Electronics, DL Salon and more. And most of all we loved to see Barton businesses lending a hand, collaborating with each other and other local creatives to bring so much love and community to the festival!
We had three stages of music and activities all day, with free fitness classes and workshops, incredible performances from Earth Wind & Choir, Hammer City Samba, Jacob Moon, Mimi O'Bonsawin, The Beelays, Shanika Maria and more, and a stilt walker parade from the amazingly talented Hamilton Aerial Group!
We're so thankful to all of the sponsors, community partners, volunteers, BIA members, and festival-goers who make Barton Village Festival such a great event. We're already gearing up for next year's festival, so stay tuned (and drop us a line if you want to get involved!)
Lately we've been thinking about ways to celebrate the storied history of Barton Village, so we were absolutely delighted when our friends at Surprise! Hamilton came to us with an amazing idea for a collaborative project to help shine a light on the contributions that Hamilton -- and specifically the Barton Village area -- made to our country during both World Wars. The Barton Village Remembers project is an interactive installation that will combine craft and history, with wreaths of crocheted poppies and forget-me-nots marking significant places of historical interest and placards telling the stories of Barton Village's wartime history. We're so excited to unveil the project on November 1 during our Barton First Friday festivities with a tour of the sites that comprise the installation, which will remain up throughout November.
Members of Surprise! Hamilton have been hard at work crocheting flowers, and they'd love your help! They'll be set up with supplies at The River Trading Co. from 4 PM on for the next three Barton First Fridays -- come out and join the craft jam and lend a hand! If you're unable to join in person, you can also help by crocheting poppies or forget-me-nots on your own time! Christina of Surprise! Hamilton has provided links to the patterns they've been using:
The poppy pattern can be found on Marie Koeck's blog, and the forget-me-not pattern can be found on Ravelry.
We here at Barton Village are working on the research side of things, and we'd love your help there too! If you have family stories or historical resources to share, or if you'd like to join our archival research team as we dig into our neighbourhood's history, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on our website to get in touch.
Stay tuned for updates as this exciting project comes together!
We're so excited to welcome our newest Barton Village business to the neighbourhood! Retro Rat Vintage just opened its doors at 561 Barton Street East (formerly the House of Penney), and it is chock full of gems from the 1950s through the 1990s.
Retro Rat Vintage owner Rachelle Lake poses with sweet store mascot Mochi and a gorgeous selection of vintage dresses
A recent transplant to Hamilton, owner Rachelle Lake is a vintage industry veteran, and her picking skills have yielded an incredibly curated selection of vintage clothes and treasures (we're especially in love with the gorgeous, colourful dresses and amazing selection of vintage tees!). When the owner of the store she was managing decided to close the business, she decided that it was finally time to do her own thing...and we're so glad she did!
Retro Rat Vintage is celebrating its Grand Opening this Saturday, June 15, from 11 AM to 7 PM. Come out and welcome Rachelle and her sweet pup Mochi to Barton Village, and get all set up with some new summer looks!
Hi, Barton Villagers!
With so much cool stuff happening on our little stretch of Barton these days, we thought it was about time we start a Barton Village blog: a place to stay connected, to find out about events happening in the area, to learn more about all the great businesses and service providers Barton Village has to offer, and to explore the history of the neighbourhood, which, with its proximity to industry, was once the bustling centre of Hamilton's economy. Our great city has changed dramatically over time, and Barton Village is no exception. Although the loss of industry ushered in a difficult era for Barton Village, this neighourhood has never lost its strong sense of community or its Hamiltonian pride. Here at the Barton Village BIA, our mission is to support local businesses and communities, to bring people together through community events and initiatives, and to bolster community pride through beautification efforts -- and we couldn't do it without YOU!
Stay tuned to this space for updates, and drop us a line if there's a business, event, community member, or initiative you'd like to see featured here.