The 7th annual Focus Fair takes place December 13th/14th this year at The Spill in downtown Peterborough, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 13th and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 14th. Make this a handmade holiday—this year’s show features a wide variety of treasures, handcrafted by local artists, bakers, gardeners and crafters perfect for everyone on your shopping list! Be crafty, and head on down that weekend.
If you’re a live music fan in Peterborough, chances are that you know The Spill. For those who have yet to experience perhaps one of the city’s most unique intimate live music atmospheres, there is no better time than the present to take in a show!
Located at 414 George St N and owned by the ever charismatic Dave Tobey, The Spill has been a launching pad for many artists from local to international noise makers of various kinds for 10 years now. The term “noise makers” seems to fit because Dave says they’ve had everything from rock bands and pop acts to 17 piece blues orchestras and poets grace the renowned stage.
Dave says if you can fit your equipment through the doors, then you can put on any kind of show there! In owning The Spill, it is Dave’s desire to be a platform for art and culture to collide. The atmosphere is laid back and features artwork from far and wide, including quite a bit from the local community! With the only real unwritten rule being that you must be there for a good time and not to stir things up, Dave says that anything and everything can happen depending on the night of the week.
With such a wide range of talent able to take the stage almost at will, the experiences its patrons receive rarely duplicates. While being an events venue first, The Spill does offer some great food and beverage options for its customers who pack it on a regular basis. The Spill offers a fully stocked bar, featuring many local beers, homemade sweet tea, and what can be considered the best “dripbrew” coffee in the area.
They also specialize with an epic homemade salsa, hummus and pita which is to die for and incredibly simple but delicious hotpressed sandwiches. Dave and his staff absolutely love the history of Peterborough and the downtown core that they operate within. This can be seen immediately with the old High Tops sign that they proudly display on their wall. The Spill has become more than just a workplace for him, taking on a homey feeling that he is very proud of. His goal is to continue to be a place for anyone from Juno Award Winners to first time performers to be able to use at their will to play their music to the masses.
Over the years, The Spill has taken part in various community causes and is usually the backdrop for benefit shows. Habitat for Humanity has hosted benefit concerts there, and they also recently held a show for StopABully.ca. More recently, it has also been the backdrop for the local Focus Fair which showcases local artists. It can also be considered the unofficial home of the Peterborough Poetry Slam as well.
Dave and his staff invite you to come out for a night and check what many locals already have. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!
[UPDATED] Here's some photos of the Focus Fair at The Spill, which took place all weekend and included local artisans and bakers such as Jackson Creek Press, Lucky Jackson, Urban Tomato, Needle and Nest Design, Two Dishes Catering and a host of others.
The show starts at about 10:00 p.m. at The Spill, which is located at 414 George St. N. Make sure to check out these great indie acts.
Fyi, one of the members of Action Makes, Andrew Stoeten, is from Peterborough. So that gives you an extra reason to check them out if you're out and about this Friday.