Monday, December 4, 2023

Critics’ Picks: 5 Events to Check Out This September

As summer winds down, events in Hamilton are continuing to heat up. The weather makes it possible for both outdoor and indoor events to occur, meaning there’s no shortage of things to do. This month offers some of the best options of the year for music, art and more- our favourites are below.

For more details on what’s happening in and around Hamilton this month and other great shows to check out, stay up to date with our full event calendar


James Street will once again shut down to traffic for the September 10-11 weekend in favour of vendors, food trucks, art installations, stages and more. Music has always been one of the primary draws of the free festival, and this year is no exception, with headliners Tim Baker, The Dirty Nil, Hamilton All-Stars, Sarah Harmer, Lido Pimienta, and Charlotte Day Wilson. Local theatre artists, dancers and authors will also have an opportunity to shine, in addition to fashion showcases with a number of local artists, including Dope Chief, and a drag extravaganza by Sapphyre Poison, who was a smash hit at last year’s Supercrawl at Bayfront Park festival.

With A Twist Fall Night Market 

The Cotton Factory opens its doors on the evening of September 17 for a night of shopping, food, drinks, live music, film and entertainment. The eclectic evening promises over forty vendors, including Hamilton favourites Puddicombe Estates and Winery, West Avenue Cider, Come Back Snacks and Nellie James. Advanced tickets are $10, with the evening kicking off at 5pm. In addition to open artist studios for tours and exhibitions, at 8pm, writer-in-residence Anna Chatterton reads from her original play, Cowgirl Up

Livelab Hybrid Concert Series: Alex Whorms

Local indie-pop musician Alex Whorms finally performs at McMaster University’s LIVELab– and this time, her band is coming with her. Originally scheduled for earlier this year (and subsequently cancelled due to the pandemic), the 2019 recipient of the Hamilton Arts Award for Emerging Artist (Music) offers a solo concert on September 23 at 7:30pm that will be available both in-person and online. As the goal of the LIVELab is to bring together science and the arts, audience members will have the option to participate in an audience experience study, while post-concert, Doctoral Research Fellow (and musician) Dana Swarbrick will be present to present a “Science Snapshot.” 

Contemporary Art Bus Tour 

Once upon a time, Art Buses were a regular occurrence in Hamilton, bringing art lovers to different galleries for openings, meet-and-greets and guided tours. On the afternoon of September 24, the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre has partnered with Hamilton Artists Inc., McMaster Museum of Art and the Art Gallery of Burlington to offer forty-minute guided tours of each gallery before eager visitors hop on a bus to travel to the next location. The tours and travel by bus are provided free of charge, and each gallery is accessible; however, pre-registration is limited and required to participate. 

Gemma Conducts Rachmaninoff (Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra)

Following her debut just three weeks ago as Principal Conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic’s Music Director Gemma New returns to the city on September 24 to lead her eighth season with the Orchestra. The concert is a series of celebrations, as American pianist Daniel Hsu makes his debut with the HPO and local composer Abigail Richardson-Schulte, who marks ten years this season as the Orchestra’s Composer-in-Residence. During their opening night, the HPO will present the world premiere of Richardson-Schulte’s The Path Illuminates. For those not yet ready to attend in person, the HPO will also make the concert available for online streaming.

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