A kite in the summer sky is usually a delightful sight and for one kite builder, kites are his creative outlet.
Scott Hampton, a kite builder from Utah, said he travels to kite festivals around the world, but this weekend was his first time taking in the ImaginAIR Festival in Dieppe, N.B.
“I got into it as an adult flying sport kites, or stunt kites,” he said. “Then I went to a festival like this and I saw kite artists, people making their own kites, and right away I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to create my own designs.”
The festival returned to Dieppe from Friday to Sunday, held for the first time since it was grounded by COVID-19 restrictions, according to organizers.
Standing in the designated kite field at Dover Park on Sunday, Hampton said building and flying kites is a fun and affordable hobby.
He builds his creations and hand-paints his creations.
“Kites aren’t really recognized as flying art but it’s coming around,” said Hampton. “It’s a creative outlet for a lot of us so we’re all kind of learning how to become artists using kites as our medium.”
Michel Mauguin is also a longtime kite enthusiast. He traveled from France to attend the festival, and said he has been making kites for 30 years.
Mauguin was first drawn to the diversity of kites from around the world.
“Each day you meet somebody who makes something totally different from what you had in mind,” he said.
Mauguin said he initially builds a kite for his own amusement and sense of accomplishment but when it’s time to fly it, it becomes about the smiles it generates, and the people he meets.
“I’m not a rich man but I know kite flyers everywhere,” he said.
According to Jonathan Desroches, an organizer of the festival for the city of Dieppe, the festival had over 50 kites from across North America, and Mauguin’s kites, from France.
He said this is the festival’s 16th year, though it was formerly known as the International Kite Festival. It was first inspired by the large international kite festival held in Dieppe, France.
Desroches said there are many types of kites involved, including inflatables, trick kites, and even choreographed kites flown by the Windjammer kite team.
“I think it just brings you back to your youth, just to think of something flying far away, but on a much bigger scale,” he said.
Read the full article here