Kite flyers, builders enjoy artistry and community at Dieppe festival | RiseNB

Kite flyers, builders enjoy artistry and community at Dieppe festival

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.”

The skies above Dover Park in Dieppe, N.B., were filled with colour on Sunday, with kites of various sizes and shapes being flown. (Alexandre Silberman/CBC)

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.

A man in dark cargo pants and a colourful-patterned shirt in dark colours with light grey and beige holds up a colourful kite that looks like a wasp in one hand, and a white and black kite with colourful elements in the other.
Michel Mauguin, from Paris, France, shows off some of his kite creations. (Alexandre Silberman/CBC)

“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.

A man with short light brown hair and short beard wearing a short-sleeve black polo shirt stands in a field with a colourful kite sitting on the ground to the left of the photo.
Jonathan Desroches, a community officer with the city of Dieppe, said this year’s festival had over 50 kites. (Alexandre Silberman/CBC)

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.

A shot of a blue sky with fluffy clouds, and various colourful kites being flown, including one that appears to be an inflatable figure shaped like a scuba diver in a black scuba suit and red flippers.
Many kites were in flight over Dover Park in Dieppe, N.B., on Sunday despite the occasionally gusty winds. (Alexandre Silberman/CBC)

“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.

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