Friday, June 16 & Saturday, June 17 2023

A multi-arts story in motion is taking place at Kingston Mills!

Large-Scale Art – Circus – Music – Giant Puppets

HYDRA encourages a melding of disciplines; visual art, performance art, and community art which mutually reinforces the need to give back and honour the spirit of water. The presentation of HYDRA will consist of a series of floating art pieces that tell a story through visual and performing arts. It is an inclusive and accessible community gathering.

Where previous Calliope shows have encouraged an exploration of participants’ relationship to the land by connecting with the changing of the Seasons; HYDRA: The Spirit of Water is a cavalcade of contemporary artworks, visualizations, and soundscapes inspired by our connection to water. It aims to transform a familiar space and the ways in which people interact within and in relation to each other within that space.



Meet the artists involved in Hydra 2023!


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Note: This list of questions and answers is a work in progress! Reach out if you have additional questions.

What happens if there’s bad weather?

We’re hoping the skies will be clear on Friday and Saturday night for Hydra to go ahead as planned!
However, if we do see heavy rain/thunderstorms in the forecast tomorrow, we will make the call by early afternoon the same day to announce any cancellations. If either show is cancelled, we are arranging to offer a rain date on Sunday (18th). More details to come.

How do I get there?
The Kingston Mills Locks can be accessed by bike, car (see below for parking), and bus/trolley. See Kingston Mills on Google Maps. Visit our Getting There section for bus and trolley options from downtown Kingston.

Where can I park?
Parking along Kingston Mills Road is permitted, but we suggest parking at the Montreal Street Park and Ride at the 401 and then taking the shuttle (see Getting There).

How much does it cost to attend?
The event is free, though donations to the Calliope Collective are always appreciated!

Is the space accessible?
We will have an area for accessible seating. Please contact us to arrange prior to the show (info@calliopecollective.com). Accessible parking spaces are available.

What should I bring?
Bring a water bottle. You may also wish to bring bug spray and a sweater — it can get cooler and buggy as dusk falls.
The venue does not have seating, so if you are not comfortable standing for extended periods, we recommend bringing a picnic blanket or lawn chair.

Will there be food?
There will not. You are welcome to pack a picnic for yourself, but as we want to LEAVE NO TRACE, please keep disposable packaging to a minimum and be prepared to take any garbage/recycling home with you.

Are there washrooms?
Public washrooms, portables, and hand-washing stations will be accessible to everyone.

Can I bring my kids?
Yes! There will be activities before the show starts on site, beginning at 7pm.

Can I bring my dog?
If they are on a leash, it should be fine — as long as they are okay around other dogs and humans and don’t mind being exposed to loud sounds like trains and drums.

When does the show start?
We are at the mercy of the lock schedule, so the show itself will start somewhere around 7:30pm.

When does the show end?
We anticipate the show to be 90 minutes in length, although that is subject to change based on weather/wind conditions.

Who’s performing?
You can read all about our performers under Artists! To learn about each float, read the story of Hydra on our Program page.

Can I participate?
The community will be invited to a Song for the Waters at the opening of the show, which will be led by Norah Greatrix of Embodied Sacred Space. Before the show, you are invited to participate in our Community Art Installation sculpture — more details coming soon.

Are you still looking for volunteers?
We may be! Contact community@calliopecollective.com to inquire and see our Volunteer Registration Form for more details.

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Please note: The event site will not be accessible to the public before the event. This is for health and safety purposes, to ensure the site is prepared for a crowd and we ask that you not arrive before 6 if possible.

Click here to reserve Trolley seats through our Eventbrite page.


Parking along the edge of Kingston Mills Road will be permitted. You may need to walk a spell if you choose this option, depending on what time you arrive. Traffic officers will be onsite to help guide you and make the process easier. If you do drive, please consider carpooling.

We will also have a trolley/shuttle making runs from the Montreal Street Park And Ride at the 401 between 6 pm and 7 pm. Again, we encourage carpooling. This is an easily accessible parking location, especially for those attending from out of town and for those who don’t want the jaunt down Kingston Mills Road.

Please note that the small parking lot on-site at the lock station will be reserved for folks requiring accessibility parking, artists, safety/security, and crew.

If you require accessible parking or seating arranged in advance please contact us at info [at] calliopecollective [dot] com.


Calliope is thrilled to announce a partnership with Kingston Trolley to provide transportation from the Visitor Information Centre downtown! This will be by donation if that is something that is easy for you to do, and free if it’s not. Grab your spot on a trolley here.

BY BUS (it’s free!)

The 802 Kingston Transit bus has a stop at the park and ride at the 401 and Montreal Street, where you can catch the shuttle to the locks (aka the event site). Kingston Transit will be free on this route for show days, you just have to mention you’re coming to HYDRA to the driver.


Bicycle Parking will be available onsite. Note that the event goes until sunset and cyclists should be prepared to have appropriate lights for their journey home.

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Prints are for sale at the event for $65 with $10 from each print going to Calliope. The Artist (Meredith Luce of Luce Ends) receives the rest.

We rely on donations from our community to make the event accessible to as many folks as possible. We’ve arranged free transportation on Kingston Transit and a shuttle, along with a Trolley from downtown but we need your help to offset the cost. SO, we’re giving you the chance to support Calliope and access to HYDRA while owning a piece of incredible art! The first 20 folks who make a donation of $100 or more to Calliope will receive a limited edition linocut print of the original Hydra Poster Art + roundtrip transportation for two on the Trolley from Downtown Kingston to the Kingston Mills Lock Station for the run of your choice, and a prime spot to take in the show in comfort!

To claim your print and/or book your VIP seating email info@calliopecollective.com or make a donation here.


We’re still looking for helping hands! We have an active call for volunteers for June 13th to 18th.

Read more and sign up on our Volunteer Registration Form.

Questions? Email Emberly at community@calliopecollective.com

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Leading up to HYDRA 2023, we’ll be hosting two workshops: One with Jill Glatt and Emberly Doherty to create a community art piece, and another with Norah Greatrix who will lead community in a somatic sound ceremony to create a song for the waters, which will be performed on June 16th and 17th as part of HYDRA. We’ll also be a part of the activities at the Marine Museum in June – stay tuned for details.

Save the dates:

Song for the Waters with Embodied Sacred Space – May 27, 3:30 pm (rain date May 28) – Newlands Pavilion

Indigo Dyeing with Jill Glatt – June 3, 1-4pm, at McBurney (Skeleton) Park

Calliope with Swim Drink Fish – June 10 at Marine Museum

Read more on our Workshops page.

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