Meet One of Our Sponsors: Wegmans

By Kelly Sabetta

Wegmans, another sponsor who continues to support the Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, will be in attendance throughout this year’s three-day event. Sharing similar core values as the Festival, Wegmans believes in making a difference, as well as making personal connections, with the community. We conducted an interview with Rob Emling, Merchandising Area Manager of Canandaigua, and here is what he had to say about being a part of this year’s Festival.

What inspires your company each day?

Providing the best incredible customer service, helping our customers and employees lead healthier better lives and giving our employees the tools to learn and grow.

What would you like others to know about your company that they may not know?

We have a strong commitment to the community and to helping make it stronger. We have participated in this event for a number of years, and also partner with other local businesses/agencies. We have and will continue to partner with the YMCA on helping their folks live healthier, better lives.

What made you want to be involved in this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival?

This event falls right in line with our core values. Specifically, sponsoring this event provides us with a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in the Canandaigua community

What do you feel your company can bring to this year’s festival?

I know that we can educate the attendees on the items that we will be offering. These, like all of the products that we offer, are high-quality items at a great value.

What would you like attendees to learn about your company?

Over the 3 days, attendees will meet a sampling of our 580 employees. They will see many of our values in action (caring, respect, and high standards). These values are exhibited by each of our employees daily.

Why do you feel it is important to support an event such as this?

As I said above, one of Wegmans’ core values is making a difference in our community. A big part of making a difference is more than making a monetary donation; it’s going out and making a connection with the community. We know that we will get the opportunity to connect with a number of folks during this event.

How do you feel the festival will benefit the community?

The amount of traffic that this event will bring in will make a significant economic impact to this community. It will help the Canandaigua BID continue to support many of the businesses and shops in the community.

For attendees, what do you hope they will experience while at the festival?

From us specifically, I hope that they will have fun and learn about a number of the products that we are proud to offer our customers everyday.

For more information about Wegmans, please visit their Web site,

Meet One of Our Sponsors: Comfort Window & Door Company

By Kelly Sabetta

Comfort Window & Door Company is another sponsor who is supporting this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival. We conducted an interview with Dan Culhane, Sales Manager of the Rochester office, and here is what he had to say about Comfort Window & Door Company, and their participation in the community and Festival.

Tell me a bit about your company. What products/services do you provide to the community?

Comfort Window & Door Company was founded in Central New York 32 years ago, and has grown into Upstate New York’s premier home improvement company. In addition to manufacturing and installing our own windows, Comfort offers a wide array of other high-quality home improvements. Comfort installs Sunrooms, Basement Remodeling Systems, Entry and Storm Doors, Siding, Trim and Exterior Accessories such as Shutters, Gutters and Moldings.

What inspires your company each day?

We are inspired by our customer’s visions. Everyday we make our customers’ dreams a reality. From design consultations to product selections and all the way through the final finishing touches, our customers can see their dreams come true every step of the way.  That’s what inspires us. We work hard for our customers and their appreciation is our reward.

What would you like others to know about your company that they may not know?

Many people know our song and our jingle, and that we are known as a Window & Door company.  What people may not be aware of are all the other home improvements we provide. Our Web site walks a prospective client through all of our different categories. Each one is highlighted by a short video to help our clients understand more about what we do and, most importantly, how we do it. Something else that people may not be aware about it that we are also a BPI Certified, Lead Safe Renovator. The benefits that come from these certifications provide consumers with low interest loans, great discounts and subsidies that you won’t find with other companies. There are lots of home improvement companies out there, but we have systems and procedures in place to create a unique way of doing things—that gives our customers a very high level of trust in our system. Our customers rest assured, knowing that we deliver what we promise exceptionally, with the highest attention to every detail.  It is by this principle approach that Comfort has become “The Name You Know and The People You Trust.” It’s not just a slogan; it’s our way of doing business.

What made you want to be involved in this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival?

We have been involved in the past with the festival. The Canandaigua Arts and Music Festival is a great way for Comfort to support the local Communities in which we do business. We are proud to support all the musicians and artists that the festival highlights. Being involved in events like this gives Comfort the opportunity to be involved in the community. We often hear from passers-by, “Hey! We love our new windows!” It’s always exciting to meet neighbors who may be interested in learning more about our products and services.

What do you feel your company can bring to this year’s festival?

We have an 18 ft trailer that highlights all of our remodeling products. Whether someone is looking for siding, a sunroom, a basement remodel, a bay window or a door, it’s on display in our trailer. Our trailer is a state-of-the-art mobile showroom. We are excited to show and display all of our great products to our neighbors in Canandaigua and the surrounding areas.

What would you like attendees to learn about your company?

Comfort is a local manufacturer and installer of high quality windows. When you do business with Comfort you are supporting our local economy on a very broad scale, from local manufacturing to highly skilled installers driven to deliver quality every time. We also want people to know that our advice and consultations are always free and without obligation. Our belief is that if we educate enough homeowners about our products and services, we will earn their trust. The majority of our business comes from referrals from people that have already trusted us to work on their homes.

Why do you feel it is important to support an event such as this?

It is a privilege for Comfort Windows & Doors to show our proud support of the Canandaigua Business Community. Many residents of the Canandaigua area have already improved their houses through Comfort. We feel like this is our chance to give back to such a vibrant community and show our appreciation for giving us the opportunity to serve local residents.

How do you feel the festival will benefit the community?

The festival attracts people from all over the area. It encourages visitors to experience the culture of the Canandaigua Business Community. Main Street Canandaigua is a charming district with a diverse offering of goods and services. We are excited to be a part of the hustle and bustle of historic downtown Canandaigua.

For attendees, what do you hope they will experience while at the festival?

We hope all attendees enjoy the warmth and character of downtown Canandaigua. It’s a great event for children of all ages and there’s something there for everyone. I have been to the festival over the past several years with my family, and I can truly say that it is the nicest outdoor family event around. I look forward to attending as a visitor and as a business sponsor every year.

For more information about Comfort Window & Door Company, please visit their Web site,

Kenneth Faunchman Creates 3-D Sceneries of Underwater Life

By Kelly Sabetta

Kenneth Faunchman, a Fine Artist from Buford, GA, produces one-of-a-kind art that highlights aquatic sceneries. An oil-painter, Kenneth uses brush work to create nautical pieces, underwater scenes, tropical fish, and more. His work is different from other painters, in that his work is 3-Dimensional, and viewers must wear glasses to get the full effect of his creations.

“It took me seven years to develop the idea of 3-D art,” said Kenneth, who receives rave reviews about the 3-D qualities in his work, beautiful turquoise colors, and concepts with underwater life.

Kenneth has always been interested in fish and water, and rightfully so, as he grew up in a family full of fisherman from Nova Scotia. His wife, too, comes from a family of lobster fisherman. Inspired by both family histories, Kenneth’s artwork reflects his upbringing and early history. “All of my paintings have water in them, including lakes and ocean scenes,” he said.

Kenneth has been an artist since he could remember. When he was a young child he was interested in art and crafts, and as he grew older he took courses in school. “I don’t remember not being passionate about art,” said Kenneth. “I’ve been doing this professionally for 38 years now; it’s a full-time occupation for me.”

Kenneth’s work is sold and distributed throughout the country, as well as internationally for the past 28 years. Sold throughout the United States, Germany, Japan, Guam, and England, Kenneth has had his work featured in numerous galleries and museums.

“I’m proud of my work,” said Kenneth. “I’ve dedicated my life, heart, and soul into my artwork.”

Attending the Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, people can expect to experience his 3-D sceneries and his dedication and passion for what he does. “They’ll see something totally unique,” said Kenneth. “Some people feel as if they are walking into an aquarium. I’ll also have 3-D glasses at shows so people can see the work.”

For more information about Kenneth and his 3-D work, visit his Web site,, and visit his booth at this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, Friday, June 16th through Sunday, June 18th.

Michael Smith Captures Details of History, Every-Day Life

By Kelly Sabetta

Michael Smith is a Pen and Ink Illustrator who is known for his extremely detailed images of nature, local and regional buildings, and landmarks. Among his drawings are local scenes, high schools, colleges and universities, historical landmarks, nostalgic material, and much more.

Michael, who was drawn to Pen and Ink during his high school years, first became introduced to the medium as a class project. “It was something I never experienced before,” said Michael. “It was back when we had a quill pen and ink, and you could experience the quality and get in to great detail.”

Always passionate about drawing since he was a young child, and always interested in highly-detailed work growing up, Michael continued practicing Pen and Ink throughout college. In college, Michael studied and graduated with experience in fine arts, illustration, and graphic design. This allows him to incorporate text into his artwork, such as logos, names of buildings, and landmarks.

With more than 20 years experience behind him now, Michael continues to be inspired by local and regional sites. “I work mostly from photos,” Michael said. “I often take a camera with me on trips for reference material. I’ll ride my bike around and get the best angles.”

Using photos as a reference point, the time to complete a project varies, based on the size of the canvas and scope of the project. “Trees take a long time. When I draw grass, I will draw individual blades of grass,” Michael continued. “The average time it takes to complete a project is approximately 35 hours.”

Michael has his work featured in 25 shows per year throughout New York State and Pennsylvania. He first began showcasing his work with the Canandaigua Art Festival 15 years ago. “It’s a nice festival,” he said. “It’s a different kind of festival, with a mix of store fronts and artists.”

Throughout his experience as an artist, Michael continues to receive praise for his work. “I’ve been around for about 20 years, so many people know my work. I have a lot of return customers. For people who are new to my work, they’ll notice it’s something that is very subject oriented,” he said. “I’m not a scenery painter. I am more of an illustrator, illustrating actual scenes. People who respond to highly-detailed work, not to mention, subject matter, I think will connect with what I offer.”

You can view Michaels work on his Web site,, or by visiting his booth at this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, Friday, June 16th through Sunday, June 18th.

The Dixie Kats: A Traditional American Dixieland Band

By Kelly Sabetta

The Dixie Kats, centered around Ithica, NY, is best known as a concert, show, and dance band who play a variety of traditional Dixieland and Bayou Gumbo. Band members include David Plaine (leader, alto, baritone sax), Casey McDonald (vocals, trumpet), Dave Richman (vocals, guitar, banjo), Peter Forlano (clarinet, tenor sax), Bob Fisher (trumpet, flugel horn), Dana Paul (upright and electric bass), and Mark Sammo (vocals, electronic drums, percussion).

We spoke with Mark to learn more about the Dixie Kats, and to share with you their passion for the music they play and what you can expect to see from them from during their performance at this year’s Festival.

When was the exact moment you realized you and your band mates wanted to be musical artists?

We have a combined musical history of about 250 years. 🙂

What sparked that passion?

I am sure for each one of us the passions we feel about playing music in this and many other contexts, are highly individualized and perhaps very personal. Yet there is something that happens when everyone of the players in a musical group slips into the “zone” and there is no longer an “I,” simply a “We”… perhaps Dixieland music with the wonderful horn weaves is one of the places where the audience gets to really become a part of that “We” and join the musicians for a moment in the wonder of musical communion.

When did you first start pursuing your passion/career?

We are all, for the most part in our mid 50s to early 60s and most of us began on our instruments in grade school and stayed with it up until the present. Music just is a part of who we each are and have been for most of our lives.

How would you describe your music?

We each bring a rich musical history playing many styles of music to the DixieKats, Dixieland band. Dixieland music is a true American Tradition. The history of Dixieland is a rich and intricate weaving of cultures and musical styles. The DixieKats have taken this rich American Tradition and incorporated both traditional and newer rhythmic styles of gumbo and Cajun and jazz funk into a varied and exciting program for listening and dancing pleasure.

Where is your music being featured and sold?

Our music is available on CD for purchase at our concerts or by order placing an order on our Web site. Additionally, the Web site hosts representative samples of our music in MP3, and some of our videos can be found on YouTube with links to higher quality videos, or from links on Facebook.

What feedback have you received from showcasing your music and performances?

We have become regional favorites in many of the regions premier summer outside concert venues. We were asked to play for the 2009 Centennial Celebration of the Milton Hershey School and Park at the Sports Arena in Hershey, PA, and were recently invited to head line at the Festival of the Flowers in Medellin Columbia in South America. This year we will be playing at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, NY. We are quite interested in making a tour of Europe and South East Asia and hope to in the near future.

What has inspired you the most and why?

The rich musical history of America from early blues and African influences through to modern jazz and the arrival of rock n roll in the early ’50s through to today. Music is like breathing, like walking, like running, like flying and each type of music offers something unique to the celebration of simply being alive… even if it is some of the saddest or happiest music on the planet, Dixieland music incorporates musical styles from many different American traditions and roots music from all over the world.

What projects are you currently working on?

We continue to investigate putting together a tour of Europe and South East Asia. We are beginning to work on a new CD with will likely be called, “The DixieKats Play Traditional” as it will highlight many of our more traditional Dixieland music offerings.

What do you feel you will bring to the Canandaigua Arts and Music Festival?

We feel that with every musical outing we bring seven dedicated musicians and entertainers who can get an audience moving even in a nursing home! We have one very talented singer and entertainer who can take over the stage and audience with an all out performance. This is Casey “Max” McDonald. “Max” is short hand for “Maximum all out performance and entertainment.” He really gets things cookin’.

What should attendees expect to see from your performance at this year’s Festival?

One very hot show!

What’s one thing that you’d like people to know about you, that they may not already know?

We love kittens and small furry animals 🙂

To hear the Traditional American sound of the Dixie Kats, you can visit their Web site,, or experience them live on Saturday, July 17th, 3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., on the Time Warner Stage.