Guest Report from Saint Honore
by Carlos Simoes
When was the last time you flew kites at an active airport? The 14the edition of this annual Quebec event is set at the Chicotimi-Saint-Honore Aerodrome Airport. Each year they feature a vintage, modern and military aircraft display, a carnival and interactive activities for the public, and of course,…. major kite flying demonstrations. Only one runway is left open for aircraft to take off and land while the rest is just for us to fly kites. It is such a cool feeling to be out flying kites when a Canadian Air-force F18 makes a few slow ground passes. It's so close and so amazing to see.
This event is all about the warmth of the people of Quebec. Everyone gets handshakes or hugs and of course double kisses from all the ladies! The community volunteers are fantastic and the backbone of this massive event. Each one of them makes us feel like we are at our home away from home.
St Honore features some of the best fliers from around the world. Of course that includes homegrown Canadian and American talent too! This year Germany and Spain & Italy were represented by Team Think Big, Team Chaos Kiters, Los Hermanos and Claudio Capelli.
Christian Laskowski and Alex Ruger of Team Think Big had some fun Zum Zum's, Bob The Builder and some funky sharks too! Walter and Stefan Bloem of Team Chaoskiters had super-hero bears and several fun French comic characters from Asterix. Pedro and Esteban Gonzlez of Los Hermanos brought some Red Devils and Chinese Opera Mask kites. Claudio Capelli is a master painter and flew several of his framed kites. They look like art on canvas floating in the sky! Amazing work!
Canada has its own well known kites artists like Robert Trepanier and Jacques Letourneau. Christine McGee is also a kite artist but it's her night flight set of banners and music that I will remember best. This year's night fly was second to none! Also featured were traditional appliqued kites by Michele Berube, Carl Bigras, Normand Girard, Andre Bernard, Dave Robinson and Rene Campeau. They flew some pretty incredible appliqued pieces! Of course my buddy Gary Mark and I were there with large and homemade kites as well. Quebec has a large group of quad and dual line flyers. Jean Lemire flying three stunt kites together is the perfect example! There is also a group of traction kiters that make camp on one of the closed runways. The homemade buggy with seating for four people was awesome! Sometimes you just have to sit back for a bit and take it all in!
The USA was also well represented with John Barressi and Steve DeRooy of iQuad. Two Kite historians, Thom Shanken and Meg Albers were there to flying their kites as was AKA award winner Kevin Reynolds and Don Tuff and Kim Linehan. .
You can't forget the fine hosts of this fine kite event. Special kiters liason, Henri Bouchard drove around in his little white golf cart told all weekend. He told a few jokes here and there, but most importantly made sure all was well. Brigitte Bussieres and Lucien Villeneuve are the husband and wife team that organize the event. Three days of flying and a perfect night fly, what more could you ask for? Thanks to all of the festival organizers and festival volunteers! It was my third trip to Saint Honore and it was the best yet!
Guest Reporter Carlos Simoes is co-designer of the GKPI SeaHorse. Order one in any size between now and July 20, and we'll take 20% off.
Actually, St Honore was full of GKPI Designers. Pedro and Estaban make our Devils and Masks, whilte Christian and Alex make the Zum Zum (which they call "Sum Sums". Looked like a great event this year with tons of kite talent!
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