Big Up the Arts: Gospel Oak community cafe hosts creative festival

Mother Canteen team

Mother Canteen is hosting an arts festival with activities for all ages - Credit: Oliver Holms

A Gospel Oak community cafe is hosting an arts festival showcasing up-and-coming artists and performers.

Mother Canteen has programmed Big Up the Arts Festival as part of Camden Together 2021 to bring "new creative experiences" to the local community.

The festival includes children's crafting sessions, slam poetry and a cream tea for over 65s.

Cafe founder Chris Ilankovan said the pandemic has hit the arts industry "really hard".

Chris said: "Both those working as artists and performers as well as the local communities that nurtured them, with growing boredom and loneliness.

"We are all starving for joy and fun and connection.

"What better way than through food and the arts?"

Mother Canteen

The community café serves up 'flavours from around the world' alongside cake and coffee - Credit: Oliver Holms

The organisers said the events are being staged in Mother’s courtyard, otherwise known as its urban amphitheatre, to make them as Covid-safe as possible. 

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Big Up the Arts Festival is running from August 14 to the October 30. Events include a carnival at Mother on Saturday (August 28) and a Pride event on September 11).

Full details of events can be found at