REGINA -- This year marks the 29th annual Cathedral Village Arts Festival, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the week-long festival was held online.

The opening parade, music performances, vendor sales and art work was all shared on the website from Monday to Saturday.

“We’ve had to completely redevelop our programming within a very short span of time,” Jefferson Wourms, the first-time chair of the festival, said.

One tradition linked with the festival is a yearly mural painted by Josh Goff, and that was still able to come together this year in a safe way.

Goff has painted the side of Brandee’s Corner Store for 18 years, but this year he and the festival decided to spread out the art, and he’s painting an entire house on 13th Ave. instead.

“Instead of just repainting the one wall, we’re looking at other spaces,” Goff said. “A big part of this mural happening is the tradition of it and people coming out and saying hello.”

It’s a way of adding even more colour to the Cathedral neighbourhood.

“Colour actually makes people feel really happy,” Goff said. “So I try to use some brighter colours just to give somebody a smile throughout their day.”

Wourms said they went ahead with the festival in the online format because it’s marks the beginning of summer for so many people, and that wasn’t something he was willing to take away.

“[The festival] is important to community members, and it’s a local favourite,” he said.

He added the festival has received incredible community support and they’ve received more than 77,000 interactions online throughout the week.

Saturday is the final day of the festival. Organizers hope to have it back to normal for next year to celebrate the 30th anniversary.