Aug. 29: White Lion Brewing Co. announced that it will host its inaugural beer festival, called Valley Fest, at Court Square in downtown Springfield. MGM Springfield will be the presenting sponsor. The festival is poised to be White Lion’s signature annual event, introducing the young brand to craft-beer enthusiasts throughout New England and beyond. White Lion Brewing Co., the city of Springfield’s only brewery, launched in October 2014. Founder Ray Berry and brewmaster Mike Yates have released three selections under the White Lion brand and have been busy promoting their efforts in venues all over Massachusetts and other New England states. “Valley Fest will have the best of the best local, regional, and national beer and hard cider brands,” Berry said. “Even in our inaugural year, Valley Fest will be the largest one-day beer festival in Western Massachusetts. We expect to draw up to 2,000 enthusiasts from throughout New England. We are very excited to showcase the fourth-largest city in New England and all of its amenities.” Berry anticipates that more than 50 breweries and several local food vendors will converge on Court Square for two sessions. Enthusiasts will have an opportunity to sample more than 100 varieties of beer and hard cider alongside pairing selections by local chefs. A portion of Valley Fest proceeds will support the American Cancer Society and Dakin Humane Society. For more information, visit www.valleybrewfest.com.
Williamstown Film Festival Presents Wind-Up Fest
Oct. 15-18: The annual Williamstown Film Festival (WFF), now in its 17th year, welcomes big changes with new faces, a new name, and new programming focus. Slated for Oct. 15-18, WFF Presents: Wind-Up Fest is a nonfiction festival with documentary film as its backbone. Other forms of nonfiction will be in conversation with documentaries, including long-form journalism, radio podcasts, photography, and social-practice art. The event’s new artistic director, Paul Sturtz, is also the co-director at the True/False Film Fest in Columbia, Mo., and its new managing director, Sandra Thomas, is the former executive director of Images Cinema in Williamstown. “Our aim is to provide a unique, distinctive event for North Adams and Williamstown while serving as a destination festival for lovers of nonfiction. We are living in a time when nonfiction storytelling is offering one of the most vital, urgent ways forward,” Sturtz said. The festival will be curated by Sturtz, who was selected (along with his True/False co-director David Wilson) as one of 40 people in the inaugural Indiewire Influencers list, described as “visionaries that are changing the course of film.” “I’m excited to work with Paul to make his creative vision a reality,” said Thomas. “Working in partnership with the community, engaging a broad audience, and strengthening the festival’s presence are all important elements of the fest.” With the addition of Sturtz and return of Thomas, the board of directors announced the retirement of festival Executive Director Steve Lawson. “It’s been an exhilarating ride, but after 15 seasons as executive director, I felt it was time to pass the torch,” said Lawson. “This seemed like the right moment to segue to new voices and directions. Paul and Sandra have exciting plans in store for the festival which promise to build on all that we’ve achieved so far. Here’s hoping the first 16 years of WFF will prove to be the prelude to a dazzling future.” The festival has offices in North Adams and Williamstown and can reached at [email protected] or (413) 458-9700.
Oct. 17: Baystate Noble Hospital is preparing for the 51st Anniversary Noble Ball co-chaired by the Queenin family: Kevin, Barbara, Jay, Janine, Jon and Lisa. “Magic of Motown – Motor City Review” will take place the MassMutual Center in Springfield. More than 800 guests are expected to attend the black-tie event, which will feature live entertainment, silent and live auctions, formal dinner, cocktails, dancing, and more. Since the first ball in 1959, the Hospital has used this signature event to raise money for operating funds, building improvements, equipment purchases, and more. Proceeds from this year’s ball will be added to last year’s funds and used to enhance Baystate Noble’s entrance and reception area to provide updated ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access. “Our goal is to make Baystate Noble easily accessible for all,” said Allison Gearing-Kalill, vice president of Community Development. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.baystatenoblehospital.org/ball or e-mail [email protected]
Western Mass. Business Expo
Nov. 4: Comcast Business will present the fifth annual Western Mass. Business Expo at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, produced by BusinessWest and the Healthcare News in partnership with Go Graphix and Rider Productions. The business-to-business show will feature more than 100 booths, seminars and Show Floor Theater presentations, breakfast and lunch programs, and a day-capping Expo Social. Details about specific events, programs, and featured speakers will be printed in future issues of BusinessWest. Current sponsors include Comcast Business, presenting sponsor; the Isenberg School of Business at UMass Amherst, education sponsor; Johnson & Hill and Health New England, director level sponsors; and 94.7 WMAS, media sponsor. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Exhibitor spaces are also available; booth prices start at $750. For more information on sponsorships or booth purchase, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.