Summer festival season is in high gear and homegrown acts have been keeping up with the pace. This weekend, fans of folk will celebrate music, arts, and community spirit at the Brandon Folk Festival. Now in its 27th year, the festival is dedicated to promoting emerging and innovative multi-arts presentation with an emphasis on cultural and inter-disciplinary diversity in the south-western Manitoba region.
Soul/pop outfit Imaginary Cities kicks off the festival with a special July 21 night concert and fundraiser at Clancy’s Eatery and Drinkery in Brandon. Sharing the bill with them are Sebastian Owl, The Young Pixels, and Until Red. The gates to the outdoor festival open on July 22 at 6pm with the main stage programming starting at 7pm. Over the next three days, an impressive line up of locals and visiting artists will be performing.
On July 22, the main stage acts include quirky roots trio The Sweet Alibi, Juno-nominated roots rocker Romi Mayes, and singer/songwriter Rob Waddell. Programming on July 23 and 24 begins in the afternoon with workshops and concerts on two stages throughout the day. There are exciting musical pairings like The Magnificent 7's sharing the stage with Victoria's Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra on Saturday, and The Sheepdogs, Hip Shakin’ Mama, and Romi Mayes singing the blues on Sunday. Other main stage acts include Micah Erenberg and out-of-towners The Burning Hell, Dan Bern, and Christa Couture.
The Second Stage presents a Fiddle-Banjo Love workshop with TJ Blair and Andy Bart, members of Fish & Bird, and David Nishikawa, followed by Ukuleles for Peace with Demetra Penner and Blair Atkinson. Demetra will also join accordionist Ingrid Gatin for a Visual Art/Music panel on July 24.
Audience interaction is encouraged at the festival with local teachers, artists, and performers offering everything from cultural dance exchanges and yoga to group discussions. Crafters and artisans will be selling their wares Under the Canvas and musicians in the audience will get a chance to strum and sing their tunes during two scheduled Open Mics.
Visit Brandon Folk Fest's website for a full festival line-up and more information.