I’m writing this from my beautiful deck, looking out to Ha Ling Peak and I’m stunned again by the privilege of living in this place. At the moment, all is right with the world. The sky is blue with a few fluffy clouds, the only sounds are the squirrels and birds. Soon the construction machinery will begin on the many building projects happening in my neighbourhood, but at the moment, bliss.
In a few days, that all changes during the Canmore Folk Music Festival. We live close enough to the Festival grounds that the sound reaches us easily all weekend. This year I am extra excited for the Festival Friday Community Concert (which is FREE, by the way)
The current directorship of the Canmore Folk Fest has been actively looking for ways to tie the Festival into the wealth of local music talent that exists in the Valley. One initiative that’s been a huge success has been the addition of Stage 4 (the Pub Stage), which features local artists as well as up-and-coming players from Edmonton’s School of Song project. Your festival pass gets you in, but if you just want to visit the pub there is a cover charge that is much less than the festival pass – and you won’t be disappointed.
As a bonus, this year $1 from every beer purchased in the pub goes straight into the Folk Fest’s Artist Development Fund, which provides opportunities and scholarships for emerging musicians from school age up through adults.
This year, the Canmore Folk Festival has teamed up with Michael Bernard Fitzgerald (MBF) to offer another opportunity for local songwriters. Back in June, MBF led a song-writing workshop for local writers (anyone interested, really). That was an excellent evening of encouragement and connection. Then the Festival opened up submissions for original songs – some of which have been chosen to be featured at the Festival Friday Community Concert WITH MBF’s band and live broadcast on CKUA Radio.
I’m thrilled that of the five local acts chosen, three of them involve Guitar Mamas. (hummingBird, Trundled, Sarah Lowry). We’ll also celebrate the Woodnotes, who have had their own tough times this year but sound amazing, and the talented sixteen year old Noah Isaac. There will be Indigenous dancers and a set by the Wardens.
And it’s FREE for Friday night. 7:00 pm at Centennial Park.
I fully expect this year’s Canmore Folk Music Festival to overload my senses; next week when I write from the quiet of my deck once again I will have all those new exciting sounds and memories in my mind – while I enjoy the peace of this place.
Woah. That was a lot of words. Thanks for reading them. See you Friday night at the Festival.