Weather looking good for Folk Fest
The Canmore Folk Music Festival begins Friday (Aug. 3) and, according to Environment Canada, the weekend is supposed to be clear and sunny with highs of 27 C – at least as of Tuesday (July 31).
But as anyone who has been to the festival knows, weather forecasts for the festival weekends are always subject to change.
With the weather appearing to co-operate, however, festival director Sue Panning said it looks good for Festival Friday, a three-hour concert and street dance that will be held outside on the Seventh Street plaza in front of the Canmore Civic Centre.
Free Festival Friday runs from 6-8 p.m. with a live broadcast of CKUA’s The Celtic Show with Andy Donnelly, followed by a concert with Kim Churchill, hosted by Folk Routes’ Tom Coxworth, from 8-9 p.m. Festival Friday is free.
Also as part of Festival Friday, Communitea Café will host a concert at 8 p.m. with performers participating in the School of Song program. This program provides young musicians mentoring and performing opportunities. Tickets are $10 and are available at Commuintea.
“It surprises me there a lot of people who still don’t know the festival happens and so (Festival Friday) gives people a chance to have a free event to get a sneak peek into what the festival is about,” Panning said.
Festival Friday is also the last chance to buy tickets at advance prices. Tickets will also be available at the gates, but Panning said tickets have been selling quickly.
“This year the tickets are selling faster. Particularly, weekend passes have been selling faster. I suspect having Ian Tyson and Bruce Cockburn at the festival might be part of that,” Panning said.
Ian Tyson performs Sunday (Aug. 5) evening on the Main Stage from 9-10 p.m. and in a workshop on Monday from 11-11:50 a.m. as part of The Cowboy Trail with Gurf Morlix and George Kahumoku Jr. & Masters of Hawaiian Music.
Bruce Cockburn performs Monday as part of a master class from 1-1:50 p.m. with Jack Semple and Kim Churchill. Cockburn then closes the festival on Monday (Aug. 6) night from 10-11 p.m.
New for this year, Panning said, the festival has changed its dancing policy. Come Saturday morning, festival organizers will have painted a line across the main viewing area in front of the Main Stage.
Anyone who has set up their tarps and chairs in front of the line come 10 p.m. will be asked to pack up their belongings for the last act Saturday and Sunday.
The 30-foot-deep area in front of the line, up to the stage, will become the dance floor.
“At that point, we’re going to ask people in that area to stand up and pack up their tarps and then they are welcome to stay in that area, but that frees up space for people who want to be closer to the band,” Panning said.
“It’s just for our last act Saturday and last act Sunday, we’ll try this and see how it goes.”
Vancouver’s Current Swell (surf rock) will be the last act Saturday night and 2010 Juno winner Élage Diouf (contemporary African) will close the festival Sunday.
The all-day dance areas will be on either side of the main seating area.
Also, cash donations collected during the free Heritage Day Monday pancake breakfast, sponsored by Sobeys and the Rotary Club of Canmore, will this year go to the Canmore Collegiate High School music scholarship fund to help local students become musicians.
Panning asked those planning to attend the pancake breakfast, which will be held at the Canmore Miners’ Union Hall on (Aug. 6) from 8:30-10:30 a.m., to bring food donations for the Bow Valley Food Bank.
For a full listing of special events, attractions and the complete festival schedule go to www.canmorefolkfestival.com
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