Fall at The Banff Centre
With September having arrived in the Bow Valley with a bit of a nip in the air and some leaves yellowing on the trees, clearly summer’s over.
While it’s a somewhat sad situation summer is suspended, the upside is that The Banff Centre is readying a fall lineup, which will have something for everyone.
From Canadian icons to circus flair to international flavours, dance and humour, the Visiting Artist Series will focus on a wide selection of the arts among the Eric Harvie and Margaret Greenham Theatres, and The Club.
Up first, Sept. 15, is Canadian folk icon Buffy Sainte-Marie, whose global, award-winning career has spanned musical mainstages from the ’60s to the present.
“We’re really excited about the fall season launch,” said Casey Prescott, associate dirctor of producing. “It’s going to be a real potpourri.
“This will be the debut of Buffy Sainte-Marie at The Banff Centre and it’s a privilege to have her here. She’s been in the business for 30 years and has a new record out with Randy Bachman that they recorded on Saltspring (B.C. Gulf Island).
“It’s more of a rock ‘n’ roll record and her band is fantastic. And, she’s here on a Saturday night, so it’s a great date night.”
Sainte-Marie plays the Eric Harvie Theatre at 7:30 p.m., with special guest George Leach, an aboriginal artist whose work ranges from his debut album in 2000 to appearances in the North of 60 franchise and Redemption, a Moccasin Flats TV movie (2008), among other projects.
Following Sainte-Marie is BBoyizm Dance Company, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Greenham Theatre.
“That’s going to be a cool show,” said Prescott. “It’s a real fusion of contemporary dance and the expression of urban dance.”
Choreographer and dancer Crazy Smooth pushes street dance traditions, using his technical background in hip-hop, rocking and b-boying. Canada’s only nationally touring street dance company pushes through age, race and gender reaching below the surface where emotions live.
On Sept. 25, Martyn Joseph appears in The Club at 8 p.m.
“He’s a loved and revered folk singer who’s been here a couple of times,” said Prescott. “It’ll be a lush night of music.”
Joseph is a Welsh singer-songwriter who has been in demand on both sides of the Atlantic for over two decades. Always charming, sometimes alarming, Joseph is a unique songwriter who digs deep and delivers an ultimate, life affirming message.
Jumping into October, Bow Valley music aficianados can discover for themselves that Steven Page is naked no more.
Page, a former Barenaked Ladies frontman, plays the Eric Harvie Theatre, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
“We’re really excited about debuting him here,” said Prescott. “He’ll be doing new material and songs from Barenaked Ladies. It’ll be just Steve and his guitar and one other musician.”
Known for his dynamic, physically exuberant performances, powerful tenor, quick wit and an arsenal of songs that span the gamut between humour and pathos. Page, with Barenaked Ladies, sold nearly 15 million albums and won numerous Juno awards as well as two Grammy nominations. He is now pursuing a solo and theatrical career.
On into October, the U.K.’s Oysterband rolls into The Club, Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
“They’re much loved, a band to have a beer with,” said Prescott. “And it’ll be a high-energy show.”
Oysterband combines revved-up folk dance rhythms and remarkable lyrics with pointed social commentary, exceptional musicianship, and insanely catchy melodies. Acoustic at heart, sometimes intense, the passion and energy of their live performances has become legendary. It is music for the head, the heart and the body.
The arts moves to spoken word on Oct. 14, when Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long stop in at the Greenham at 7 p.m.
You may have seen Koyczan at the 2010 Whistler Vancouver Winter Olympics. In a world where poets rarely intersect with stardom, we have found the poet of our generation. Engaging and authentic, Koyczan’s explorations are relevant to our times and breathe life into the new genre of talk rock with his band the Short Story Long.
Also at The Club, on Oct. 20 at 8 p.m., fresh from the Conan O’Brien Show, is legendary vocalist, beat-boxer, comedian and improviser Reggie Watts. A staple of the international performance scene, Watt’s improvised musical sets are created on-the-spot using only his formidable voice and a looping machine.
Things move into the realm of science – and kids – when Garry Krinsky rolls his laboratory into the Greenham, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.
Toying with Science is a fast-paced, varied and dynamic program exploring the scientific principles of gravity, leverage, fulcrums and simple machines. Using mime, circus skills, original music and audience involvement, Krinsky brings his incredible energy and skills to demonstrate concepts from finding the center of gravity to mechanics in a fun and interactive way.
Taking on a more local flavour, The Club will host The Engadine Sessions, Oct. 25 at 8 p.m.
Canmore’s Mount Engadine Lodge and the majestic Rockies inspired six Canadian singer-songwriters to gather for a week of songwriting and recording. When you put Kat Danser, Suzie Vinnick, Cori Brewster, Cara Luft, Karla Anderson and Chloe Albert together in an idyllic setting – you have magic. This evening’s performance is a re-creation of the magic of this music and the spirit in which it was made!
“These are songs written during a spring retreat at Engadine Lodge,” said Prescott. “We’ll have six awesome singer-songwriters on stage and they perform everything from blues to country to folk.”
Rounding out October are The British Columbians, Oct. 30 at 11:45 p.m. in The Club, as they follow the Mountain Film Festival with late night entertainment. This is special co-presentation between Theatre Arts and the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.
The British Columbians’ eclectic, old school blues-influenced brand of rock n’ roll, coupled with a fierce work ethic and grassroots approach to making music, is seeing them blossom as one of Canada’s few truly authentic, up-and-coming acts.
On Nov. 2-3, The Deep Dark Woods have The Club stage, again at 11:45 p.m. Again, this is a co-presentation between Theatre Arts and the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.
Described as a rainstorm over the desert of modern music, illuminating folk traditions without stripping the shadows of roots music history, Deep Dark Woods’ unflinching pursuit of steadiness between decadence and minimalism is guided at every turn by their intuitive ability to balance grit, clarity, drive and restraint with a sure focus on experimentation.
“Film festivals often have a big music component,” said Prescott. “And this is something the mountain festival is embracing. “They’re the darlings of CBC and CKUA and have been described as young Grateful Dead.”
Events go global on the weekend of Nov. 8-9 as International Guitar Night (Brazil, Scotland, Madagascar) is in the Greenham at 7:30 p.m., followed the next night by Circo Aereo, a circus group based in Finland and France.
“International Guitar Night is a real who’s who of great guitar players,” said Prescott. “They’re all from different genres and backgrounds, with jazz, world and flamenco music.
“And we’re really excited to have Circo Aereo in here – they’ll knock people’s sock off. It’s a new circus movement and it has beautiful, virtuosic and stunning elements. We rarely get a chance to see European companies and we’ve kept the pricing reasonable. It will be highly entertaining, a night to remember.”
Finally, the fall series will wrap up with Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Canada’s favourite storyteller Stuart McLean, with his A Vinyl Café Christmas, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Premiering an exciting new program titled Zero In On, BJM will transport audiences with three new creations: an energetic duet by Cayetano Soto, the urban contemporary fusion of Night Box by Wen Wei Wang, and a spirited new work by Barak Marshall.
“We’re happy to have Stuart back,” said Prescott. “He hasn’t announced who his musical guest will be, but it’s always a well-known Canadian. The music is kind of a pallet cleanser between his stories, which everybody loves.
A holiday tradition, a McLean evening is a fun, heart-warming and special night of stories and music with Canada’s beloved storyteller and humourist. McLean will be accompanied by the usual cast of characters, including the Vinyl Café Orchestra.
Much of the content of the fall performances will be available later via The Banff Centre podcasts. The Centre began recording and making available podcasts beginning with Joel Plasket in fall, “and we’ve recorded everything since,” said Prescott.
In order to post comments on our web site, you must validate your email address. An email was sent to you when you registered that included an activation link. If you have not yet done so, please click on the link to activate your account.
If you did not receive your activation email, please click here to have it resent.