Skip to content

Great Big Sea steams into Banff

Martimes meets mountains when Great Big Sea headline Banff National Parks’ second annual Performance in the Park, Saturday (June 25).

Martimes meets mountains when Great Big Sea headline Banff National Parks’ second annual Performance in the Park, Saturday (June 25).

Following up on 2010’s inaugural open-air concert at Cascade Gardens, the Newfoundlanders will bring a music celebration to the Park on June 25.

The Banff Centre, Parks Canada and Banff Lake Louise Tourism formed a partnership to celebrate cultural and mountain heritage and the importance of protected places in Canada.

To make the event family-friendly, Parks Canada offered 500 tickets for children at a cost of $10 each. In all 2,500 tickets will be sold.

“Last year was very successful as part of our 125th celebrations,” said Lori Bayne, Parks Canada promotion officer. “And this year, we’re celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service.

“The partnership shows strength and the value of having diverse partners come together. The Banff Centre has the expertise with the band and the stage, Banff Lake Louise Tourism with the marketing and Parks with the heritage and culture.”

The gates at Cascade Gardens open at 3 p.m., with the show starting at 4 p.m. Opening for Great Big Sea will be solo acts Dustin Bentall and Kendel Carson.

This year, $2 from each ticket sold goes to the Banff Stewardship Fund, said Bayne, which will be used to fund the Bear Guardian Program.

The Bear Guardian Program helps foster appreciation, respect, understanding and stewardship of Banff’s bear population.

Money raised at the concert will also go toward public presentations at the Calgary Zoo and for new Canadians through the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, among others.

“Great Big Sea is a huge draw, everybody knows them,” said Bayne. We’re happy to have them headlining. Cascade Gardens is kind of a natural amphiteatre with a beautiful backdrop.”

Seating will be folkfest style, on the lawn at Cascade Gardens.

Great Big Sea are in their 18th year as a band and recently released their tenth album, Safe Upon the Shore.

One of the most successful bands to have come out of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Great Big Sea has fans across the country and around the world. Their infectious, dance-friendly sound is a potent mix of traditional Irish instrumentation and pounding rock rhythms.

The band has its roots in rowdy pubs, where co-founders Séan McCann and Bob Hallett met while playing folk songs for boisterous crowds made up of hard-partying university students and off-duty fishermen.

In 1993, after meeting fellow socio-holic and pub stalwart Alan Doyle, they started Great Big Sea in an attempt to create a new approach to Newfoundland folk music – one that combined their original music with the traditional sounds and instruments they had grown up with. In 2002, drummer Kris MacFarlane joined the band, and a year later bass player Murray Foster joined.

Safe Upon the Shore reflects the newest twists in their original plan. The album is a feast of creative impulses, recorded in fits and starts over a six-month period.

Some of it was recorded in New Orleans with producer Steve Berlin, while other songs were recorded at the band’s studio in St. John’s.

The songs on Safe Upon the Shore cover the many strains of the band’s inspirations, but also reflect the concerns of men trying to balance family and life while spending so many months in the adolescent world of a touring band.

Rocky Mountain Outlook

About the Author: Rocky Mountain Outlook

The Rocky Mountain Outlook is Bow Valley's No. 1 source for local news and events.
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks