Photo: Alan Doyle, Friday August 10 at 9:30 p.m. Photo courtesy of Margaret Malandruccolo.
ON THE ENTERTAINMENT SCENE – Kingsville Folk Music Festival
The fifth annual “Kingsville Folk Music Festival” is fast approaching and there’s already a buzz growing about this year’s stellar lineup of artists.
With an eclectic mix heavily weighted in favour of Canadian talent, the local event has become a staple on the Canadian music scene, since it was launched by Michele and John Law, a husband-and-wife team of producers and entertainers.
“Our mandate is to offer a showcase for Canadian talent and we try to make sure our lineup is 80 percent Canadian,” says Michele. “There are so many excellent Canadian performers and we are happy to be able to provide a showcase for that talent.”
The festival runs August 10 to 12 in Lakeside Park on Queen Street.
There’s also a preview night on Thursday August 9 at The Grove Brew House in Kingsville featuring a number of musicians performing at the festival in a relaxed informal setting.
“It will give people a taste of what the festival offers, which includes folk, jazz, blues and rock in an acoustic setting,” explains Michele. “We offer a broad mix so that we can attract a wide range of people to enjoy the festival.”
Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos says that a recent report to town council estimates the economic impact over the three days exceeds $300,000 with out-of-town visitors spending money on accommodations, restaurants, bars and shopping.
“It also extends out to Leamington where many of the performers stay and it’s become a great drawing card for our community,” adds Santos. “It’s been well-received by the community and fits in perfectly with our mandate to support arts and culture for our residents.”
One of the main headliners on Friday’s opening night is Alan Doyle, formerly of popular folk rock band Great Big Sea from Newfoundland.
“I’m so excited to be coming to Kingsville, Ontario for the ‘Kingsville Folk Music Festival’ and I’m gonna bring this kitchen party to dat!” says Doyle on a recent video filmed in his kitchen in Newfoundland and released on Facebook for his many fans across Canada.
Other headliners include Heather Rankin (Friday) of The Rankin Family who is forging her own solo career with poetic, intimate original songs and Ian Thomas (Sunday), a well-known and wildly-popular rock and roll musician from days gone by whose material has been covered by the likes of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, America and Santana.
Headlining the Saturday night performance is the David Bromberg Quintet, which plays an eclectic mix of folk, bluegrass, blues, jazz and country and western. The “Godfather of Americana Music” has toured with Bob Dylan, Jerry Jeff Walker and Willie Nelson.
Also on the weekend lineup are: Birds of Chicago, The Weather Station, Old Man Grant, Jory Nash, The Slocan Ramblers, T. Nile, Mayhemingways, Shawna Caspi, Citizen Jane, George Grotty, Sherman Downey, Angelique Francis, Ben Sures, Janet Cull, Rube and Rake and the Kubasonics along with local performers Justin Latam, Tara Watts and Max Marshall.
There’s also a family-oriented lineup featuring Fred Penner, Splash N’ Boots, Magoo and Jangles the Magical Clown, as well as a pair of workshops featuring Ben Hassenger on ukulele and Dave Butler on guitar.
Among the sponsors are: the Town of Kingsville, Province of Ontario, Canadian Heritage, Ontario Arts Council, Ontario, Yours to Discover, The Honey Family Foundation, Windsor Essex Community Foundation, Unifor Local 444, TD Bank, Southpoint Publishing, Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation, Circle of Seven, South Essex Community Council, Leamington Marina, Pelee Island Winery, Biz X magazine and The Grove Brew House.
Proceeds from the festival support the awarding of annual scholarships through The MAYFUNd to graduating high-school students in Harrow, Kingsville and Leamington. Community groups also benefit from the festival through fundraising campaigns over the weekend.
Tickets are available at Box Office Video and Merlis’ Eatery in Kingsville, Dr. Disc in Windsor, Fletcher’s Cleaners in Leamington, Gibson Gallery in Amherstburg, as well as Guardian Drugs and Symphony Stables in Wheatley.
Ticket information and complete festival schedule can be found online.