The Music Festivals are Coming: Kiwanis, Expo Latino & other spicy sounds

In an effort to make up for my incomplete summary of Calgary’s music festivals, after having declared the huge number and variety of them, the need has arisen to describe, expostulate, enthuse, and clamor about more of these wonderful events. Right now.

People dancing on street in colourful clothing
From Carifest Calgary 2009: no explanation necessary
Photo from Carifest Calgary website, with permission

The Music Festival has Passed! The Music Festival has Passed! How can I sufficiently apologize to the 12,000 talents who presented themselves for classical music assessment and performance at The Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival? “Competitive classes (from March 1 to 20th) include Piano, Vocal, Musical Theatre, Strings, Speech, Woodwind, Brass, Creative Music, Orff Ensembles, Percussion, Classical Guitar, Bands, Choirs, Choral Speech, Orchestra, Chamber, Handbells and Harp.” Like, whoa, the whole spectrum of possibility presented by those who are, though admittedly amateurs, are still certainly competent. And besides, like other festivals, half the pleasure is the community environment it provides. As the Kiwanis website itself mentions, part of it is the “encouragement through the applause of an appreciative and supportive audience.” And having been to a few festivals, I can assure you the experience is best from the audience’s seat. And if you’re particularly cynical, there are four “Stars of the Festival” concerts to guarantee you some highlights.

Enough about the past: apologies accepted. THIS sounds like fun:

The Hispanic Arts Society is promoting Expo Latino 2010, occupying Prince’s Island Park and other places from Friday, August 27th to the 30th. They haven’t updated the events from last year on the website yet, but Savannah of the Society mentions a couple of confirmed acts, like Wil Campa, whose Cuban stylings were so popular last year a second night was arranged. Performers in 2009 were from Chile, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and other places, and they used invigorating words like ‘Flamenco’, ‘Samba Dance’, ‘Orquesta’ and ‘Bombazo’. Heck, the Bombazo didn’t even start until 10:30 Saturday night. Where was I when this was going on? And a weekend pass is only $15.00 in advance? Sweet.

What is it about hot places and spicy things? Another equatorial centre to bless us musically, the Caribbean Community Council of Calgary, organizes Carifest Calgary 2010. The Carifest parades from Olympic Plaza to the Shaw Millennium Park and other places from Saturday June 5th to the 12th this year. They’re also in the Grand Theatre downtown, the Full Gospel Tabernacle, and elsewhere around Calgary. And the Friday night has a competition with cash prizes for up and coming artists, so the community commitment of Carifest is admirable.

Y’know, maybe Calgary’s not such a bad place to live, after all.

Posted by Paul Verhaegh

Author: Carey Rutherford

Swallowed by the mutual loves of words and music (but far too chicken-shit to perform them with a band), Carey’s writing career started slowly as a freelance writer in 2003, starved him nearly to personal bankruptcy until 2008, and changed directions while writing for FastForward, Beacon Calgary, GayCalgary, and Examiner magazines. With the death of many old-school periodicals, and the explosion of musical diversity in Calgary, the modern approach to writing about live music performance in the Calgary region presented uncluttered landscapes for the focussed passion that Carey’s conversations with musicians, drag queens, festival producers and small animals has uncapped. He was moulded by the brilliance of paper-based periodicals old and new (Life, rolling Stone, Swerve! and Adbusters etc.), and sees the info-verse as needing creative, empathetic, but clear-eyed Agents to communicate these performances.