If you are looking for some tuneful and silly escapism or Grand Master Fiddling or soothing Folk songs, then Season 18 at Westben is the place to be. Those incredibly funny Arrogant Worms are back to The Barn on Friday, July 7, 7:00 pm in TGIFun! with their fast, furious, and family friendly comedy in music. They are celebrating their latest release, The First Farewell Album, which features songs about such important topics as, who is the greatest Canadian (Dwayne), fashion (Jean Shorts), and alternative forms of transportation (Blimp). You’ll laugh, you’ll laugh some more, you’ll learn about Canadian geography! Come early and enjoy Sausage-on-a-Bun from Windswept 5:00 pm to 6::30 pm (please pre-order).
I am also really excited to introduce master singer-songwriter Donovan Woods to Westben with his intimate, compelling story telling on Friday, July 14. With more than 14.5 million streams on Spotify, songwriter Donovan Woods compositions have been lauded as “a very simple beauty” (Entertainment Weekly), “a stark, stunning ballad” (Rolling Stone), and “an emotional wallop” (Billboard Magazine). In his latest single, “All Mine,” Woods discovers the elusive silver lining – that beautiful moment when you realize you’ve broken free of someone else’s expectations. His music for movies and television includes his song My Cousin Has a Grey Cup Ring which was used in commercials for the Grey Cup. At the 12th Canadian Folk Music Awards, Donovan won the award for English Songwriter of the Year and in 2017 he was nominated for a JUNO as Songwriter of the Year. Come early and enjoy a BBQ on the meadow starting at 5 pm by Cultivate Festival Founder Jeff Alan Bray.
If you enjoyed the Leahy Family last year at Westben then you will love Everything Fitz! Old-time fiddling and Ottawa-Valley step dancing with an incredible family which includes three-time Canadian Grand Master Fiddle Champions and Ontario Open Step Dance Champions. Natalie MacMaster calls their performances “a beautiful blend of gorgeous fiddle music, and top rate, absolutely exhilarating dance routines”. See the Fitzgerald Family on Sunday, July 16, 2:00 pm at The Barn after their grand tour across the US, Canada and the United Kingdom.
But, first, follow the Dream Canoe to Westben’s Free Canada Dreams Concert on Sunday, July 2. The afternoon starts at 1 pm with O Canada followed by Ojibwe drummer Jordan Mowat from Alderville and the Westben choirs. At 2 pm Andy Thompson and his band present Canada Green with music and video in search of maintaining wilderness, creating green space and bringing back sustainable, chemical free, organic farming. At 2:30 the Donegal Fiddlers perform on the meadow with a backdrop of a meadow full of activity, art displays and fun for the whole family. BBQ by Windswept and Pizan Pie wood oven pizza and snacks at the Trough will be available. The Wakami Wailers will also be wandering the grounds performing throughout the afternoon. At 3 pm Booth Street Records artists will be on stage showcasing Jane Archer, Muddy Hack, Ken Tizzard and Brian Finley and at 4 pm is the world premiere of Sunrise For Sally, a spoken word poem set to an original music score by local jazz bassist Howard Baer and created by Nikki Fotheringham. To conclude the afternoon all the performers and the audience will join in the theme song for Canada Dreams. The 800 plus dreams will be on display digitally and in the canoe. For more information about Canada Dreams please contact the Westben Box Office or visit westben.ca This July 2 Canada Dreams initiative is made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between the Campbellford/Seymour Community Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.
Printed in the Community Press June 29, 2017