*2017* “Put on your hat and sunscreen, bring the whole family, and join us at Westben on Sunday July 2 from 1 pm to 5 pm,” says Westben’s Marketing Director Donna Bennett. This free event will be a community celebration of Canada with music in The Barn and on the meadow. Music in The Barn has been coordinated by Westben’s Artistic Director Brian Finley, Folk and Rock Musician Ken Tizzard, Country Artist and Recording Engineer Andy Thompson, Jazz Musician Howard Baer and Campfire Crew Children’s Performer Karen Stille. The meadow will be filled with art and photography, activities for kids including banner making with textile artist Sky Morrison, a musical instrument petting zoo by Peterborough’s Long and McQuade, henna and face painting by Artwork and dancing by Northumberland’s Contemporary Dance Collective. For foodies there will be a Beef BBQ by Windswept, Kissed by Fire wood oven pizza and snacks at the Trough. The Westben Dream Canoe, that has been collecting dreams for Canada from area schools, service clubs and community events, will be on display with its over 800 paddles filled with dreams for Canada’s future. The afternoon starts at 1 pm with Ojibwe drummer Jordan Mowat from Alderville. The Westben choirs will perform songs that Brian Finley, Westben’s Artistic Director, has composed based on the dreams submitted by the choirs. At the top of every hour there will hear a new set of performers performing for twenty to thirty minutes and then the celebrations will move outside on the meadow until the top of the next hour. The Wakami Wailers folk band will be performing around the grounds and expect a performance by the Donegall Fiddlers and others. 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. Based on memories of what was, as well as possibilities of what can be, this segment explores the dream of preserving Canada’s natural beauty in sight and sound. At 3 pm Booth Street Records artists will be on stage in The Barn showcasing Jane Archer, Muddy Hack, Ken Tizzard and Brian Finley. 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 which curates the reflections of three generations of Canadians. A love letter to Canada, the narration travels through three soulful sound panels representing the past, the present, the future. This dance of music and prose will be performed by local and area musicians and narrators to a backdrop of work by local artists.
Concerts at Westben continue until August 6 and offer up a multi-genre festival program once again, capturing performances of classical, jazz, folk, broadway, fiddle and fun! On the classical front, audiences will be treated to Canadian greats, including pianists Angela Hewitt and Jan Lisiecki to the Canadian Brass, the Rolston Quartet (winners of the 2016 Banff String Quartet Competition) and international tenor legend Michael Schade. Jazzers will be thrilled to hear two-time JUNO winner, Emilie-Claire Barlow while folk-fans will jump at the opportunity to hear 2017 JUNO Song-writer of the year nominee Donovan Woods! Keeping up the laughter, The Arrogant Worms will appear.
New at Westben this summer will be the unique one-of-a-kind experiences on offer: pianist Rashaan Allwood will interpret bird calls “impromptu” on a piano situation at a surprise outdoor location in Ferris Park, while a naturalist will guide adventurers on a bird-watching journey. While piano technician, Daniel Wiersma, will guide curious audiences into the heart of a Steinway - dismantling one on the spot. Recording Engineer Andy Thompson takes participants to the magic of the recording studio, recording and editing their own piano performances. Finally, if you have ears, a cellphone and an imagination, there is a wondrous opportunity to explore a new relationship with nature by learning and employing new techniques in listening to your surroundings in a guided experience with Parker Finley.