By Stevie Connor, Blues & Roots Radio
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This week festival season starts for real, I live in Port Credit, Ontario home to a couple of big events one of which is the Mississauga Waterfront Festival which kicks off today June 16th with a Country music themed Friday, I will not dwell on it too much as most of the weekend events are taken over by tribute acts and it's just not my thing, however the Friday kick off is always good value and it's a fantastic family day out if the weather is good, Port Credit is not called the gem of Mississauga for nothing, it's a beautiful part of the city to visit.
Most of the weekend I will be at The Sound Of Music Festival in Burlington, Ontario
a thirty minute drive west of my wee hoose, where there is an incredible array of independent artists going to be performing, It's a beautiful setting right on Lake Ontario and always well attended, I hope to see you there especially on Sunday where I will be taking in the David Francey and Irish Mythen gigs, if you plan on being there on Saturday go see Steve Strongman and Harrison Kennedy perform, they are truly special, both Juno winners.
There is one thing that I will say about the festival on a slightly negative note, the website has far too much information !!! I tried, but I ended up losing the will, overwhelming when trying to find out who is on and where, it is an indication of just how much there is to see for the whole 8 days. soundofmusic.ca/
Black Sheep Inn - Auberge Mouton Noir
Located in Wakefield, Quebec on the Gatineau River, the Black Sheep Inn has some of the best independent artists performing Thursday to Sunday.
Thirty-five kilometres northwest of Ottawa. The village, named after the city of
Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England, is now the southern edge of La Pêche, and was founded by Irish, Scottish, and English immigrants. It is approximately a twenty-five-minute drive north of the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge that divides Gatineau and Ottawa, Ontario.
The village has developed a reputation for a somewhat bohemian lifestyle and boasts a number of small cafes, pubs, and galleries. Many young families live in the area, enjoying its lifestyle, services, and resources. Many artists live in the surrounding mountains and valleys.
The calibre of acts performing is extremely strong and it's a spot where touring artists love to play. Tonight Friday 16th June the Durham County Poets perform, I featured them on the first blog, they are an outstanding Blues & Roots band from the Chateauguay valley and coming up are some fantastic gigs, The Mike Plume Band, Joel Plaskett ( Sold Out ) and Sean McCann just to mention a few of the heavyweights.
I've been told that when visiting the Inn the Sheep and Sleep is recommended !
Indigenous Arts Festival | National Aboriginal Day
Celebrate Indigenous and Métis culture June 21 to 25 at Fort York National Historic Site. Plan to spend the days under the open skies in downtown Toronto enjoying traditional and contemporary music, educational programming, storytelling, dance, theatre, and food. The series of events will energize the grounds of this historic site with powerful ancient traditions and compelling contemporary creations by Indigenous artists.
Presented by Fort York and the Mississauga's of the New Credit First Nation, National Aboriginal Day followed by the Indigenous Arts Festival will celebrate the very best in Indigenous and Metis culture. This event is presented as part of TO Canada with Love, the City of Toronto's year-long program honouring Canada's 150th birthday.
June 24th Canadian Country Music and Juno award winner Crystal Shawanda will perform on the main stage, she is a soulful powerhouse whose country and blues captures the space where north meets south. She'll bring tracks from her forthcoming release, "Fish out of Water" as well as her hits from "Dawn of a New Day" and "The Whole World's got the Blues."
The Toronto Jazz Festival
Toronto is fortunate to have not one, but two major international jazz festivals. Dedicated enthusiasts flock to the city each June for the TD Toronto Jazz Festival – a 10-day event featuring some of the biggest names in jazz. Over 1,500 musicians perform at more than 40 locations across the city, including free concerts at Nathans Phillips Square.
Beaches Jazz Festival
I have a soft spot for the Beaches area of Toronto as that's where my wife is from and it's there that the jazz celebration continues in July at the Beaches International Jazz Festival. This free outdoor festival showcases a variety of sounds from blues, big band, African, Latin and other traditions – all taking place in a spectacular lakeside setting in The Beach.
Artists To Watch For
Irish-born, contemporary Canadian folk artist who’s been amassing accolades and achievements across several continents over the years. Her presence and charisma simply command attention, and regardless of where she takes the stage, she delivers a sonic and emotional experience, in recent years, she has performing alongside Rod Stewart, Gordon Lightfoot, and Lucinda Williams and billings on major festival stages the world over. Irish will be at The Sound Of Music Festival this weekend.
A firm favourite of mine, and not because he is Scottish born, but because he is such an anassuming person with an immense amount of talent and an inate gift for telling it how it is, a champion of the working class, a proud physical labourer from a proud working class Scottish immigrant family, he spent more than 30 years toiling in the Toronto rail yards, the Yukon bush and the Eastern Townships’ construction sites, hitchhiking across Canada at least three times in the process.
He played no instruments, never aspired to a career in music, and only reluctantly took to the stage at the age of 45 under pressure from friends and family. The reaction was instant.
Within two years, David won his first Juno, was touring internationally, and got to thinking that perhaps he should quit his construction job and try this music thing full time for a while. Since then, he’s won two more Juno's and been nominated a total of five times.
Enjoy the weekend music fans, and until next time have a safe week ahead.