Tomorrow night, the world comes to Harrison Hot Springs.
Musicians from Trinidad, the United States, Finland, Ireland, Scotland, Zimbabwe, Mexic, Italy, Cuba, the U.K., Venezuala, Brazil, Mozambique, and from all points in Canada will be here to take part in the 36th Harrison Festival of the Arts.
Over the past few editions, we’ve told you about a few of the performances we’re looking forward to, including the Straight from the Valley opening night show, the art market, the UFV theatre night,and Venezuala’s Eliana Cuevas.
But there is so much more.
Monday, July 14 is Literary Cafe in Memorial Hall, featuring writers with a connection to UFV. As the school celebrates its 40th anniversary, they looked to the ranks of UFV students, staff, and faculty for people to read at this year’s Literary Café.
“We have a wonderful range of writers at UFV — some of whom teach for us and others who are associated in some other way — and I thought it would be very fitting to highlight local talent when choosing our writers this year,” said Cheryl Isaac, who recently retired as director of Continuing Education at UFV. (Organizing this edition of the Literary Café was a swansong of sorts for her and one of her favourite projects every year.)
She didn’t have to look too far to find some very talented writers. They are John Carroll & Rajnish Dhawan (reading together), Daniela Elza, Andrea McPherson, Michelle Rickaby, Katie Stobbart, and Michelle Vandepol.
The evening will also include music by three exceptional musical improvisers: Jared Burrows (guitar), Rob Kholer (bass) and Clyde Reed (bass).
This weekend, workshops include a fiddling demonstration, a drum making workshop, a vocal workshop, sound healing, gospel workshop, Balkan line dancing, yoga on the beach, and sunrise meditation on the beach. Most workshops are $2 for entry. Drum making costs depend on the size of drum chosen. Yoga on the beach is $15 and sunrise meditations are $10 donations. More information is available in Festival brochures and online at www.harrisonfestival.com.
We also wouldn’t want to forget about Children’s Day, Wednesday, July 16. This year’s entertainment includes Norman Foote (12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., Sand Northrup (11:45 a.m. and 2 p.m.), and the Langley Ukelele Ensemble (11 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.).
Activities scheduled for the day include the climbing wall, soccer, crafting stations to let their inner artists out, a display from the Great Blue Heron Reserve, a chance to have faces painted and hair glittered, and a creative zone for kids to explore.
Admission to Children’s Day, held in and around Memorial Hall, is $6 a person with group rates available.
Of course, the festival would be nothing without the music, and there is something for every night of the week and every moment of the weekends.
Shows on the beach stage are at 1 p.m., 2:20 p.m., 3:40 p.m., 5 p.m. both this Saturday and Sunday. Performances start at 8:30 p.m. each night at Memorial Hall, with the exception of Sunday and Monday night (7:30 p.m.).
This weekend’s hot acts are Kobo Town and Eric Bibb.
Kobo Town (July 12) is a Juno-nominated group named after the historic Port of Spain neighbourhood where calypso was born. They take the intricate wordplay of Caribbean music and run it through a 21st century filter, infusing roots and reggae with social commentary, innovative production techniques and indie rock attitudes.
Eric Bibb (July 13) plays acoustic blues. He has become known for his arresting stage presence and assured and emotional vocal delivery, accompanied by skillful guitar.
Tickets are available by phone at 604-796-3664, in person at the festival office at the Ranger Station Art Gallery 98 Rockwell Drive or online at www.harrisonfestival.com.