Kelwood, MB // August 15-17
Big Names // Fast Romantics, Fish & Bird
Local talent // JD Edwards, Les Jupes
Cost // Adult weekend passes are $62 and day passes are also available between $31-$42
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For the last nine years the Harvest Sun Music Festival has been taking over Kelwood each summer, a tiny village in the province that’s not too far away from Riding Mountain National Park.
“Originally myself and my business partner used to own the Harvest Sun cafe in Kelwood and the first festival that we had wasn’t really a festival, it was more of a one year celebration of our business being open. We had such a great response that people kept requesting us to do it again and it turned into what it is today,” founder Nadia Kuhl says.
In addition to music, she says that this year will introduce large versions of such board games as Scrabble and Connect Four on site. A local artist named James Culleton will also be doing some art installations, one of which is an interactive maze geared towards children.
But even with the newer additions the main focus of Harvest Sun is still on showcasing Canadian musicians and supporting the local agricultural community.
“With the music my focus is to support as many local musicians as possible,” she says. “We also have producers that come from as far away from Altona and we encourage everyone to take part in our market, which is a big draw every year. We really hope the festival can encourage people to visit a farm, check out where their food comes from and think about it beyond their local grocery store.”
The festival also prides itself on creating an intimate atmosphere, averaging around 500 attendees in recent years.
“The feedback I get is people love the community and leave feeling like they’ve been a part of something bigger than them and that’s why I keep running it each year,” she says.
One of the musicians hitting the stage is Fish & Bird, a folk/roots band that will officially release its fourth full-length record Something in the Ether on September 30, though the band promises it will have advance copies for sale when it plays on August 16.
The group is based out of British Columbia, though frontman Taylor Ashton is originally from right here in Manitoba.
“I lived in Winnipeg until I was eight and a couple of years ago I moved back again for a bit. It’s truly one of our second homes and we’re really excited to come back and play,” Ashton says.
“Our new record actually has a few references to places in Manitoba in it. The second song on the record I think is called The Lake and it directly refers to Falcon Lake which is right near the Ontario border where we have a lot of friends.”
Part of the series: 2014 Summer Festival Guide
Published in Volume 68, Number 29 of The Uniter (August 5, 2014)