As you know, gatherings such as Wide Skies Music and Arts Festival require a considerable amount of volunteer and financial resources to operate. This year we expect to put 35 to 40 volunteers to work and have a budget of just under $40,000. As in the past, we have a good list of eager helpers but our biggest area of need is financial. We are very fortunate to have received an annual “Heart of Our City Grant” from the City of Lethbridge each year since inception and we do sell Festival Passes and tickets for the Songwriters Circle and CASA Stage. This revenue helps a great deal but our goal of breaking even still requires us to pursue additional assistance and this, we hope, is where you come in. For more information on becoming a Community Supporter check out our brochure at Wideskies Community Supporter brochure 2019.
Never one to shy away from speaking her mind, Laura Mina Mitic will always be the last one to tell you about herself. Instead you’ll hear about music, band mates, politics, touring and a deep reverence for humanity and the earth. You’ll hear the same on Carmanah’s first national release ‘Speak In Rhythms’, a modern eleven-song album that overflows with emotion, afterhours cool, groove and tantalizing hints of gritty vintage flavors that influence it’s modern sound.
At home on Vancouver Island, Carmanah have built a large and enthused fanbase, selling out bigger venues and opening stages for international acts like Ziggy Marley, Clinton Fearon, K.D. Lang, Moby and Shakey Graves. Off the island, on their travels both near and far, and consistent with their values, the band lessens their ecological footprint by fuelling their tour vehicle with used vegetable oil procured from restaurants along the way. Carmanah was mentioned as a “BC musician to watch out for” by Vancouver’s Daily Hive. The Zone 91.3’s Jon Williams has called her, “the Stevie Nicks of our generation.” Times-Colonist reviewer Mike Devlin touted her opening act for K.D. Lang as a, “solid six-song set highlighted by some impressive vocal runs and nifty acoustic guitar work. ”So, when presented with the opportunity, join in and be part of the experience. This is the beginning of a long journey, one that seeks to create a soundtrack for a new listener. This is music, this is love.
Carmanah will be performing on our Festival main stage (5 to 10 pm) Tuesday, July 30 as well as at a The Songwriters Circle in Southminster United Church later that evening (10:30 to midnight).
Hot-rod rockabilly crossed with country blues and spiced up with bebop jazz.
- Known as the “Motorhead of Rockabilly” in Europe.
- Pigat is a very versatile musician who is influenced by a wide-range of music, and performs in several bands to capture the essence of each genre. He amps it up in hot-rod rockabilly band Cousin Harley, winds down with mainly acoustic country blues and roots band Boxcar Campfire, and expresses his vintage jazz and bebop stylings in the Paul Pigat Trio.
- His band called Cousin Harley also doubles as Pigat’s onstage alter ego, which is used to describe the wild persona he embodies during his live performances.
Les Paul, Jimmie Rivers, Danny Gatton, Blind Blake
What others are saying…
“This collection could fit into any of Quentin Tarantino’s films… if you get a chance to hear Cousin Harley, you will dig it!”
Monte Nordstrom, Cosmic Debris
“Cousin Harley holds court … belting out warp-speed rockabilly sounds with occasional surf and klesmer overtones… likely to awaken the sleeping reptile within us all.”
Ron Forbes Roberts, Monday Magazine
“You’d think I would have heard of somebody as good as Cousin Harley before this but this is my first encounter with his music and it couldn’t be more of a pleasure! …Top notch… a straight 10 out of 10.”
Gaby Maag-Bristol – Blue Suede News (USA)
“Paul Pigat and his rockabilly trio, Cousin Harley, play hot enough to raise sweat on a chunk of granite!”
Ron Forbes Roberts, Monday Magazine
Cousin Harley will be performing on our Festival main stage (5 to 10 pm) Tuesday, July 30 as well as at a The Songwriters Circle in Southminster United Church later that evening (10:30 to midnight).
The only good thing about NOT shopping in record stores like the good ol’ days is you won’t have to figure out what genre to look for Ontario’s Danny Michel under. If that WERE the case, you could try looking under, rock/pop, folk, world or (recently) even classical
Danny’s own self-described musical A.D.D. has kept his music fresh for decades now. Thoughtful lyrics & charming performances have earned him a devoted fan base, nominations for three Juno awards, The Polaris Prize, and The CBC’s “Heart Of Gold”, and most recently winning the CFMA’s “Producer of the year” and “Oliver Schroer Pushing the Boundries” Awards.
After a 15 year love affair with the country of Belize Michel relocated there in 2011 to track down one of his favorite Belizean bands; The Garifuna Collective (A unique Afro-Amerindian cultural group) and convincing them to create an album together. That album (“Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me”) was called “One of the finest musical works of our time” By Billboard’s Larry Leblanc & landed a 3rd JUNO nomination (this time in the “World Music” category) and a sold out summer tour of North America with The Garifuna Collective.
While in Belize, Danny also founded the “Danny Michel Ocean Academy Fund” that helps raise scholarships for a small non-profit community high school. To date Danny & his fans have raised over $90,000.00 for the school.
In 2016 Danny returned from Belize with “Matadora”, his most deeply humanist album to date. This ten-song collection explores the environmentalist, pacifist, romanticist, archivist and space enthusiast in Danny.
Then it was off to the Arctic where Danny recorded “Khlebnikov”, (possibly the most northern album ever recorded/above 80°) aboard the legendary Soviet-era Russian ice-breaker, Kapitan Khlebnikov during an 18-day arctic expedition through the northwest passage. The project began when Danny was invited to join “Generator Arctic” by Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield who assembled a small group of scientists, photographers, writers and musician to capture a unique perspective of the north.
Danny Michel will be performing on our performing on our Festival main stage (5 to 10 pm) Tuesday, July 30 as well as at a The Songwriters Circle in Southminster United Church later that evening (10:30 to midnight).
Harry Manx & Special Guest Steve Marriner
“Mysticssippi” blues man Harry Manx has been called an “essential link” between the music of East and West, creating musical short stories that wed the tradition of the Blues with the depth of classical Indian ragas. He has created a unique sound that is hard to forget and deliciously addictive to listen to.
Harry forged his distinctive style by studying at the feet of the masters, first as a sound man in the blues clubs of Toronto during his formative years and then under a rigorous tutelage with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt in India. Bhatt is the inventor of the 20-stringed Mohan Veena, which has become Harry’s signature instrument.
When not touring worldwide Harry Manx makes his home on Saltspring Island, B.C.
Harry Manx will be headlining a special ticketed performance outside on the CASA stage at Rotary Square (7:00 to 10:00 pm) Wednesday, July 31.
There was no way Sofia Viola wasn’t going to end up a musician. The daughter of a famous Argentinian trumpeter and a dancer, Viola grew up in a home that lived and breathed music. She learned to play the 10-stringed ronroco, an Argentinian version of the charango, a diminutive Andean lute that traditionally uses a dried armadillo shell as the back of the soundbox and is a visual cross between a mandolin and a ukelele. As a teenager she began to study the theatre and (as you do) discovered rock music. The resulting musical influence was a stew of tango, bolero, rumba, pop and rock, a heady mix that would come to be delivered with Viola’s trademark sultry, edgy style.
A consummate road warrior and wild child, Viola toured fiercely across South America throughout her 20s, sometimes traveling alone, accumulating experiences that she turned into songs, but also occasionally in bands like the amusingly named Mahatma Dandys. Along the way, Viola became a masterful writer, composer and performer who has recorded four albums produced by South American musical heavy hitters like Ezequiel Borra and Andrés Mayo. Viola’s music is a raw, uninhibited shout of joy, a slither of come hither, a middle finger to mainstream and a joy to behold.
Biography by Shereen Samuels, courtesy of the Calgary Folk Music Festival
Sofia Viola will perform at our Songwriters Circle (10:30 to midnight) Tuesday, July 30 in Southminster United Church and will be one of Harry Manx special guests on the CASA stage (7:00 to 10:00 pm) Wednesday, July 31 in downtown Lethbridge.
Purchase your Festival Package online on May 15, 2019 or in person June 10, 2019 at The Yellow Door (#1117 – 3rd Avenue South) and at the Geomatic Attic.
What a Festival Package Includes:
- Ticket to the Songwriters Circle, Tuesday, July 20 – 10:30 pm inside Southminster United Church
- Ticket to the CASA Stage (outside at Rotary Square), Wednesday, July 31 – 7:00 to 10 pm
- Guaranteed priority seating at Southminster United Church (our backup concert venue) in case of rain at the evening outdoor shows either day.
- Ticket in a draw for 2 season passes for 2019 Fall Geomatic Attic Season (featuring Jimmy Rankin, Jill Barber, Barney Bentall, Hayes Carll, Hawksley Workman, Kacy & Clayton and more)
FESTIVAL PACKAGE $50.00 plus GST
WIDE SKIES MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL will feature local artisans in a unique marketplace setting during the July 30 outdoor event. We believe in supporting local artists and want to showcase the great talent in our community!
As part of the 2019 Wide Skies Music and Arts Festival, local artists Eric Dyck and Carson Morton will again create chalk artworks on the streets around the festival site during the live music performances. Festival-goers are invited to interact and discuss with the artists, as well as take part and create their own chalk artworks alongside the artists.
The PRGM’s The DUELLING DOORS are gateways to the unknown… During Wide Skies Music & Arts Festival on July 30 and 31, The DUELLING DOORS will be placed near each other and custom animations will connect the two devices in a hot and cold/inside and outside/Winter and Summer/dark and light motif. Each time festival-goers open The DUELLING DOORS, a different, yet connected, experience awaits them.
This project is made possible by Into the Streets: Festival Arts Series, which is co-funded by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the City of Lethbridge Public Art Small Projects Program, and guest-curated by Jane Edmundson and Tyler Stewart.
For the 2019 Festival we will continue to showcase new and interesting art initiatives . . . . stay tuned for more details.