For Your Entertainment: Harvest Sun festival offer bumper crop of homegrown talent
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This article was published 11/08/2016 (2492 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
You don’t have to travel far to find an intimate folk festival brimming with friendly faces and Manitoba talent this summer.
Kelwood’s Harvest Sun Music Festival has been showcasing homegrown musicians and prairie agriculture for 11 years and after more than a decade, it’s getting even closer to its roots.
Organizer and founder Nadia Kuhl says this year’s all-Manitoba lineup is following in the footsteps of last year’s 10th anniversary celebration — which featured numerous local artists.
“This year it ended up working out in the same way,” Kuhl said. “We have such an amazing eclectic and a crazy amount of music coming out of Manitoba that it was hard to choose out of all the options.”
Among the many artists returning to the festival’s small stage this year are The Crooked Brothers, Red Moon Road, Marcel Desilets, Route 10 Collective and Ingrid Gatin.
Westman locals Shot Gun Jimmie, Katie MacDonald and The Middle Coast will also be performing.
Kuhl says she’s looking forward to several new-to-the-festival acts, including Winnipeg rock darlings Mise En Scene and Lanikai — a new project by former Imaginary Cities vocalist and Brandon resident, Marti Sarbit.
While the festival doesn’t pigeonhole itself into one musical genre, it does hold on tight to its family programming.
“I feel like Al Simmons is now officially the frontman of Harvest Sun — quite often when people ask me who the headliner is, I’ll say it’s Al Simmons,” Kuhl said, laughing.
Simmons has been performing at the festival for at least five years and Kuhl says he can often be seen riding his horse bicycle around the grounds in between sets.
“We have such a huge group of young families — people who are in their 30s who have kids … and Al is in his total element and he makes his presence very well known throughout the festival.”
Harvest Sun also prides itself on its extensive family area where kids can carve soapstone, build instruments and write songs.
New this year, the festival has decided to nominate a performer ambassador and a featured farmer to engage with the audience throughout the weekend.
Singer-songwriter Carly Dow has been chosen as the performer ambassador and has been writing a blog for the festival about being a musician in Manitoba and homesteading.
This year’s featured farmer is Freefield Organics, an organic farm near Inglis run by a husband and wife duo who process and package their own grains and oils on their property.
Kuhl expects between 400 and 500 people to visit the festival grounds this year and says the small crowd is what makes Harvest Sun special.
“It feels kind of like a pop-up community within a community,” she said. “We do have a sense of belonging, it’s small enough that you do run into everyone that’s here.”
The three-day festival runs from Aug. 19 to 21 and one adult weekend pass will run you $75 if purchased online and $85 at the gate. Kids under 12 are free and camping is additional.
Visit theharvestsun.com to buy tickets and check out the complete lineup.
Eva Wasney is a Brandon Sun reporter with a not-so-secret love of arts, culture and music. Get in touch if you know of an event or artist deserving of a spot in the Sun.
» Twitter: @evawasney