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This article was published 13/8/2015 (2234 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Harvest Sun Music Festival has hit a milestone. The event, set for this weekend in Kelwood, Man., will be celebrating its 10th anniversary with an all-Manitoba lineup of musical artists.
This grassroots prairie small town festival is steeped in agriculture and family, and works hard to promote community life through the arts.
Nestled just east of Riding Mountain and 30 minutes north of Neepawa on Highway 5, Kellwood was the birthplace of the brain child that sprang forth from a fateful event for the town’s dearly departed café.
"Yes! It was actually the celebration of one year of being open and it grew from there — although the Harvest Sun café is no longer, the spirit lives on in the festival," said festival director and founder, Nadia Kuhl. "We just had such a positive response to our outdoor musical event that the idea for an ongoing festival was born."
The festival has endured with small but steady growth — at any rate, 10 years is a significant accomplishment. Since planning and prepping the very first Harvest Sun festival, Kuhl always felt that the festival would progress to the point it has.
"I didn’t know what it would become at the start, but I had a secret hope — it has been a slow evolution into what it is today — and we hope that it continues to grow over the next 10 years."
While the festival has grown in terms of attendees — "we had around 50 people (the first year); last year we had 500 people through the gate" — preparation time has increased too, Kuhl said. "The first year was a quick planning process, now it is a year in the making!"
Obviously the live music component is the major draw for any music festival, but part of Harvest Sun’s charm are the many new facets have been added to the festival since Day 1.
Kuhl said there will be more additions to the weekend and a surprise or two thrown in for good measure.
"Music is the most important aspect, but we also have so much more that makes our little festival a gem," she said. "We have an amazing children’s area filled with fun and wonderful volunteers, Big Games, a lovely market area under the big tent and great campfire jams that make the Harvest Sunpop uptown within a town!"
As for the performers, Kuhl said she’s excited about presenting an all Manitoba lineup.
"For the 10th anniversary we are celebrating and saying thank you by having a 100 per cent Manitoba lineup — so many returning friends and new additions. And, of course, Fred Penner and Al Simmons."
This edition of the festival is more of a reunion of sorts for most attendees, both performers and festival-goers.
"That is exactly how I am looking at it," she said. "So many of the acts have been here before and we are so excited to have them back. One of my all-time faves — Scott Nolan, Red Moon Road — and, of course, all of the amazing local talent — Route 10 Collective, Carly Dow, Logan McKillop — it will be like old home week!"
Putting an event like this together is a major task and there is usually a list of people and businesses to thank. Kuhl exclaims that her list is "very long."
"While the Harvest Sun has created deep roots and we hope that this will help us stand the test of time, we are so grateful for the amazing ongoing community support we have received over the years," she said.
"Of course, I would like to thank my partner Delano Kuhl whose company Kuhl Concrete & Construction runs the set up and tear down of the festival, all of my long suffering family and friends who have been with me through thick and thin, the local businesses that have had our back for many years — Karly McRae at Whirlpool Design, Murray & Lei at Poor Michael’s Emporium, Thuraya Weedon at Riding Mountain Nature Tours, Celes & Sue at Earth Rhythms, Clear Lake Golf Course, Derek at The Graphic Factory, French’s Farm, the local community groups who head our way to lend a hand, all of our amazing volunteers Tim, Lorna, Jacquie, the list goes on and on!"
For folks reading this who might be inclined to attend the festival but are on the fence, Kuhl has this message to help them over.
"That a person should try something new every day — learn a new word, taste something that you have never considered, read a new book — try small town living for a few days," she said. "The Harvest Sun is a beautiful community in and of itself — head our way and join in.
"We are so excited to welcome all of you to our small prairie town to experience some village life, camp and listen to some of the best music this summer has to offer!"
Advance tickets available at www.theharvestsun.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/harvestsunmusicfest
There are plenty of camping spots still available.
Frank McGwire is a veteran of the local radio industry, a musician and booster of the music scene in Brandon and Westman. » email@example.com
Harvest Sun Music Festival Schedule:
‘Locals Night’ with host, CKDM’s Bruce Leperre (7:15 p.m. close)
6:30 p.m. Better Than
7:30 p.m. tweener: Rob Waddell
7:45 p.m. Carly Dow Band
8:45 p.m. tweener: Logan McKillop
9 p.m. Route 10 Collective
Host: CKDM’s Bruce Leperre (11:45 a.m. 5:30 p.m.)
12 noon Workshop: Kerri Latimer and Nathan Rogers, featuring: Marcel Desilets, Rob Waddell, Kayla Luky, The Crooked Brothers
1:30 p.m. tweener
1:45 p.m. Al Simmons
2:45 p.m. tweener
3 p.m. September West
4 p.m. tweener: square dancing with Ian Porteous and The Corry Brothers
4:30 p.m. Fred Penner
5:30 p.m. tweener
Host: Al Simmons (5:45 p.m. close)
5:45 p.m. Ian Porteous Bluegrass Band
6:45 p.m. tweener
7 p.m. Heather Bishop
8 p.m. tweener
8:15 p.m. The Crooked Brothers
9:15 p.m. tweener: The Corry Brothers
9:30 p.m. Red Moon Road
10:30 p.m. tweener: Carly Dow
10:45 p.m. The Scott Nolan Band
1 a.m. Fireside Jam, featuring Del Barber and Guests
In The Circle Saturday
10 a.m. Yoga with Lisa in the campground
11 a.m. Kids Hurdi Gurdi workshop with Ian and Alana
1 p.m. Children’s songwriting workshop
2 p.m. Soapstone carving with Tipi Joe
Host: CKDM’s Bruce Leperre (11:15 a.m. 5 p.m.)
11 a.m. Moody Manitoba Morning duets: Rick Neufeld and Alana Levandoski, Carly Dow and Logan McKillop, Scott and Joanna, Quinton and Del, Ingrid and Ryan
12:30 p.m. tweener
12:45 p.m. Al Simmons
1:30 p.m. tweener: Paul Atkins
1:45 p.m. Leaf Rapids
2:45 p.m. tweener
3 p.m. Fred Penner
3:45 p.m. tweener
4 p.m. The Reverend Rambler
Host: Daniel Jordan from Red Moon Road (5 p.m. close of main stage)
5 p.m. tweener
5:15 p.m. Sweet Alibi
6:15 p.m. tweener: kids orchestra parade with Al Simmons
6:30 p.m. Nathan Rogers and Dale Brown
7:30 p.m. tweener
7:45 p.m. Quinton Blair and Del Barber
Meet us In The Circle
8:45 p.m. In The Circle Kitchen Party with Heather Bishop and Friends