Here we are, a few days before the Canmore Folk Music Festival weekend. I remember last year sitting exactly where I am sitting now, anticipating the sounds and experiences coming with my favourite event of the summer. Some of my favourite artists became my favourite artists at Folk Fest and every year there is this sense of excited curiosity surrounding what new delights might be discovered there.
This year is different – as it has been for everything. We will not be welcoming festival goers to our small mountain town; no lining up along the sidewalk around Centennial Park before dawn waiting for the gates to open, no pancake breakfast, no collaborative workshops (the best part!!), no locals’ pub stage (oh wait – maybe this is the best part…), no artisan market, no kids’ area.
But don’t despair! Like so many businesses and events in this COVID era, the Folk Festival has worked extremely hard to adapt and will have much virtual goodness on offer. Past artists, local and far flung, will be featured in various ways, and there are contests and tributes galore. For information and schedule, GO HERE. Also be sure to tune into Mountain FM 106.5, who will be featuring local music and memories from past festivals, even as we look ahead to a great relaunch next summer.
August Long Weekend isn’t complete without some great sounds coming from South Canmore. This year looks different, but even a pandemic can’t stop the power of music to unite and give us something to celebrate. So go ahead. Make your own noise. Sing “Four Strong Winds” and “The Mary Ellen Carter” in solidarity (the traditional Canmore Folk Festival finale) – a tribute to all the good things music does to bring us together. And together, we’ll rise again.
“Rise again, rise again
Though your heart it be broken or life about to end
No matter what you’ve lost, be it a home, a love, a friend
Like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again”