The biggest weekend for music festivals in Canada

By Regina Sienra

The sun is shining, everyone is wearing shorts, slurpees are a key to survival and heat warnings are on. The heart of summer is here! Not so coincidentally, the weekend of July 22 to 24 is stacked with music festivals across the country.

Yes, there have been some amazing festivals throughout the past weeks and months, from Field Trip in Toronto to Pemberton in British Columbia and the always iconic Winnipeg Folk Fest, but some classic names mixed with some recent additions make this weekend a key to exploring local, Canadian and international music – And probably gives you a tough choice if you have the chance to move around.

So, what is going on this weekend?

hillside2016

Hillside Festival – Guelph, ON. 
This festival has been a staple of the Ontario music community of more than 30 years. It has allowed fans to connect with their new favourite bands and future big acts. This year’s better known performers include Buffy Sainte-Marie (who will be performing with The Sadie’s),  Holy Fuck, PUP, Andy Shauf, Land of Talk, Nap Eyes and Old Man Luedecke, but the festival’s attention to the breaking artists guarantees you’re in for a treat with any band you choose to see.
(Official site)

gateway

Gateway Festival – Bengough, SK. 
The always reliable Gateway Festival, happening two hours south of Regina, is back for it’s 12th edition. This year’s lineup features Sloan, The Stampeders, Corb Lund, Bry Webb, Chixdiggit, Mo Kenney, Shotgun Jimmie and Library Voices, plus the always curious experience of exploring the depths of the prairies and seeing a town of 300 hundred people grow ten times its size for a weekend of music and fun.
(Official site)

dawsoncity

Dawson City Music Festival – Dawson City, Yukon
Distance has not kept DCMF from running strong for 38 years. For a weekend, the small city of 1,300 that starred in the Klondike gold rush, becomes a main hub of independent music as it welcomes adventurous music fans. The trek is more than worth it as it means seeing acts like Jenn Grant, Jim Bryson, Terra Lightfoot, The Wet Secrets and Highs, along with some local musicians like Joey O’Neil and Rob Dickson.
(Official site)

iedmrodeo

Interstellar Rodeo – Edmonton, AB.
With a core of roots and Americana, but open arms to other genres – just like it’s big brother, Six Shooter Records – Interstellar Rodeo’s fifth edition includes Sam Roberts Band, Kathleen Edwards, The Strumbellas, Whitehorse, Faith Healer –who will be playing a solo set – and Reuben and the Dark.
(Official site) 

2016 banner

Brandon Folk Fest – Brandon, MB.
Don’t give up on little Brandon Folk Fest too soon. John K. Samson, who rarely plays more than a couple shows a year these days, is one of the headliners. The best part? Weakerthans’ drummer Jason Tait is joining him for this set, making this the first mini-reunion for the staple Winnipeg band in three years. Ron Sexsmith, who is currently promoting his new album, Carousel One, is also performing at BFF.
(Official site)

wayhome-share

WayHome – Oro-Medonte, ON. 
WayHome just debuted last year, yet its production has earned it a spot among the world’s top festivals thanks the big names on the lineup. You can picture how big this festival – which happens 10 minutes north of Barrie – is when the acts on the lower lines are bands like Braids, White Lung and Dilly Dally. Other Canadian acts joining them include Black Mountain, Wolf Parade, Shad, Bahamas, A Tribe Called Red and Arcade Fire.
(Official site)

rocktheshores

Rock The Shores – Colwood, B.C.
In five years, Rock The Shores has drawn big Canadian and international acts to the town of Colwood, just west of Victoria, in hopes of making the arts thrive in the Vancouver Island region. The 2016 lineup of this homegrown effort features Current Swell, The New Pornographers, July Talk, Yukon Blonde and Jon and Roy, among others.
(Official site)

ffimage

Calgary Folk Festival – Calgary, AB.
With an extra day to enjoy (It starts today, July 21), this festival set in downtown Calgary offers a wide range of daytime and evening performances, but it’s the sessions – intimate sets where marvellous collaborations and mashups happen – what have made CFF one of the best festivals in North America. The New Pornographers (including a solo set by Kathryn Calder,) Kathleen Edwards, Braids, Kacy & Clayton and Lisa LeBlanc are part of this year’s lineup.
(Official site)

Advertisements

186 thoughts on “The biggest weekend for music festivals in Canada

  1. Great post @reg!!! What ROMO I have tho’… Wet Secrets in Dawson City arghhhh!
    I hang on to hope that I can get my fam to a fest next year!

    Like

  2. Good morning!
    So many festivals, we thought we would get to Dawson City Music Fest this year but man it is a trip and a half just to get there. It must be planned well in advance to get flights on points to Whitehorse and then you still need to either drive 532 km from there or fly on local North Air.
    I’m trying to get to Brandon on Sunday for JKS but 21/2 hours there and back is a little to long to not stay overnight.
    Going to see Bry Webb and the Providers tonight with Slow Leaves and Greg Smith! 😍

    Like

  3. Regina folks,
    When you get here today.
    I need some advice on if there is free/cheap parking in downtown, because we bought our passes booked our hotel for Regina Folk Fest! Woooooo hoooo!

    Like

  4. Hi guys! I’m heading to Hillside this weekend, it’s gonna be another scorcher! Thank goodness it’s on the water and you can swim.

    Like

  5. Morning all,
    Calgary Folk Fest starts today and runs through the weekend too. Tonight I’m going to see The New Pornographers and The Tallest Man on Earth. How’s everybody doing?

    Like

  6. @reg I’m pretty excited, the lineup is great for me. It’s also been way, way too long since my last show.

    Like

  7. Brandon Folk Fest shout-out, yay! thanks for another great post, reginula!

    I’m going to try my best to get there on Sunday to see JKS. That’s not to be missed

    Like

  8. Thanks for the welcome guys! I commented once before but didn’t realize the whole ‘refresh’ thing hehe. Now I’m BACK! For Hillside, I am really excited to see Donovan Woods, The Sadies, Tuns, Holy F, Old Man Luedecke! A bonus is that I’m going as a volunteer so the whole thing is only $24 for me, and I get to stay on the island (whereas general admission camp off the island).. but a con is that I have to miss a bunch to fulfill volunteer hours!

    Like

  9. Laura,
    Volunteering does have some drawbacks, at times missing stuff at WFF just kills me, but working backstage affords the chance to meet/chat with so many artists.

    Like

  10. loweeda,
    BFF – Do you know about anyone driving out from Winnipeg on Sunday and returning the same day?

    Like

  11. I’m going to try and hit up the two free shows happening at the harbourfront this weekend. The Elwins on Friday night and Great Lake Swimmers on Saturday Night

    Like

  12. Shonica: I don’t specifically know anyone driving back and forth, but I’m sure some people are, including lots of musicians, most likely. Maybe some of the Dirty Catfish guys?

    Like

  13. The CBC music player hasn’t worked for me in Firefox all week. Flash enabled, ad blocker off, doesn’t matter.

    Like

  14. @switters Thanks for the scoop! Are you attending all four days?

    @Old Abe Hi! Thank you, and thanks for reading.

    Like

  15. @Shonica – agreed, it KILLS me to miss people but the backstage thing is fun, I got to hang out with Fred Penner last year! I think next year I might try to get on a crew that wanders a bit so I could maybe sneakily check out performances 😉

    Like

  16. Yay! Nice post Regina! Headed to HILLSIDE this wknd and can’t wait!

    See you there Laura Beth!!

    Love and peace out to my R3 peeps ❤

    Like

  17. loweeda,
    Thanks, I’m working on getting there. Gimli Film Fest is on this weekend too and has several of my concert buddies attending and they may not get back to the city with a desire to drive out and back.

    Like

  18. Good morning. Ottawa’s only fest this weekend is… waiiiiiit for it…

    Chamberfest, i.e. the chamber music festival.

    Not exactly indie or Chixdiggit.

    Like

  19. chamber music, ya!!

    (I mean that, I’m not being facetious. There’s actually a chamber music festival here this weekend, too–or more specifically it’s at the national park about an hour from here. I probably won’t get to it, but I’m still glad it’s happening)

    Like

  20. @Regina
    Thanks!! don’t get to comment too often but I try to stay in touch with Our Basement. Look forward to more posts and blogging ☀️

    Like

  21. @sitrucj wipes for your bod haha it gets sweaty and if there are no showers, they come in handy! also if it’s going to be a hot one, bring a bandana that you can wet and put around your neck.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Sitrucj:
    – toilet paper (again, not being facetious. Knowing you have your own, whatever happens, gives a great sense of peace)
    – ear plugs (for when you actually want to sleep at night and tune out the drum jam for awhile)
    – headlamp (a camping must at any time, but especially in haphazard festival campgrounds where anything–or anyone–could be lying around out there)

    That’s off the top of my head, but there’s probably many more

    Liked by 1 person

  23. sitrucj
    In case of rain, rain gear and a zip lock bag for your phone, spare pair of dry socks to change into after the rain.
    A headlamp- so you can see where you’re walking in the dark and leaves your hands free to do other tasks(port-a-pottie)
    A refillable water container

    Like

  24. noobs, my advice: more underwear and more t-shirts and other such wearables than seems sensible, so if they get wet or muddy, you just hang them up and then bag ’em and bring ’em home to wash. Meanwhile, you have a wealth of dry clothes. Dry clothes feel good (I think).

    Also useful when it’s really hot.

    OH, AND BRING FOAM EAR PLUGS. They’re often not to be found at overamplified fests.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. @Tiffany Nice! I’ll keep an eye out for it. I’ll be in Toronto for a week, staying with Bwill and visiting people

    Like

  26. The poet Saul Williams is interviewed by Shad, last half-hour this morning, on *q*. Interesting. About Big Concepts, racism, etc. Intelligent discourse.

    Like

  27. I thought Saul Williams died…
    Love the bandana tip!
    Getting hot here already but can’t complain because no concrete & lotsa lakes…
    sorry…
    Nice work on the graphics @tiffy!:)

    Like

  28. I’ve been so grateful for KEXP lately, a rebound love that will probably last a long while. The R3 stream has been disappointing for me, the cbcmusic site’s well…not optimum…ahem…:(

    Like

  29. And now it’s King Missile on KEXP! John Richards is such a great DJ. He’s also a runner and makes amazing podcasts of indie music to run to. They’re seriously the best jams.

    Like

  30. lucky, I say: put your comment down on the CBC page. It’s better to be heard, and it’s not like putting down a person: you’re talking about product being not as good as what is found elsewhere.

    Like

  31. @BfO I guess I’ve assumed that every iconic artist has died…thanks for the link. And you’re probably right about the comment, I just have kinda given up on the ceeb, deaf ears & all that. If it wasn’t for ourbasement I don’t know what I’d do!
    Thanks kids. Again & again &… ❤

    Like

  32. Hiya Funhug!
    I’m off, chauffeuring duties & a nice cool lake. Keep your sticks on the…hot pavement…
    🙂

    Like

  33. And we’re constantly “surprised” that cops kill African Americans.

    In this case, cops came onto a property to serve a warrant — for someone who’d lived there 10 years prior, “but you got to start somewhere” — though they knew the place was a rental, inhabited by others — and shot the peoples’ dog right in front of the kids — it was a kid’s birthday party. No apology, only justifications. In Oklahoma. Maybe the dog shouldn,t have been loose, but…

    http://okcfox.com/news/fox-25-investigates/police-kill-family-dog-at-childs-birthday-party?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

    Like

  34. Holy crap, I’m reading another item about drunken stupidity and social media. Not worth linking, really.

    So the guy steals Jeep at 2 a.m. Drunk as anything. Posts video on Snapchat. Maryland Police check said media. XYZ is now charged “…with vehicle theft, using a handheld phone while driving, negligent driving, and driving while on a suspended license among other traffic violations.” $20,000 bond. “Ah, alcohol, the cause of and solution to all problems” (Simpsons close quote, I think).

    Maybe not always the second part.

    Like

  35. Hey nice article Reginula and props to Tiffy for the images. It sucks but I’ll be working again this weekend. If this continues I may move my planned retirement date ahead. I’m getting kind of sick of working every weekend. Sorry for venting.

    Like

  36. Wayhome is certainly cramping Hillside’s style. But after this 40 degree weekend, Wayhome may suffer from spontaneous combustion.

    Seriously though, some big festivals just don’t last.
    Plus, I don’t want Hillside and HCFF on the same weekend.

    Like

  37. Just got to work, I was out seeing a documentary about Rodrigo y Gabriela. Are you familiar with them? They are two super badass guitar players that are bigger everywhere but here.

    Like

  38. @reginula – Wolf Parade in particular. I would love to be able to see them! But there are so many artists I like on there. Black Mountain, Patrick Watson are big favs. Arcade Fire, Braids, A Tribe Called Red, White Lung etc etc etc.

    Like

  39. @Tiffy – I work in IT, firewalls, routers, switches, VPNs all the stuff that makes business work online. We’ve been migrating our Core network from one vendor to another and completely changing the architecture. This is such a big task and fraught with many difficulties that it has been going on for months. We lost one team member due to the stress about a couple of months ago. It seems to almost be over and I’ve never tried to get myself deeper into it.

    Like

  40. @stevie – I wish someone would pay me to go to it. Those bands don’t come around here often. I drive to other provinces to see bands. Ontario is so spoiled. :p

    Like

  41. @Darbar – my friend Karen who is a writer for billboard offered me her extra ticket. but she is leaving tomorrow morning and I cant take the day off. Also, I was just away in Vancouver for 9 days and I need to catch up on life.

    tough choice though.

    Like

  42. I’d love to go to any of those (If someone offered me like, a free plane ticket and a ticket to the show), but if I had to rank them, WayHome would come in last place.

    Like

  43. Darbar, re Ontario being spoiled: tell me about it! I got so spoiled for the year I lived in London. I couldn’t BELIEVE that it was possible for me to just WALK A FEW BLOCKS and see live bands almost every weekend! I still miss that almost as much as anything. See also: reasons why I’m broke now. #noregrets

    Liked by 1 person

  44. I’m not sure if I’d actually enjoy being at wayhome, big crowds aren’t my thing, but they always have artists that I’d love to see who don’t come out here.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. I’d say Brandon comes in first place for me because of JKS.
    But then Hillside, Rock the Shores, Calgary Folk (Like, KATHLEEN EDWARDS) and Gateway and Hillside are a tie.
    So I just want to go everywhere.

    Like

  46. @reginula – For me it is about the opportunity to see bands I don’t get here. I love small festivals like Gateway and wish I could make it down there but it won’t be happening this year. Devin has his procedure at the hospital tomorrow and a wedding on Saturday are keeping me away. I did get your tag and would have volunteered if I could.

    Like

  47. Seeing JKS at Gateway Fest was amazing. I especially enjoyed watching all the artists giving him so much love and respect during his set. I stood behind Bahamas and his band during that set.

    Like

  48. I fully encourage everyone to come to the Calgary Folk Festival. The beer garden is new and improved and we can float on the river.

    Like

  49. @Darbs I feel ya 😦 I understand why you’d like to be there. Wish those bands made it there too! I guess it’s the other way around for me, like… LCD Soundsystem and those things will/can come here, but, say, Limblifter won’t.

    We should start a reality in which we trade cities for shows and explore the results at the end while the credits roll.

    Like

  50. reginula: OK, we’ll figure something out on Sunday night. JKS is due on the mainstage at 8 pm CST. Clear your Pokemon-hunting schedule 😉

    Like

  51. (no, for realz, help noob Reginula with her playlist for tomorrow. So can you think of songs that mention names of Canadian cities/towns OR songs that name places [buildings, streets, stations, etc]))

    Like

  52. @reginula: I assume you mean in addition to “One Great City”? Hmm. Well, going back a few years there’s Chixdiggit’s “I Drove the Coquihalla”. Also, every song Stompin’ Tom ever released, although he’s not exactly indie rock. Oh, and Tragically Hip’s Bobcaygeon, speaking of mainstream.

    Like

  53. @Loozrboy Indeed, in addition to that one –And Bobcaygeon–. Thanks! And indeed, Stompin’ Tom. I had not thought of that. Derp.

    Like

  54. I really don’t think I could handle Way Home. Yeah, the lineup is great.. but.. I couldn’t handle the crowds, the drunken idiots and I’m sure, the cultural appropriation. Hillside is so relaxing! Go for a swim, chill out at the sacred fire, attend a workshop, wander! I love it. People are so respectful!

    Like

  55. @Laura I’m picturing Wayhome as a super bro-y, Coachella-like kind of place so I’m not completely drawn by the idea either. Didn’t know you could swim at Hillside!

    Like

  56. Songs that mention places:
    – Deathbridge in Lethbridge
    – I hate Winnipeg
    – The Dead South (south is a place right?)
    – RV by Darrelle London

    Like

  57. I am sure you have Rah Rah’s Duet for Emmylou and the Grievous Angel on there. “In Regina, Saskatchewan…”

    Like

  58. @Steve yes, no fire! right! the drum circle in the volunteer village will be a different one this year!

    Like

  59. @reginula I really shouldn’t judge, as I haven’t been there.. but that’s how I picture it as well! Not my scene!

    Like

  60. I also want you to know writing about slurpees made me want one so I just paid 50 Cents CAD for a mini version of what our 7/11s offer as an icy drink.

    Like

  61. @Darbar – newbie to Spotify question – I’m using the free version, so when I click on your playlist it just brings me to the ‘sign up’ page, not the web player. Do you know how to get it to play from there? maybe I just have to search you somehow from the web player and find it that way…

    Like

  62. @reginula i have not looked at what others have posted for you but here are some ideas from me

    Said the Whale, False Creek Change and Black Days in December
    Blue Rodeo, Montreal
    Classified, Oh Canada
    Dan Mangan, Pine for the Cedars
    Joni Mitchel, A Case of You
    Stan Rogers, North West Passage
    Elliot Brood, Oh Alberta
    Personal Funk Device, One on Board
    Buffy Saint Marie, Universal Soldier

    I am sure more will bubble up as I go through the afternoon …

    Like

  63. Question for spotify users: does the paid version also get rid of the banner / popover ads in the player, or just the audio ads?

    Like

  64. @reg – I got a few likes on the facebook group I posted to. Hardly anyone applying this time around. it’s very strange. normally I’m inundated with applicants.

    And oddly, it’s mainly guys and couples reaching out. I will not have a couple live with me!! no thank you.

    Might have a guy though…. we’ll see. gaaaah. finding a roommate is so stressful. I just had one girl cancel (and I creeped her on fb and she seemed ‘normal’) because she is going to buy a place instead.

    Like

  65. @Tiff I would think people are frantic to find a roommate there, especially for that price and in that place. Very strange. What about that social place everyone mentioned? The one where they wanted to post about Grant-the-dog.

    Ewwww, no, not couples!

    Just as a fact, a friend of mine found the love of her life IN HER ROOMMATE. She moved in with two guys and now she’s been with one of them for years! It’s a funny weird story.

    Like

  66. @laura_beth: I’ve never had much luck with the embedded playlists either. I find if I click the little icon the appears in the top right when you hover and then copy the link into a new browser tab or the desktop player, that usually works.

    Like

  67. @reg – I had a guy look at it last night, and I have another guy coming tonight. The reason why I am hesitant to have a guy live with me is that I would not want to have to encounter any awkward situations……………………………………………………….

    I am very outgoing and people can sometimes take it the wrong way if you know what I mean.

    Like

  68. Okay i got to darbars’ playlist in a roundabout way.. everytime I click on a link it brings me to the download page, it’s super annoying! I can’t DL that at work.

    Like

  69. @Tiff Oh, totes. I think my friend managed because there were two guys, not just one.

    I’m rethinking my Oh, totes.

    Oh, Totes. <.<

    Like

  70. @SRK – Mark went this morning to set up their site at Hillside and says the lake is WAY down. Doesn’t think swimming will be that great.

    Like

  71. I am still on free Spotify as well. The ads haven’t gotten to the point of making me pay yet.

    @laura beth – Can you log on to your account on the Spotify web player at work? Would the playlists come up that way? I really have no idea, just throwing ideas out there. hehe

    Like

  72. @OldAbe someone posted in the volunteer section on FB that their husband got Beaver Fever by swimming at Hillside last year, so i’m a wee bit concerned already! Mouth closed in water!

    Like

  73. Taken from here

    Anything from Luke Doucet – Aloha, Manitoba
    Justin Rutledge – Aberta Breeze
    Anything from The Rural Albert Advantage
    Said the Whale – B.C. Orienteering
    Jeremy Fisher – Marengo, Saskatchewan
    Will Currie and the Country French – Ontario
    Harlan Pepper – Great Lakes
    The Rural Alberta Advantage – The Ballad of the Rural Alberta Advantage
    Sunparlour Players – Point Pelee is the Place to Be
    Yukon Blonde, anything by
    Bruce Peninsula, anything by
    Harlan Pepper – Great Lakes
    Hylozoists – Bras d’Or Lakes, Bras d’Or being a county in Nova Scotia
    Dinner Belles – West Simcoe County
    Said the Whale – Emerald Lake, AB
    D-Sisive – West Coast (Clearly all about BC.)
    The Pack A.D. – BC Is On Fire
    Anything by The Wilderness of Manitoba
    Greenfield Main – Red River Valley
    Jason Collett – Parry Sound
    Ohbijou – Niagara
    Greenfield Main – Red River Valley

    Sorry for any repeats (but I was too lazy to check)

    Like

  74. Hi Reg,
    The Angel of Long Point- Tanglefoot
    The floating bridge of Ennismore – Tanglefoot
    Keppel Township Love Song – Tanglefoot
    I’m off work now see you tomorrow

    Like

  75. There are several Luke Doucet songs too that mention places in Winnipeg.
    Mitzi’s (at the legendary,long running, open late, downtown restaurant with the best chicken fingers)

    Long Haul Driver (mentions Winnipeg, St Vital and the Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club)

    Like

  76. Samara & Old Abe may know where Keppel & the slough (slew)of despond are. (I imagine)
    Also Thank-you to Garf I have been listening to 6music from BBC for the last month or so. It’s about the only thing that gets through the web filters at work.

    Like

  77. reginula, 12:06, I think the article is b.s.: the numbers of …cocci given are given without a “per square something”, square millimetre perhaps. Also, the doctor’s answer is not that it’s dangerous, but about being in the food preparation industry and keeping the bracelet on.

    Also, the numbers of …cocci are very low. Your phone would probably test worse.

    Ignore it.

    Like

  78. I dunno what’s up with the related / suggested videos on YouTube. When I try to listen to music on there, sometimes they’ll suggest songs by a bunch of similar / other artists, which is nice, but eventually it’ll get to a point where it’ll apparently think “oh, did you enjoy that live session Strumbellas song? I hope so because here are *twelve more*!”. And the entire list is nothing but that and the promoted clickbait garbage (TOP 10 FUNNY PET FAILS CUTE DOGS FUNNY!!) that won’t fuck off no matter how much I ignore it. It’s like a musical exploration dead end. So disappointing.

    Like

  79. @Shonica – I hadn’t seen that. Yay for coming to RFF! Hmm parking downtown. The meters are free on the weekend but a 2 hour limit on Saturday. So you have to move every couple hours. I usually park in the City Hall lot for Folk Fest. I will see what I can find out.

    Like

  80. @loweeda John Richards is KEXP is pretty cool, and yes a runner too. I wonder if he and Grant know each other as they both are in indie radio and ‘down the road’ 229km drive down I-5 from each other.

    Like

  81. In today’s “Maybe this very obnoxious thing I’ll say related to Library Voices and fellow favourite bands will bring them onto the blog”

    I was checking out the Arkells Pre-order bundle with posters and t shirts and a pennant. Looks good, decent price, but I’m a moderate fan. For some reason, the bands I would buy crazy bundles from just put out CD/Vinyl for pre-order.

    Like

  82. Ignore previous: data got scrambled (no shit): Now it reads Spoon, *I Saw The Light*. So no wonder.

    (Titles probably switched between my reading one, typing, and reading the other.)

    Like

  83. garf, she’s really polite and sensitive; I think she sees herself as “obnoxious” when transgressing such values, for instance in speaking about something, or complaining, etc.
    Excessive idea of not wanting to disturb, or be out of place. (She’s not the only woman on here who tends to say “sorry” when being assertive.

    (Reg, you can tell me where to go.)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s