Westben Concerts at The Barn Announces 2017 Line-Up
The Westben Festival, an "umissable cultural getaway" (Toronto Life) focuses its Summer Season on Canada's dreams in all their varied and glorious colours. "I love Canada. We live in a beautiful country, full of friendliness and diversity. I am proud that we are welcoming and interested in one another's stories. And as the perfect reflection of that, I marvel at the incredible beauty that imbues this part of the world, from sea to sea to sea, with a dazzlingly unique specialness. To me, it sounds like Westben!" - Brian Finley, Artistic Director of Westben.
Westben offers up a multi-genre festival program once again, capturing performances of classical, jazz, folk, broadway, fiddle and fun! On the classical front, audiences will be treated to Canadian greats, including pianists Angela Hewitt and Jan Lisiecki to the Canadian Brass, the Rolston Quartet (winners of the 2016 Banff String Quartet Competition) and international tenor legend Michael Schade. Jazzers will be thrilled to hear two-time JUNO winner, Emilie-Claire Barlow while folk-fans will jump at the opportunity to hear 2017 JUNO Song-writer of the year nominee Donovan Woods! Keeping up the laughter, The Arrogant Worms will appear.
New at Westben this summer will be the unique one-of-a-kind experiences on offer: pianist Rashaan Allwood will interpret bird calls "impromptu" on a piano situation at a surprise outdoor location in Ferris Park, while a naturalist will guide adventurers on a bird-watching journey. While piano technician, Daniel Wiersma, will guide curious audiences into the heart of a Steinway - dismantling one on the spot. Recording Engineer Andy Thompson takes participants to the magic of the recording studio, recording and editing their own piano performances. Finally, if you have ears, a cellphone and an imagination, there is a wondrous opportunity to explore a new relationship with nature by learning and employing new techniques in listening to your surroundings in a guided experience.
After starting the Westben Concerts at The Barn in 2000, it is a great honour that both of Westben's founders, Donna Bennett and Brian Finley, have been appointed to the Order of Canada. "I am over the moon that it's both Donna and me, that just speaks to the fact that what we're being recognized for a real team effort and that is wonderfully worthwhile," said Brian Finley. All of this happening in the same year that Canada turns 150, it is fitting that Westben will offer a FREE spectacular tribute to Canada's future entitled 'Canada Dreams' on July 2 featuring an array of musicians ranging from Ojibwe drummer Jordan Mowat from Alderville, to the Westben Festival & Youth Choruses, to the Wakimi Wailers!