Celebrations for Canada’s 150th anniversary started in January. Just three days from celebrating the sesquicentennial on July 1, the City of St. Albert is presenting a mosaic of talent that speaks to the diversity of our nation’s people.
Homegrown entertainers living across Canada will converge in St. Albert on Canada Day for nearly 10 hours of non-stop sesquicentennial festivities.
Neil LeGrandeur, the Arden Theatre’s professional programming presenter, announced a series of Canada Day activities staged both at Rotary Park as well as an evening concert mounted at St. Albert Place.
St. Albert Place concert
5 St. Anne Street
Artists set to perform at St. Albert Place concert are headline act folk-rock legends Current Swell, the Latin tornado Locarno and the banjo wielding folk-rock-roots band Shred Kelly.
Co-founded by St. Albert-raised Scott Stanton and Dave Lang, Current Swell has developed a mellow folk-rock vibe that charms fans from across North America through to Europe and as far away as Brazil.
The Victoria based foursome has just released their sixth studio album, When to Talk and When to Listen, an 11-track that delves deeply into the human condition.
“They were just coming back from their European tour and had a gap before starting their summer festival circuit. We had them here a couple of years ago and they were incredibly popular. We programmed one show and it sold out in a heartbeat. We programmed a second show and it sold out in a heartbeat. They’re a fun summer band and what better way to kick-off summer,” LeGrandeur said.
Also hailing from the West Coast is Locarno, a groove heavy mix of Mexican folk, Cuban Son, the root of salsa music and Latin soul. The project of Juno Award winning musician Tom Landa of Paperboys, the eight-year-old band has honed its sound to a fine art adding influences from African Sukous, Mexican marimba, Venezuelan Joropo and Brazilian Forro music.
LeGrandeur first saw Locarno at an Alberta showcase and is pumped about their energy and vitality.
“The music is upbeat, danceable and they’ll be a great time. And their cultural diversity will inject something different into Canada Day.”
The Fernie based Shred Kelly is set on re-defining what folk-rock means. Pushing boundaries of the genre, they have blended a range of influences to wield what the five-some call “Stoke Folk.”
“It’s driven by incredible banjo playing. I wanted the concert to be upbeat, positive, celebratory and have music that makes you forget your worries and be in the moment. This music is a mix of sweet vocals and harmonies, and powerhouse rock.”
Opening the evening concert is pop-rock vocalist Lia Cole, winner of the Canada 150 Songwriting Challenge singing her big win Home to Me.
Community Stage at Rotary Park
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
While the evening concert salutes out-of-towners, the day concert focuses on highlighting local success stories.
• 11 a.m. Hailey Benedict
Only 14 years old, Benedict performed original material during the Keith Urban concert of 20,000 fans at Rogers Place. She is the youngest Fan Choice Award winner at the Association of Country Music Alberta and is a five-time North America Country Music Association International Award winner. And if that’s not enough, this year she was honoured as the youngest Global Woman of Vision award recipient.
• 11:40 a.m. Lia Cole
Sings her Canada 150 song.
• 11:55 a.m. Karimah Marshall
Marshall formally starts the celebrations singing a bilingual O Canada and her original R & B material.
• 12:30 p.m. Darla Daniels
A Métis fiddler, the MacEwan University music major breezes through high-energy genres such as folk, rock, Celtic, bluegrass, country and blues.
• 1:15 p.m. Post Script
A bilingual indie-folk trio from Edmonton, the band received much of their inspiration from old time country and touches of French Canadian root patterns.
• 2:15 p.m. Alleviate
This four-piece St. Albert band works hard at producing honest, raw rock and roll – both the ferocious classic rock as well as songs with fresh twists, intensity and power.
• 3:15 p.m. Thursdays
The ska/jazz/rock band from St. Albert started as an entertaining project at Paul Kane High and took off into the wildly popular fun band that sets hands clapping and feet stomping.
• 4:15 p.m. Altameda
As the headline band for the Community Stage, Altameda’s debut album, Dirty Rain, has an American vibe that captured listeners attention and reached No. 1 on the CKUA Top 30 Charts.
St. Albert Transit will provide free shuttle service on Canada Day’s July 1 festivities to Rotary Park on Riel Dr. A Park and Ride schedule is available at https://stalbert.ca/rec/events/canada-day/.