Mid­dle-aged spread a good thing for fest

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ARTS & LIFE - By Carolin Ve­sely

IT’LL still have the same love-and­peace vibe, but the Win­nipeg Folk Fes­ti­val’s long­time digs at Birds Hill Park are go­ing to look dif­fer­ent this year.

For one thing, there’s go­ing to be a cen­tral hub for all the stuff fes­ti­val­go­ers do be­yond lis­ten­ing to great mu­sic — such as eat­ing, drink­ing and shop­ping.

“We’re build­ing a more com­mu­nity feel in the main area, so the food ven­dors, the tav­ern and the home­made vil­lage are all mov­ing,” says fes­ti­val ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Lynne Skromeda. “We’re also build­ing a new land­mark tower — it’s kind of like a sculp­ture — that will be the cen­tre of the plaza area.”

The new Fes­ti­val Vil­lage is part of the sec­ond phase of the folk fes­ti­val’s $6-mil­lion site-re­de­vel­op­ment plan, which will also see the ad­di­tion of two new for­est stages.

Food ven­dors will have new per­ma­nent struc­tures in which to pre­pare and sell their fare, as well as im­proved ac­cess to elec­tric­ity and water and an ac­cess road that will al­low trucks to bring in sup­plies dur­ing the day.

Fes­ti­val-go­ers will also have a new shaded eat­ing area in­stead of hav­ing to scram­ble for a spot in the sun on a random pic­nic bench.

The two new for­est stages bring the fes­ti­val’s to­tal to nine. They will be tucked away in nat­u­ral clear­ings in the woods, where ma­ture spruce and oak trees will pro­vide mu­sic fans with plenty of shade.

Few trees had to be cleared to make space for the stages, Skromeda says, be­cause the fes­ti­val worked closely with Man­i­toba Con­ser­va­tion to choose sites where there were al­ready nat­u­ral, al­most am­phithe­atre-like de­pres­sions in the for­est.

One of the new stages is ac­tu­ally a re-po­si­tion­ing of the Lit­tle Stage on the Prairie, which had been hav­ing some noise-bleed is­sues from the nearby Bur Oak Stage.

The Win­nipeg Folk Fes­ti­val is seek­ing the pub­lic’s help to name the new for­est stages. The names should re­flect the fes­ti­val’s val­ues — “green, fun, na­ture, com­mu­nity and mu­sic” — as well as its con­nec­tion to Birds Hill Pro­vin­cial Park. Email your sug­ges­tions to ForestS­tage@win­nipeg­folk­fes­ti­val.ca. In­clude your name and phone num­ber. Dead­line to en­ter is March 22 with win­ning names to be an­nounced in April.

The fes­ti­val’s Stag­ing the Fu­ture cap­i­tal cam­paign has raised about 85 per cent of its $6-mil­lion fundrais­ing goal, Skromeda says. And by the end of this year’s event, the site-re­de­vel­op­ment project will be about two-thirds of the way com­pleted.

Phase 3 in­volves changes to the camp­ground and is ex­pected to be fin­ished in 2014.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.