Femme Wave gets big­ger in its fourth year

Calgary Herald - - YOU - JON ROE twit­ter.com/the­jon­roe jroe@post­media.com

The lo­cal fem­i­nist mu­sic and arts fes­ti­val Femme Wave has got­ten big­ger ev­ery year.

“We just kind of keep grow­ing it in ev­ery way we can,” says coartis­tic di­rec­tor and co-founder Kaely Cor­mack.

This year, the fes­ti­val’s fourth, it has added lit­er­ary pro­gram­ming to its usual mix of mu­sic, art, com­edy and film.

The fes­ti­val’s open­ing night at Dick­ens Pub on Nov. 15 fea­tures spo­ken word and com­edy from the likes of Cal­gary poet lau­re­ate Sheri-D Wil­son and Amy Edgar; films writ­ten, di­rected or pro­duced by women; and mu­sic by Body Lens, Polly Dac­tic and Natmi.

The fes­ti­val also fea­tures on Nov. 17 a live pod­cast tap­ing for the show Hot Takes with Hot Dykes by Seat­tle com­edy duo Clara Plu­ton and Val Ni­gro and fem­i­nist hip-hop karaoke, both firsts for the fes­ti­val.

“Peo­ple can sign up ahead of time, you have to mem­o­rize all the words to your fem­i­nist hip-hop song,” says Cor­mack. “There will be a back­ing track, we’ve got a DJ that’s host­ing it. You get to rap and show off to a very pleas­ing au­di­ence, I’m sure.”

There will also be the re­turn of work­shops, an an­nual part of the fes­ti­val’s pro­gram­ming. At­ten­dees need to reg­is­ter in ad­vance, but can at­tend the work­shops, which in­clude de­sign, writ­ing, and zine­mak­ing, for free.

“We think if we’re go­ing to be show­cas­ing art, it’s im­por­tant to

give peo­ple the tools to cre­ate their own art and en­cour­age more peo­ple to be cre­at­ing art in the scene rather than just go­ing and see­ing it,” says Cor­mack.

Other notable mu­si­cal acts per­form­ing in­clude Mint Record’s elec­tronic act Kel­larissa; Cal­gar­yraised, but now Van­cou­ver-based, hip-hop artist Lowkita; and Too At­tached, the si­b­ling duo of Vivek Shraya and Shamik Bilgi.

“(Shraya)’s an author, she just put out a book called I’m Afraid of Men that’s re­ally do­ing well and blow­ing up the lit­er­ary charts,” says Cor­mack.

Cor­mack feels the fes­ti­val has had a pos­i­tive im­pact on the city’s lo­cal scene. “We’ve seen a lot more safer spa­ces, so that’s been re­ally cool to see that pop up,” she says.

“I think a lot of show book­ers and venue man­agers are re­ally aware of gen­der par­ity in their book­ings now,” she adds.

“We’re see­ing a lot of peo­ple we pro­gram, maybe we’ve never seen them be­fore, but af­ter they’ve played Femme Wave, we’ve seen a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties open up for them. I think it’s cool we’re open­ing doors for peo­ple that maybe wouldn’t have got­ten no­ticed oth­er­wise.”


Author Vivek Shraya.

Femme Wave co-founders Hay­ley Muir and Kaely Cor­mack say the fes­ti­val opens other doors for per­form­ers

2017 Femme Wave head­liner Sam­mus is per­form­ing.

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