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New music festival coming to Bragg Creek later this month

A group of Bragg Creekers is hoping to start a brand new musical tradition with the launch of the first music festival in the hamlet, featuring a broad cross-section of genres aimed at offering something for everyone.
The Arts, Eats and Beats festival in Bragg Creek promises something for all musical tastes

A group of Bragg Creekers is hoping to start a brand new musical tradition with the launch of the first music festival in the hamlet, featuring a broad cross-section of genres aimed at offering something for everyone.

The “Arts, Eats & Beats” festival on Sep. 16 and 17 will feature Alberta performers of jazz, blues, roots, folk, and styles that don’t even have labels.

The stage will be set up in the south mall, so visitors sitting in restaurant patios will be entertained as they dine Al Fresco.

Sherri Olsen, president of the Bragg Creek Chamber of Commerce, said the festival was a bold undertaking, especially under relatively tight timelines. The idea was just hatched in July.

“I think it was quite a major feat. We couldn’t have done it without all the sponsors,” she said.

“We wanted something with some levity, that was fun, that would spur the economy again after COVID.”

According to Olsen, the family-friendly, free public event will highlight Alberta artists, musicians, and culinary experts.

Visitors will be given an event passport to collect stamps, and then enter their name for a grand prize.

Olsen said another goal was to create something new to attract people to Bragg Creek who may be visiting the picturesque hamlet for the first time. She noted a music festival covering such a broad range of styles and genres has not been offered in Bragg Creek before.

“We wanted to offer eclectic, diverse music,” she said.

As proof of the event’s range of styles, Olsen said there will be a Mexican band playing songs by the Gypsy Kings, alongside an Indigenous artist playing a mix of aboriginal and contemporary tunes, and Bragg Creek favourite Dani Moon playing blues and jazz at 12:15 Saturday with The Brett Spalding Trio.

“We’ve got so many different genres in a day-and-a-half, that I think, is super cool,” she said.

Just as the Calgary Folk Fest started out as a folk festival and has morphed over the years to encompass a wide variety of musical tastes, Olsen hopes to mirror that success by offering something for everyone.

Multi-award nominated indie folk group Two Late To The Party blends a beautiful indie-folk sound with an upbeat sing-along vibe. They’re known for their intricate vocal harmonies and catchy heartfelt songs.

Their album The Great Unraveling charted nationally on college and community radio stations and was a top 10 Folk/Roots/Blues album.

Wendy Walker has been an established artist for many years, and has been nominated for and won several awards throughout her career. Her most cherished one is an Esquao Award for her work in the arts sector. Walker was one of two Indigenous artists selected from Canada to perform at the 2018 Winter Olympics’ cultural festival in Pyeongchang.

Neil Speers is a veteran solo musician who fuses blues to a jazz-influenced backbone with the occasional nod to classic rock n’ roll. He’s known for his charismatic performance style and sometimes humorous lyricism.

Rob Mann is originally from Cape Breton, N.S., but has been a Calgary resident for a couple of decades. He completed his first CD Livin’ The Dream in 2012 and second CD Never Too Late For Love in 2018.

Corry Ulan has been playing music around Calgary for 20 years in many bands. She plays refreshing covers with a creative spin. Ulan plays guitar and banjo in her latest project, called Magnolia Buckskin.

With its roots firmly planted in the blues, the Camie Leard Band branches into soul, funk, southern rock and classic rhythm and blues. They are Influenced by artists ranging from Aretha Franklin to the Allman brothers. The band performs everything from sweet and sultry torch songs to driving blues rock.

An area will be cordoned off for people to set up their own lawn chairs by the main stage, and entertainers will also be performing around Bragg Creek.

The festivities run from 4 to 8 p.m. on the Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Saturday.

A schedule will be posted closer to the date, and can be viewed at


Howard May

About the Author: Howard May

Howard was a journalist with the Calgary Herald and with the Abbotsford Times in BC, where he won a BC/Yukon Community Newspaper Association award for best outdoor writing.
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