It’s fair to say winter has overstayed its welcome. With wind chills colder than Mars, more rain in January than in all of July, and a very disappointing snowfall, even the fun parts of winter aren’t very fun this year. One might take this as an invitation to escape the cold and travel somewhere nice and warm, but with Christmas debt still on everybody’s mind, that isn’t always an option. “If only there was some way to make winter go away,” you’re probably thinking. “If only for a day or two.” The Regina Folk Festival thought the same thing three years ago and did something about it. Following the city-wide festival in August, Regina’s folk music scene slowed down in the fall and winter. Instead of sitting around and waiting for spring to arrive, the Regina Folk Festival put a pause on the cold dark season of winter and started a new festival, naming it Winterruption – a combination of the words “winter” and “interruption”. Much like its summer counterpart, Winterruption is a folk-based music festival focused on Canadian artists. Entering its third year of winter folk festivities, the Regina Folk Festival is hosting the festival at three different venues simultaneously throughout the city. This minimizes the amount of winter lull in folk music, and maximizes exposure for some of our country’s booming talent. This year the Regina Folk Festival is trying something a little different to scare away the cold. While the line-up has scores of incredible folk artists, it also includes artists from the surf-rock and post-punk genre. This heavier, warmer music is exactly what you need to shake off the icicles off your toque and to send the chill of winter back where it belongs. From January 18th to 20th, the festival showcases over 40 artists and 16 musical groups. Venues include The Exchange, The Artisan and The Revival Music Room. There will be so many artists playing, and so many shows available, it can be overwhelming where to begin. With simultaneous shows happening around the city, it is impossible to attend all of them, yet that’s exactly what the Regina Folk Festival would like you to do. They want you to enjoy every artist as much as you can, and do whatever needs to be done to keep the winter blues away. When asked what show they recommend for first timers to experience, they responded, “All of them.” Artists include local folk celebrities like Megan Nash, Belle Plaine and Mariel Buckley, all who have made a name for themselves the past few years. The Regina-based alternative rock group, Bears in Hazenmore will also perform at the festival, after having an incredible year of making music waves across the province. Delhi 2 Dublin and Natural Sympathies have also been experimenting with some new sounds and will show them off this weekend, along with other artists such as Duchess Says, Rayannah and Lord Byrun. Winterruption promises to be a fun, fresh and perfect escape from the winter chill. With an easy family vibe, everybody of all ages is welcome, but please keep in mind that The Revival Music Room is licensed, so minors are not allowed. The schedule for shows are:

January 18        The Exchange Begonia, Close Talker, Bears in Hazenmore Doors open at 7:30 pm, show at 8:00 pm Tickets are $30 in advance or $37 at the door

Revival Music Room Duchess Says, Partner, The Florals Doors open at 7:30 pm, show at 8:00 pm Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door

January 19       The Exchange Delhi 2 Dublin, DJ Khanvict, Natural Sympathies Doors open at 7:30 pm, show at 8:00 pm Tickets are $30 in advance or $37 at the door

The Artesian Tom Wilson, Mariel Buckley, Belle Plaine Doors open at 7:30 pm, show at 8:00 pm Tickets are $30 in advance or $37 at the door

January 20. The Exchange Mo Kenney, Lindi Ortega, Megan Nash Doors at 7:30 pm, show at 8:00 pm Tickets are $30 in advance, or $37 at the door