If 2015 was any indication, the Queen City is alive and well when it comes to summer fun and music festivals. Throughout the months of July and August if Downtown Regina wasn’t full of energetic music lovers hearing their new favourite bands at the Trifecta Music Festival, you could find them packed into Victoria Park for one of the most successful Regina Folk Festival (RFF) events to date. Sadly all good things must come to an end. As temperatures begin to drop and the snow begins to fall, passionate music lovers slowly retreat into their warm homes comforted with a good book, a hot drink and their nearest warm blanket. Quietly and patiently waiting for the days to pass and the snow to melt so they can finally relive that live music festival excitement all over again. In a season notorious for bringing feelings of somberness and gloom, the sun is about to shine even brighter this winter. Thanks to a few restless (and hard working) citizens – winter is about to become Regina’s next exciting music festival season and here are a few ways that you can join in the fun! Regina Folk Festival Winterruption 2016 An extension of the popular RFF Concert Series (and presented in partnership with Saskatoon’s Broadway Theatre) January’s Winterruption is the first festival of its kind. Taking place over three days (January 21-23), Winterruption promises ten artists performing four shows at three different venues around the City seamlessly blending cultural and musical styles with national and locally celebrated performers; all determined to warm up the audiences on some of the coldest nights of the year. Featuring everything from Hamilton folk rock band Whitehorse and the debut of Regina Fransaskois singer-songwriter Étienne Fletcher, to Cuban-Canadian singer-songwriter Alex Cuba and even acclaimed children’s performer Fred Penner. For more information click here. Regina Blues Association Mid-Winter Blues Festival A different kind of blues intent on lifting spirits and enlightening audiences, February will mark the highly anticipated return of the Regina Blues Association’s 22nd annual Mid-Winter Blues Festival. Created with a mandate to entertain and educate the general public on the importance of blues music, the 2016 edition of the Regina Blues Association’s flagship festival is poised to be one of their biggest yet. Teasing fans with hints of several free concerts leading up to the finale, it’s the already announced Main Stage performers that are starting to cause a buzz amongst blues fans across the city. Everyone from platinum-selling recording artist David Wilcox and Canada’s most highly acclaimed female roots and blues artist Rita Chiarelli, to unforgettable local roots duo The Stillhouse Poets and Ottawa swamp roots rockers Monkey Junk have been confirmed. Proving yet again why the Mid-Winter Blues Festival continues to be a Queen City staple bringing comfort and joy year after year. The festival runs February 22-27. For more information click here.
BreakOut West 2016 Previously taking over the Queen City in 2012, Breakout West (a four-day event featuring a music conference, multi-genre festival and the Western Canadian Music Industry Awards Brunch and Western Canadian Music Awards Gala) announced its triumphant return from October 13 – 16, 2016. Primary events hosted by the Western Canadian Music Alliance – an organization created by the Music Industry Associations of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory – to promote and celebrate western Canadian music. BreakOut West won’t just shine the national spotlight on our city and province, it will act as a catalyst for many local artists eager to build and establish on a career in the music industry.
A stepping stone for worldwide Saskatchewan success stories such as The Sheepdogs, BreakOut West provides artists the unique ability to showcase in front of thousands while also networking with hundreds of music industry delegates. The perfect opportunity for the city and our musicians to prove yet again why Regina has been regarded as a welcoming and vibrant hub for arts and culture – even on the coldest of days. For more information click here. Bundle up this winter and prepare for an unforgettable season of timeless music that’s sure to warm your heart and light up your soul. While our weather may be unbearable at times, it’s events such as these that continue to reassure us all that there will always be fun and exciting ways to cope.