June 2013

Manitoba Chamber of Commerce

Issue link: http://publications.winnipegfreepress.com/i/141831

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WESTERN I t may be small, but the Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival can hold its own with the big kids on the folk-fest block. The musical lineup for this year's festival — set for July 26 - 28 at the Keystone Centre — includes well-known recording artists Hawksley Workman, Martha Wainwright and Stephen Fearing. "We've proven ourselves as a festival that can handle artists of that calibre," says artistic director Shandra MacNeill. "It's really important to be able to bring in nationally and internationally recognized artists." More than 45 acts are set to perform — including Manitoba's Imaginary Cities, JP Hoe, Nathan Rogers and Red Moon Road — and every artist will take part in a mentoring program, with more established acts sharing their knowledge with newcomers. "The mentoring aspect is a very important part of the festival for me. There's a real commitment to make that happen," MacNeill says. "Brandon didn't have the organic mentoring that happens in larger centres." Since the inaugural festival was held at Brandon University in 1985, the organization has expanded its programming, so it produces cultural events throughout the year. And as its name suggests, the summer festival encompasses multiple art forms such as theatre, poetry and visual arts. "Since the beginning it's been a multi-arts festival. It's a bit outside the traditional folk festival," MacNeill says. A unique addition this year is the Makers Market. Makers are technology enthusiasts, crafters, hobbyists, engineers, authors, artists and inventors who all have something in common — they make things. The market will showcase their wares and give them a space to connect, share ideas and explore new platforms and technologies. "Everybody has a very specific idea of what a craft fair is. We have a whole new contingent of people who are doing things with technology that still fall into the traditional definition of homemade," MacNeill explains. "Hopefully we'll have traditional potters and jewelry makers beside someone involved with robotics and people making snowboards." The community is intrigued by the idea of the new market, she adds. "Our audience is receptive to trying new things. They're an open and supportive audience. It's a very exciting thing for all of us." The festival typically has an attendance of about 3,500. Most fans are between the ages of 25 and 45, and almost half travel from other towns and cities in Manitoba and Western Canada. "The influx of people we get from out of town creates an exciting atmosphere," MacNeill says. While it's an urban festival, a 100-year-old forest and walking paths on the site provide country charm. And there's a strong emphasis on family activities, with a dedicated area for children's crafts and entertainment. "We always focus on educational activities and always try to get art involved. We take the musicians off the mainstage and get them to give little workshops," MacNeill says. "It's perfect for parents who like their kids to be not only be entertained, but engaged. This is the festival for them." www.brandonfolkfestival.ca WESTERN BOISSEVAIN & DISTRICT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BRANDON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CARBERRY & DISTRICT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CYPRESS RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE DELORAINE & AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ELKHORN DISTRICT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MELITA & DISTRICT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SOURIS & GLENWOOD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE VIRDEN & AREA COMMUNITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WASKADA & AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEW & NOTEWORTHY >> The Souris suspension bridge will be swinging again this summer. The famous bridge was deliberately destroyed to save a dike during the flood of 2011. Souris economic development officer Sven Kreusch says the new bridge will be longer and wider. It will also swing a bit higher above the Souris River to ensure it won't be affected by future floods. >> RCA National Artillery Museum at CFB Shilo is hosting exhibit A Queen and Her Country this summer to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. The exhibit — which includes a gown the Queen wore during her first official visit to Canada as monarch in 1957 — is on loan from the Canadian Museum of Civilization until Aug. 18. This is the first time it's been seen outside the national capital region. >> The Brandon Chamber of Commerce welcomed incoming president Craig Senchuk (Agri-Trend Business Management) and bid adieu to outgoing president Nate Andrews (Guild Insurance Brokers Inc.) at a luncheon on June 6. The chamber also welcomed its new board at the luncheon. >> The Brandon Chamber partnered with the Inter-Provincial Association on Aboriginal Employment to hold its annual job fair at Shoppers Mall in March. More than 20 employers participated in this year's event. MBiz June 2013 37 MBiz June 2013_final.indd Sec1:37 6/21/13 3:26:35 PM

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