The Harrison Fesival of the Arts is returning for 2021!
With the province hopefully aiming to move into Step 3 the BC Restart in early July, the Harrison Festival Society has confirmed that it will be presenting a limited capacity version of the annual Festival from July 10-18, 2021. Due to the difficulty in restricting audience numbers in the usual venue on the Harrison waterfront, the festival will take place on the family-run Holberg Farm in Agassiz. The result is the 2021 Harrison Festival of the Arts – Farm Edition. While there sadly will not be any music in Harrison this summer, it will be back on the beach and in the Hall as soon as restrictions allow.
The use of Holberg Farm as a concert site was tested last summer through the festival’s Still Running concert series. Audience members loved the beautiful farm setting, and artists gave intimate and connected performances to 50 person audiences, safely distanced through assigned seating in household bubbles. The 2021 Festival will follow a similar format, but will include many more performers, including some new faces and some familiar names.
The first weekend of the festival, July 10 and 11, will be a celebration of BC’s musical and cultural diversity, with members of the BC World Music Collective presenting individual sets, and a collaborative set on Saturday evening. Styles include flamenco song (Farnaz Ohadi), marimba polyrhythms (Robin Layne and the Rhythm Makers), Cuban son (Adonis Puentes), Indigenous hip hop and spoken word (Ostwelve), soul (Tonye Aganaba), and the Celtic/Latin hybrid of La Banda Landa, the husband and wife duo behind The Paperboys and Locarno.
Weeknights will include performances from Chilliwack based chamber folk group The Crescent Sky, multiple Juno award winning appalaching tinged songwriters Jason and Pharis Romero, and legendary blues man Jim Byrnes with famed Doug and the Slugs keyboardist Simon Kendall. The final weekend will feature another host of talented BC based performers: Chinese fusion ensemble Silk Road, roots folk rockers Early Spirit, soul songstress Dawn Pemberton, beloved acoustic roots masters The Bills, the Metis dance and fiddle of V’ni Dansi, the intricate fiddle and guitar interplay of Pierre Schryer and Adam Dobres, and the New Orleans sounds of the Big Easy Funk Ensemble. The festival finishes with a special Sunday evening show by Vancouver’s famed gospel trio The Sojourners.
While the Festival will not be able to hold its usual Children’s Day with crafts and interactive activities, there will be a special daytime family concert on Wednesday July 14, featuring a kids-oriented History of Motown show with singer Krystle Dos Santos.
An art exhibit featuring the nature photography of local photographer Joe Gadsby will be held at the Ranger Station Art Gallery starting July 8th.
The Festival Society is currently working on programming participatory workshops, and is following the evolving guidelines for gathering closely, in order to determine where and when these may be held.
For more information on potentially added shows, and to purchase tickets for each show visit harrisonfestival.com. Keep an eye on Harrison Festival’s social media for updates and show news.