What a jam packed 13 days of everything from tap dancing with jazz to spoken word. With over 80 acts, the Street Stage featured local favourites and performers travelling from as far away as Argentina. This year, we had great attendance at the festival, and many enjoyed the live music from our all ages licensed patio. The Works Street Stage would like to thank all those who came out (rain & shine) to see their favourite act or discovered some new music! We certainly saw a lot of head bopping, cheering and dancing throughout the festival.
The Street Stage would also like to express their gratitude to the partnerships that brought even more variety and talent to the stage. What a treat to be partnered for another year with TD Edmonton International Jazz Festival to bring Works with Jazz. For 7 days, we had smooth jazz fill Churchill Square and many people found it the perfect way to spend their lunch hour.
On June 24th we celebrated Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day with Festival Edmonton Chante, and what a party! The Works Street Stage led up to the evening party with a number of francophone performers who graced our stage with original music. The party started off with a Grosses Têtes parade that was accompanied by festival goers lively keeping the beat with over 20 djembes. The evening continued with performances by Bouclette, Zéphyr, Sébastien De Francesco & Jean-François Prud'homme (Motel 72), Hey Wow! and Franco Party. It’s a good thing we extended our Street Stage till 11:00pm because Franco Party closed the party with a crowd dancing up a sweat!
We proudly celebrated Canada’s multiculturalism on June 25th, in partnership with the Canadian Multiculturalism Foundation. We had City Councillor Scott McKeen (Ward 6), MLA David Shepherd (Edmonton-Centre) and MP Kerry Diotte (Edmonton-Griesbach) attend the opening ceremony that featured Siberian singer Sophia Nikerova. The Works Street Stage also presented a showcase of cultures on Canadian Multiculturalism Day that included performances by Indian Music Academy, nêhiyawak, Bardic Form and many more.
Spirits were high as we had many bands stopping at our stage before heading up to the North Country Fair. The excitement hit a peak by the end of the first day with Entangados, a group all the way from Argentina, Columbia and... Surrey, British Columbia. Their high energy music mixed with carnival styled costumes and antics got the audience on their feet and dancing.
You had to be there on Canada Day to fully understand how much was going on. As per tradition, The Gateway Big Band opened the Street Stage with O’ Canada and proceeded to wow the crowd in a big way. One of our favourite moments was their beautiful rendition of Stand By Me by Ben E. King. It seemed like the party never stopped, even when it was raining our performers and festival goers stuck it out like troopers. We were so proud to feature bands led by Albertan women, each performance was uniquely entertaining and was wildly received. Some of the evening highlights included Nuela Charles and Ellen McIlwaine.
There were so many memorable moments and connections at The Works Street Stage. We saw many people inspired by The Street Stage, whether it was to get up dancing or engage others in a conversation about the music. Many festival goers even created impactful dialogue with our musicians! We hope that next year you will join us again to experience another 13 days of free live music. See you next year!