Musicians, artists come together to celebrate music at Westlock

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Music In the Park debuts August 14

WESTLOCK – Backyards and a school park will be filled with the sounds of music this coming weekend when Music In the Park debuts.

The August 14 Music Celebration, organized by the Town of Westlock’s new Community Events Committee, will be held at several locations around town, including under the gazebo at St. Mary’s School Park, for performances in evening and in several backyards from 2 pm

“We had ideas of what we wanted to do in the city and thought why not start with Music In the Park,” said committee director Tina Wold. “We are just thrilled and the backyard artists are thrilled to be back on stage after two years (due to the pandemic).”

Local artists from the Town of Westlock, Barrhead, Jarvie, Westlock County, Pickardville and Edmonton will perform musical pieces involving both vocal and instrumental numbers and entertain crowds with a variety of genres including jazz, folk, pop and contemporary songs, among others.

Music In the Park kicks off at 2 p.m. with Sweet Harmony Duo and True North Jazz — an eight- to 10-piece ensemble will follow at 3 p.m. Then Francis Kavanagh and Lyle Moulton at 4 p.m., with Ian O’Brien finishing the afternoon performances at 5 p.m.

“It starts with an afternoon of barnyard artists. There are four backyard musicians who are going to perform every hour, and then we have the two main bands in St. Mary’s Park,” Wold said.

Following the afternoon performances, the event will conclude with evening entertainment at St. Mary’s School Park and feature two musical acts, beginning at 7 p.m. with the band Joe Ireland, led by Francis Kavanagh and the local Wiesinger group.

This will be the second event organized by the new Community Events Committee after the Canada Day celebrations. As the committee works all year round, other events are expected.

“It’s a committee of volunteers in the community and they took on the role of organizing and setting up the events,” said director of community services Gerry Murphy.

“There will also be winter events. There’s the Light Up show they’re going to do. They did a terrific job. They are really engaged and active members of the community.

The event will take place rain or shine and is expected to attract many people of all ages, Wold noted, adding that visitors will need to bring their own lawn chair. Although concerts and performances in the courtyard are free, donations will be accepted and welcome.

“We hope guitar cases are left open, or violin cases are left open or just something the performer will provide,” Wold explained. “At St. Mary’s, we hope to have a few buckets for donations. It is not a necessity, but it always helps with all areas and costs.

Westlock Army Cadets will provide light refreshments and snacks only during evening performances, which run from 7-8:15 p.m. and 8:30-9:45 p.m.

“We would like to see it as an annual event to start with,” Wold said. “Next year there’s a theme we’re working on and that’s ‘come home’ because we’d like to see people who grew up in this town come back and perform.”

Kristine Jean, TownandCountryToday.com

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