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Canmore Folk Festival announces its 2022 lineup

“We are a community minded festival. Our mission statement is to bring people together for a shared love of folk music. It feels that way. I think it is going to be that sense of getting back together and we will be enjoying wonderful music in a beautiful setting.”

CANMORE – After a hiatus of two years caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canmore Folk Festival is ready to hit the stage with some great musicians coming out for the three-day event.

The event this year, which typically attracts 21,000 people, is extra special for organizers because it is also the 45th anniversary of the first Canmore Folk Festival held in 1978.

“It is our 45th, so that is always good and being back after two years is a cause for celebration,” said the festival artistic director, Sue Panning. “We are getting lots of good traction on the lineup announcement and ticket sales are going well.”

Volunteers and organizers are now hard at work getting everything ready over the next two months to bring back the event in grand style after the COVID-19 hiatus.

“It feels so amazing. You can’t believe how excited we are. We are all working,” Panning said. “The volunteer coordinators are doing their logistics for the different areas and to be able to announce the lineup today feels so good.”

The lineup for the festival, which runs from July 30 to Aug. 1 at Centennial Park, includes Bedouin Soundclash, William Prince, Rainbow Girls and Angelique Francis.

Returning to the festival will be country-folk icon Jim Cuddy, of Blue Rodeo fame, who will be joined by his son Sam Polley, performing with his band Sam Polley and The Old Tomorrows.

“That is really exciting that we are going to have [Sam Polley] play a day concert,” Panning said. “They are super fun, and they are starting to make a name for themselves. I think it is wonderful to have the father and son at the same festival.”

There is also a chance that both musicians could take the stage together during the festival.

“We are working out the workshop schedule now and that is certainly in the plans,” Panning said.

With a two-year hiatus, festival workers looked to some of the musicians who were supposed to perform in 2020, as well as others that were going to be on their summer tours.

“Some people were chomping at the bit to get back to booking their summer festivals, while others were a bit slower because they were working out touring,” Panning said. “I had some holdover from 2020 that had been booked and I wanted to honour the contracts, and a whole bunch of new ones.”

There will also be several local artists playing at the Mountain FM Pub Stage throughout the weekend.

“We have a lot of great locals on the Pub Stage.”

With the festival being on hiatus for two years, a lot has changed in the world and that presents some complications for the organizers including supply chain issues, as well as more expensive rental cars, gas and food.

“That is challenging, just planning and knowing what increases there might be,” Panning said. “We haven’t done something for two years, so just making sure that everyone is back to knowing what they are doing and if anything has changed in two years.”

Ticket sales continue to be strong, and it is expected that now that the artists have been announced, that trend will continue.

“We had a sale that started in February, so there is always a bump there. We are anticipating a bump today once people know who is playing,” Panning said. “Right now, weekend tickets are on sale.”

In May, the festival will announce its night schedule, and then day tickets will go on sale.

For the organizers, the most rewarding part of the festival returning is the sense of community it provides everyone as people come together to enjoy great music.

“We are a community-minded festival. Our mission statement is to bring people together for a shared love of folk music. It feels that way,” Panning said. “I think it is going to be that sense of getting back together and we will be enjoying wonderful music in a beautiful setting.”

To purchase tickets for the festival, visit www.canmorefolkfestival.com.