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Banff Mountain Music Festival supporting local music

Banff Mountain Music Festival features Bow Valley musicians for a free family-friendly weekend of music and entertainment.

BANFF – Musicians and singer-songwriters from all across the Bow Valley gather in Central Park for the Banff Mountain Music Festival.

Although the annual music festival recently went through a name change, formerly Harvest Fest, it’s still the same old free family-friendly event that runs Sept. 7-8 starting from noon until the late evening, showcasing local musical talents and their original music.

“You can just sit down and have the kids run around and just relax and watch some great music. If you want to get a beer, get a beer. We made it family friendly; we bill it as 'Alberta’s most family friendly music festival,'” said artistic director of Banff Mountain Music Festival Garry Gonis.

In support of artists in the Bow Valley music scene, the Banff Mountain Music Festival’s lineup features solely local musicians and singer-songwriters.

Todd Clarkson lead vocals and guitarist of The Ladder Mics, Heather Jean Jordan, Caitlin Connelly, Elk Run & Riot, Zebra as well as an apearance from Gonis' own band, The Ramblin' Hey, Ho, Ha's are among some of the artists to play at this year’s festival.

As for up and coming talents in the Bow Valley, Gonis said to keep an eye out for duo Our Lucky Mix, playing for the first time at the festival.

“The clever and the most pertinent to the Bow Valley act with original music is Three Sisters Brothers. Their songs are so funny and they’re all original songs and they all relate to the Bow Valley in just a fantastic way,” Gonis said.

Returning to the Banff Mountain Music Festival for the third time is Canmore indie-folk singer-songwriter Sherrie Summit.

Summit will be performing original songs from her repertoire including some of her favourites, Tall Trees, Mermaids and Across the Country. Drawing most of her inspiration from her travels from the west coast, particularly from Tofino B.C., each song encompasses her love for the region.

Hurts Too Much is another original she plans on performing at the festival. Coming from a personal and vulnerable place, it explains the story behind her name Sherrie Summit.

“Most people think it's because I live in the mountains, but actually I had a golden retriever named Summit that helped me through some difficult times in my life and he still helps and inspires me to this day,” Summit wrote in an email.

Shortly after the passing of her beloved golden retriever, Summit wrote the song Hurts Too Much, which was one of the first songs she ever wrote.

“It is just a small taste of the local talent and there are many amazing singer-songwriters here in the Bow Valley. I love being a part of the amazing community here and it’s very supportive and inspiring,” Summit said.