An Ambitious 2022-23 Acadia Performing Arts Series …And a New Music Festival in August!

François Côté

On May 21, at Festival Theatre, the Performing Arts Series ends its 2021-22 season beautifully with a long-awaited (re-scheduled) concert by Laila Biali. That evening, PAS will also unveil an ambitious 2022-23 Series and launch a new music festival that will take place on the August 13-14 weekend: “Back To The Gardens”, a meeting of global and local music. International and Nova Scotian musicians and visual artists will create and perform together in the magical setting of the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens, on the Acadia campus.

It all began with the opportunity to present one concert by the Skye Consort & Emma Bjorling, on August 13. They will be on a Nova Scotia tour organized by Musique Royale. We thought that it would be wonderful to present this concert outdoors, in the Botanical Gardens. This was quickly followed by the realization that if a professional stage and audio equipment were to be set up in the Gardens, it might as well be used for the whole weekend! With the Irving Centre quickly on board, and plenty of serendipity, we soon had a full festival bringing together a diverse yet interconnected community of musicians for a magical weekend “Back to the Gardens”.

Official announcements, publicity, and ticket sales will all roll out later in May but for you, readers of this Grapevine’s “Festival Guide” issue, here is a hushed pre-announcement of the confirmed acts:

In addition to the Skye Consort, we’re so very happy to welcome back to Wolfville the great Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Celso Machado, perhaps the most naturally musical person I’ve ever seen. Celso will be with us for a week, working on an ongoing collaboration with Acadia music faculty members Derek Charke and Eugene Cormier, who will perform at the festival as well. We will also welcome Tania Chan, a wonderful singer-songwriter from Oaxaca, Mexico. Tania will spend three weeks in Wolfville; she is looking forward to musical collaborations with her peers from our region who will also be performing in the Gardens: Terra Spencer, Daniel James McFadyen Band, Kim Barlow & Mohammad Sahraei, The Bombadils, The Gilberts, Graham Howes & friends, Sahara Jane Nasr & Ken Shorley, and many more! You heard it here first. Stay tuned. Very reasonably priced festival passes and one-day passes will go on sale in just a few weeks.

And, as first mentioned, the Performing Arts Series unveils an exciting 2022-23 Concert Series on May 21. It will include performances by Lorraine Desmarais, “La Grande Dame” of Canadian Jazz and by the equally remarkable jazz/boogie pianist and singer Michael Kaeshammer, both in trio formations. The Series will also feature the Wolfville returns of Lennie Gallant, Symphony Nova Scotia, and of opera and ballet!

Before the end of May, all details will appear at pas.acadiau.ca; and Series subscriptions, tickets and festival passes will go on sale at the Acadia Box Office!