Musicians have had a hard go of it over the past year and a half or so.
There haven’t been concerts or festivals to play, touring has been put on hold and even the pubs that sometimes host a musician over in the corner during the dinner rush have been operating as “take-out only,” when they could operate at all.
But as part of the Campbell River Art + Earth Festival this year, some of them will be taking to the Campbell River Seawalk this Sunday afternoon to celebrate music once again.
Aug. 25 happens to be International Buskers Day, so Art + Earth Festival coordinator Mike Davies decided to wrangle up a few musicians to serenade those who take to the shoreline that afternoon.
“I can’t think of any better way to celebrate both International Buskers Day and the return of live music into our lives at the same time,” Davies says. “I mean, how great would it be to go for a walk or bike ride in the fresh air on a Sunday afternoon along the shore and not be able to go for more than a couple of minutes without hearing someone singing and playing their guitar, or banjo, or ukulele, or mandolin, or whatever, sharing their music with the world again?”
The Art + Earth Festival has expanded this year from a one-weekend event in September to a series of events spanning from Earth Day in the spring to World Rivers Day in the fall, and this event serves to fill what the organizers saw as a gap in the programming in previous years.
“When I was brought on as coordinator, one of the things we discussed was that there really needed to be some kind of music involved,” Davies says. “We’ve always had painting and sculpting and weaving and photography and other kinds of art, but music is really one of the most central and important artistic mediums in our lives, when you think about it, and we haven’t had enough of that in the festival’s programming.”
And the musicians themselves couldn’t be happier to be involved.
“Everyone I’ve talked to about coming out on Sunday has been super enthusiastic,” Davies says. “I think they’re all missing the audience as much as we’re missing them.”
Local musician Kathryn Jean is one such musician. She says while the lack of performing opportunities have allowed her more time to explore her craft, she’s also very much looking forward to playing for people again.
“This past year and a half has thrown me into the dark, inner, lonely, self reflective paths of what my art, creative process, and expression mean to me on a very personal level,” Jean says. “It challenged me to seek out my inner motivation and find my voice again. But I’ve always enjoyed sharing my original songs at open mic nights and stages, and it will be wonderful to share my songs in public spaces once again.”
Jean, along with Doug Folkins, Trent Noonan, Gibby Nik, David Gauchi and others will be lining the Seawalk on Sunday between Ken Forde Park in Willow Point and Hidden Harbour, so dig through those couch cushions and cup holders for some change to throw their way – although they’ll happily accept bills, too – and head down to the shoreline between 2 and 4 p.m. this Sunday to show them you appreciate their work and are happy to welcome them back to performing.
For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.