Music from different cultures around the world can be experienced at the One World Music Festival in Midland Aug. 11 and 12.
The first festival of its kind features a Friday night concert at the Midland Cultural Centre by Sultans of String, who have performed in Midland before, followed by a full day and night of music outdoors in the park on the Huronia Museum grounds on Saturday.
“I’m hoping it will be an amazing summer celebration,” said organizer John French of the Brookside Music Association.
“The whole point of it is to bring together diverse cultures, music styles and artists from around the world to create a vibrant and immersive music experience,” he said.
The atmosphere should be full of energy and celebration and a sense of unity, French added.
“After the pandemic I think it’s more important than ever to have opportunities where people can come together in a joyful experience.”
The Sultans of String are presenting the Refuge Project Friday night at 7 p.m. Band member Chris McKhool said he is looking forward to bringing his presentation, that includes a video component of musicians from around the world, to the stage in Midland.
“We love our audience whenever we perform in Midland. This is a very special show that honours the contributions of new immigrants and refugees to Canada, as well as artists who have been ambassadors for peace. What a delight to be part of the very first One World Music Festival.”
The regular band members will be joined by Alberto Suarez from Cuba, Majd Sekkar, from Syria, Saskia Tomkins, from the UK, and Tamar Ilana with Flamenco and Arabic dance.
The Sultans of String will also be performing Saturday but with the Fiddle Fire show, intended for children, some of whom will be invited on stage to try percussion instruments from around the world.
Saturday’s event includes international food vendors in the museum parking lot and a children’s activity village.
The musical line up is as follows:
- 12:00 p.m. – Opening ceremony with local Indigenous performers
- 12:30 p.m. – Neema Children’s Choir and Dancers from Uganda
- 1:30 p.m. – Sultans of String’s Fiddle Fire children’s show with Chris McKhool
- 2:30 p.m. – Ariko French-Canadian family band from Lafontaine
- 3:30 p.m. – Christopher Hale – He will be playing the Indian sitar and tambla
- 4:30 p.m. – Okavango African Orchestra who will be playing African music
- 5:30 p.m. – Huronia Hot Strings who play gypsy jazz
- 6:30 p.m. – Pan Fantasy Steel Band from North York
- 7:30 p.m. – Tamar Ilana and Ventanas who play Mediterranean and Flamenco music and dancers
- 8:30 p.m. – Okavanga African Orchestra
- 9:30 p.m. – Huronia Hot Strings
This is the first One World Music Festival, but organizers say it may not be the last.
“The key thing is for people to come and make it a success so we can turn it into an annual event,” said French.
Tickets can be purchased online through the Brookside Music Association website and at the Midland Cultural Centre box office.
Tickets for the Friday night Sultans of String concert are $30. If purchased with a Saturday pass, they are $20.
Tickets for the Saturday music festival are $30 for a single ticket, or $50 for a couple or family.