Our 2019 Cultivate Festival brought together Islanders and visitors in a warm and wonderful embrace of Music, Theatre and the Arts – all things I love!
I spent the Labour Day Weekend listening to a wide range of music all day and evening. It was bliss!
There was something for every musical taste. The Opening Ceremony launched the Festival with Footprints of the Wolf, a Snuneymuxw family drumming circle, and the Gabriola Marching Band.
We were introduced to our Artist-in-Residence, Patrick Aleck, from Stz’uminus First Nation and Penelakut Tribe. I later had an enjoyable chat with him about his gift of drumming.
Many Gabriola musicians were onstage with off-Island musicians.
One morning began with Sol Jam Kirtan– with the audience joining in on songs of divine inspiration, and closing with a circle of unity.
We were treated to edgy folk punk, Cuban sound, country Gospel, dueling cellos, blues, calypso, reggae, salsa, samba, merengue, beatboxing and two Juno award-winners – Shari Ulrich, a popular long-time visitor to Gabriola and our own Gary Fjellgaard. We joined Gary when he led us in singing his song Islanders – our unofficial theme song.
There was an Art Walk, Lantern Parade, Yurt Temple of delights, Pop-up Performers, stilt walkers and workshops.
Local farmers provided meals and visitors were encouraged to “go green” and bring their own plates, cups and cutlery.
The Festival is held at The Commons– 26 acres of peaceful, rural landscape and rich ecosystems – preserved for all to enjoy. An “ode to goats” appeared on the Cob Wall entrance to honour the memory of the former Goat Barn that is now a stage for Music and Theatre.
Cultivate is a community affair – supported by our local businesses and many volunteers who are already busy planning for next year.
It takes a village to create this kind of magic. I hope you’ll join us next year!