Saturday, May 25, 2024

SweetWater Music Festival Announces Full 20th Anniversary Festival Line-up

SweetWater Music Festival has announced its full line-up of concerts for their 20th Anniversary Festival which takes place from September 12 – 17 in Owen Sound, Leith, and Meaford.

For 20 years, SweetWater Music Festival has been captivating and enriching the communities of Owen Sound and Meaford by spreading the joy of music. This year’s festival is a proud homage to the dedicated audiences, hard-working volunteers, and our supremely talented musicians, as we celebrate twenty years of enjoying live music together!” said SweetWater Artistic Director Edwin Huizinga.

The theme of the 20th Anniversary Festival is Baroque & Beyond. Artistic Director Edwin Huizinga has programmed a week of music which will feature Bach’s 3rd, 5th, and 6th Brandenburg Concertos and other chamber works from the Baroque period, including works by Corelli, Vivaldi, Handel, and Biber.

Returning this September to celebrate the 20th Anniversary will be founding Artistic Director Mark Fewer, who will perform with current Artistic Director Edwin Huizinga on the finale concert.

Artists performing at SweetWater 2023 include:

SHHH! Ensemble (piano-percussion duo), Tom Allen (host), Mark Fewer (violin), Roberto Occhipinti Trio (jazz), Lori Gemmel (harp), Daniel Taylor (voice), Ellen McAteer (voice), Manami Mizumoto (violin), Keith Hamm (viola), Isaac Chalk (viola), Julie Hereish (cello), Elinor Frey (cello), Elliot Figg (keyboard), Melisande McNabney (harpsichord), Lucas Harris (lute), Emi Ferguson (flute), Joseph Philips (bass), Chloe Fedor (violin), Keiran Campbell (cello), Suba Sankaran (voice), Deva Munay (sound bowls), and Edwin Huizinga (violin).

The Festival includes six ticketed concerts and eight free community concerts, workshops, and events.

The sold-out 20th Anniversary Gala will take place at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery on September 13 and will be hosted by Tom Allen of CBC Radio. Elinor Frey will perform a Baroque inspired programme of solo cello works.

On Thursday, September 14, the piano-percussion duo SHHH! Ensemble will perform a concert at the Harmony Centre. The programme entitled Starry Night features new music composed for SHHH! by Monica Pearce, Jocelyn Morlock, Paolo Griffin, Mari Alice Conrad, and more. Audiences will enjoy an opening set by Edwin Huizinga and Deva Munay, a sound healing specialist.

Limited tickets remain for A Baroque Party, which takes place at the Historic Leith Church on Friday, September 15. The programme will feature Mark Fewer performing Biber’s Representiva, Elinor Frey performing some Dall’Abaco, and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.

On Saturday, September 16, at Georgian Shores United Church, Concertos & Songs for the Ages will feature Daniel Taylor and Ellen McAteer performing Bach’s Stabat Mater, and Isaac Chalk and Keith Hamm will be featured on Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6.

This year’s Late Night concert at Heartwood Concert Hall at 9:30 p.m. (doors 9pm) will feature Roberto Occhipinti’s jazz trio. The trio will be playing music from Occhipinti’s last recording, The Next Step, on Modica music.

The Finale concert, Baroque and Roll, will take place at Meaford Hall on Sunday, September 17, at 3 p.m. This culmination of our 20th anniversary will feature our Artistic Directors past and present, Mark Fewer & Edwin Huizinga, performing Corelli’s Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 4 and conclude with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. The entire audience will be invited to celebrate SweetWater’s 20th anniversary at a reception after the concert.

SweetWater’s Free Community Events for 2023 include:

Sound Journey (9 a.m. on Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17), a sound bowl healing meditation featuring Deva Munay, a frequent collaborator of Edwin Huizinga’s from California.

Music For Munchkins (10:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 16, Harmony Centre) a free concert for kids, featuring Keith Hamm and Julie Hereish, designed for children ages 1-5.

Bach Bash (1:30 p.m., Saturday, September 16, Harmony Centre) a luthier exhibit where attendees can hear SweetWater artists perform on locally made string instruments and meet local luthiers.

Classical Jam Sesh (2:30 p.m., Saturday, September 16, Harmony Centre), a participatory classical jam session for string players on Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. Participants can download music and register on SweetWater’s website.

Two free noon hour concerts:

  • JS Bach’s Long Walk in the Snow featuring CBC Radio’s Tom Allen & Friends (12 p.m., Saturday, September 16, Harmony Centre)
  • Next Wave Showcase (12 p.m., Sunday, September 17, Harmony Centre) featuring participants from SweetWater’s Next Wave emerging artists programme, Simon Hauber (violin), Olivier Lafleur (violin), and Jessa Rutter (piano).

Festival Passes are sold out, but single tickets are available at the Roxy Theatre Box Office (519) 371-2833 and Meaford Hall (519) 538-0463.

SweetWater is grateful for ongoing support of its many private donors, corporate partners, private foundations (especially the Leflar Foundation), and key public funders (Canadian Heritage, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Arts Council, Municipality of Meaford).

For more information, visit

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