By Mike Baker
Live in-person concert will return to Haliburton County next month as Abbey Gardens and the Haliburton County Folk Society partner up to present Music at the Gardens.
The three-day musical extravaganza is jam-packed full of local talent says Janis Parker, one of the lead organizers. Taking place from Aug. 6 to 8, Music at the Gardens will feature more than a dozen artists from all different walks of life and backgrounds.
Friday night [Aug. 6] will see Juno Award winning Aboriginal artist Susan Aglukark take the stage for a multi-song set, before Richard and Lauren Margison close out the show with what Parker says will be an “out of the ordinary” performance.
“Everyone knows the Margisons for their opera, but their show at Abbey Gardens will be different. Richard and Lauren have recently recorded a new CD that encompasses many genres and styles of music,” Parker said.
That CD, titled Enchantment, a Magical Celebration of Abbey Gardens, will be on sale at the event.
Saturday [Aug. 7] has two different shows – separate matinee and evening performances. From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Tom Regina and Stan Russell will be on stage, with Bill Candy and Roly Platt following up from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets to the matinee are available for $20.
The Saturday evening show will be headlined by John McDermott, with Jason Fowler and Mark Lalama also performing.
Both the Friday and Saturday evening shows come with a multi-course dinner provided by Abbey Gardens. Tickets for each night are $125 per person.
Sunday’s [Aug. 8] matinee will see Russell-Liorti-Monich Interstellar FunkSplosion take the stage from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., and Lunar Bloom featuring Jocelyn Regina, and the team of Kelly McNamee and Brittany Robinson performing between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets to this matinee are $20 per person. Tickets to the Sunday evening show, including performances from Boreal – Katherine Wheatley, and the duo of Tannis Slimmon and Angie Nussey, are available for $40.
“It’s really quite fun how all of this came together. There are many things that had to align,” Parker said, pointing to the cancellation of the 2021 Forest Festival, typically held by the Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve, and the willingness of both Abbey Gardens and the Haliburton County Folk Society to collaborate on such a substantial project.
Then, to top it off, Parker called in something of a favour and arranged to have McDermott perform on the Saturday, almost 12 months to the day from when he was supposed to perform for a special 75th anniversary celebration for her company Parker Pad and Printing.
“This whole thing probably came together in around a month. I think it was four weeks ago that I sent the very first email,” Parker informed the Echo last Thursday, July 8. “Now I’m just excited. Excited for the music, but more than that I’m excited for the event itself. To be around people again, and to have a good time.”
Parker has managed to secure a luxury tent that will be able to hold around 200 people for the evening events. She hopes to be able to have up to 300 attend the Saturday and Sunday matinees.
A weekend package that includes tickets to all five concerts and both dinners is available for $300 per person. All tickets can be ordered at abbeygardens.ca/atthegardens.
“I think this is sort of a sign that things are getting back to normal,” Parker said. “Music unites people, and for anyone that loves music, this is an event you’re not going to want to miss.”