2023 Collingwood Music Festival: A Rhapsody On The Bay, Exciting Diversity, and More For Youth

On Saturday July 8th at 7pm, The Collingwood Music Festival presents their Opening Night Concert: A Rhapsody On The Bay, outdoors at Millinium Overlook Park. The performance will feature the National Academy Orchestra of Canada (full 65-piece orchestra) led by Maestro Alain Trudel with special guest, Juno Award-winning international Indigenous star Jeremy Dutcher who performs songs inspired by his Wolastoq First Nation roots (New Brunswick). Credit: Tjalling Photography

Credit: Tjalling Photography

The 2023 Collingwood Music Festival begins this weekend and its Artistic Director Daniel Vnukowski could not be more enthusiastic: “On Saturday evening July 8th we are thrilled to host yet another “historic first” for the town of Collingwood; a memorable concert right along the iconic South Georgian Bay shoreline starring our special guest, the mesmerizing Two-spirit Indigenous singer Jeremy Dutcher joined by the full symphonic splendour of the National Academy Orchestra of Canada led by Maestro Alain Trudel. Dutcher, a Polaris and Juno award-winning International star, is not only performing some of his most popular hits, but also a brand new track from his latest album “Skichinuwihkuk. For those who require it, the festival is pleased to offer advance tickets with an option that includes shuttle transportation to the inaugural concert, from downtown Collingwood to Millennium Park and back afterward.”

Vnukowski continues: “We are very excited to fulfill the pent-up demand of our audience this year as well as our growing network of donors, presenting sponsors, volunteers and staff. Ticket sales have been flying off the charts and we expect several of our shows to sell-out.”

The remaining seven nightly concerts through to July 15th take place in the fine acoustics of the fully-accessible First Presbyterian Church. The exciting musical diversity of the artists in these performances there includes Juno-nominated multi-instrumentalist and lyricist “Beny Esguerra and New Tradition Music” who fuses spoken word, Hiphop and Colombia’s Afro-Indigenous “música de gaita”. Juno-award winning “Toronto Mass Choir”, forty-five soulful voices strong with a five-piece band, will sing cutting-edge gospel songs and Caribbean-influenced music as they bring to life the “Stories of the Underground Railroad”.

This year, two chamber music groups bring the unexpected to the stage: “Dévah Quartet”, all members being active principal players in respected Toronto classical ensembles, morph from an acoustic quartet playing Haydn into an Electric String Quartet joined by a drummer, who with clever arrangements leap from jazz through 1970s rock to pop sounds of today including Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay, U2, Taylor Swift  and Lady Gaga. From Montreal, enter the slightly larger globe-trotting Juno-nominated classical and contemporary “collectif19” who combine the power of an orchestra with the agility of a chamber ensemble; sizzling with an infectious energy and vigour!

Three more topnotch classical and jazz concerts round out the lineup with three-time Juno-Winners The Gryphon Trio and clarinetist James Campbell performing  Olivier Messiaen’s seminal, mysterious work “Quartet for the End of Time”, which premièred at the Nazi prison camp Stalag VIIIA in 1941. A playful “Classical and Jazz Jam’ will feature two renowned Canadian virtuosi: Daniel Vnukowski, on piano and Peter Stoll on clarinet and alto saxophone. Finally in “Mad About the Boys”acclaimed vocalist Adi Braun and her jazz trio pay tribute to the genius of iconic songwriters, Noel Coward, Cole Porter and Kurt Weill. 

On July 5th, the festival once again hosted their popular full day of fun, FREE outdoor Musical Adventure Activities for Youth set on the breathtaking natural grounds of Duntroon Highlands Golf Club. In fact, ALL concerts in the weeklong festival are FREE for youth under age 16. Parents simply need to register their kids on the website in advance to participate in individual concerts.

Collingwood Music Festival runs July 8 – 15. The Schedule & Tickets including Gold Passes (to save on whole festival) are available at: www.collingwoodfestival.com as well as from their Box Office, phone: (705) 416-1317. All concerts are from 7-9 PM

The Collingwood Music Festival proudly acknowledges that their summer festival activities have been funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario. We have also received financial assistance from the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation. They would like to additionally acknowledge funding support from the Canada Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Simcoe County, Town of Collingwood and Regional Tourism Organization 7.

The Collingwood Music Festival acknowledges that the area in which we work is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee and Huron-Wendat peoples and is subject to Treaty 18, 1818 of the Upper Canada Treaties.

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