Culture — 11 October 2017

Published: September 27, 2017

BY JENNIFER PARSONS

The Wilderness Entertainment Series (WES) kicks off its sixth year this Friday and organizers say there is something in the 2017-18 line-up to match every taste.

Chair Angie Bishop says this year the series includes a record eight performances that showcase the diversity of the Arts from music to dance to theatre as well as offers a combination of well-known artists and new Canadian talents.

On Sept. 29 “The Way We Feel – a concert celebrating the songs of Gordon Lightfoot” will be performing at the Red Lake District High School to start off the series.

“Everyone knows the songs of Gordon Lightfoot, you can sing Gordon Lightfoot songs for hours and you won’t run out. Those are really exciting and really familiar,” says Bishop. “We want to showcase those Canadian artists that are doing amazing things”

Also new this year is a partnership with the Family Entertainment Series in bringing the Prisoner of Tehran with Motus O. Bishop says the performance was previewed in Southern Ontario earlier this year and it was a top pick by most groups. The partnership has also included Canadian Heritage in sponsoring the performance.

“Typically programming has been for the really young or adults, nothing for the middle audiences. Although the [Wilderness Entertainment Series] always tries to do an afternoon concert for the high school students to expose them to the performing arts,” she adds.

Additional performances include Glass Tiger on Oct. 16, The Fugitives in January and Barbara Lica in April. Manitoba Theatre Centre presentation of “A Christmas Carol” will be here in December along with the Thunder Bay Symphony with special guest Stefani Martin and Ebnfloh Dance Troupe in 2018.

When asked why the series has been so popular over the last five years Bishop says she feels its because people are attracted to music and arts overall.

“I think that people want to see something that they don’t usually see. Also I think its an intimate setting. When we get together to see the artists and you are in your community, we have coffee and cake and you get to visit with your neighbours – you get to visit with the artists afterwards, maybe get your cd’s signed. You actually feel like you are participating in what you are watching.”

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Jennifer Parsons

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