Campbellford’s Westben features live music and more at its outdoor autumn festival in September

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John Showman and Chris Coole, Sarah Harmer, Melissa Payne and Ken Tizzard, JJ Jun Li Bui, Dave Gunning and Kuné perform at the Autumn Outdoor Festival at Westben in Campbellford, over three weekends September 9-25, 2022 The festival also features three Westben “Sound in Nature” series and community-focused “Sunday Discoveries” series. (kawarthaNOW collage of artist photos)

After a successful summer festival last July, Westben continues to celebrate its 23rd season with an autumn festival of outdoor performances over three weekends in September.

John Showman and Chris Coole, Sarah Harmer, Melissa Payne and Ken Tizzard, JJ Jun Li Bui, Dave Gunning and Kuné are among the musical artists who perform on Friday nights and Saturdays at Westben, located on a 50-acre farm near Campbellford in Northumberland. County. The fall festival also features Westben’s ‘Sound in Nature’ series on Saturday mornings and the ‘Sunday Discoveries’ community series.

The fall festival kicks off the evening of Friday, September 9 with a concert around The Campfire by John Showman and Chris Coole (The Foggy Hogtown Boys, The Lonesome Ace Stringband) who will perform their mix of old-time, bluegrass and folk music. The following afternoon, Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer and her quartet will entertain the audience with a performance on Willow Hill.

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On the evening of Friday September 16, local musicians Melissa Payne and Ken Tizzard will share the stories behind their songs and perform around The Campfire. The following afternoon, young Canadian pianist JJ Jun Li Bui will perform works by Chopin, Debussy and Stravinsky in a concert at The Barn.

Next weekend, Nova Scotia folk singer-songwriter Dave Gunning will perform a concert around the campfire on Friday evening (September 23), followed by a family concert in Willow Hill on the Saturday afternoon. midi by Kuné, a collective of 11 artists from Peru, Burkina Faso, Cuba, Ukraine, etc.

Westben also presents three episodes of his Saturday morning “Sound in Nature” series, where small groups meet on the Willow Hill stage for an introduction to the area and its wildlife, followed by a guided nature walk from Mary West’s Nature Preserve with a special musical of performances and experiences, then refreshments, snacks and conversations with the performers around The Campfire.

“Chocolate Voices” on September 11, 2022 at The Barn at Westben features famed chocolatier Angela Roest teaming up with local Canadian opera singer Chris Cameron to host a sonic-food pairing, with performances by tenor Keith Klassen and artistic director and pianist of Westben Brian Finley. (Photo courtesy of Westben)

“Spirit of the Forest” – a guided walk through a magical forest filled with a gentle soundscape provided by Andy Thompson – takes place on the morning of Saturday, September 10. The following Saturday morning, “Birds, Breezes…and a Quartet!” features the four creative musicians of Los Angeles’ Desert Quill Quartet improvising musical conversations with nature. On the morning of Saturday, September 24, “Forest Soundprints” sees a naturalist and a team of cheerful young dancers lead the audience along forest paths while the musicians of the Desert Quill Quartet provide an improvised soundtrack.

Westben’s ‘Sunday Discoveries’ series introduces audiences to some of the region’s most talented and interesting people in art, cuisine, film and music. On Sunday, September 11, “Chocolate Voices” at The Barn sees internationally acclaimed local chocolatier Angela Roest of Center & Main Chocolate team up with local Canadian opera singer and author Chris Cameron to host a sonic-food pairing, with performances by tenor Keith Brian Finley, artistic director and pianist of Klassen and Westben.

The following Sunday afternoon, “Cardboard & Quill” features award-winning host and farmer Bekky O’Neill of Cardboard Reality in Roseneath sharing some of her favorite big-screen entertainment with improvised music by the Desert Quill Quartet. During the afternoon of Sunday, September 25, Westben will present a screening of “Final Flight”, a short documentary tribute by Andy Thompson to the late local surgeon and modern renaissance man, Dr. Adrian Hobart. His wife Barb will share some memories with some of Dr. Hobart’s favorite musicians, including mezzo Kim Dafoe, tenor Keith Klassen, clarinetist Peter Shackleton, and many more.

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Here is the full Westben Fall Festival lineup along with dates and ticket prices (which do not include HST):

  • showman & cool – Friday, September 9 at 7 p.m. – Concert around the campfire – Tickets $50 adult, $48 senior, $5 under 18
  • The spirit of the forest – Saturday, September 10 at 10 a.m. – Mary West Nature Reserve – Tickets $55 adult, $53 senior, $5 under 18
  • Sarah Harmer – Saturday, September 10 at 2 p.m. – Concert on Willow Hill – Tickets $65 adult, $63 senior, $5 under 18
  • chocolate voice – Sunday, September 11 at 2 p.m. – At La Grange – Tickets $75 adult, $73 senior, $5 under 18
  • Payne and Tizzard – Friday, September 16 at 7 p.m. – Concert around the campfire – Tickets $50 adult, $48 senior, $5 under 18
  • Birds, breezes… and a quartet! – Saturday, September 17 at 10 a.m. – Mary West Nature Reserve – Tickets $75 adult, $73 senior, $5 under 18
  • JJ Jun Li Bui – Saturday, September 17 at 2 p.m. – Concert at The Barn – Tickets $55 adult, $53 senior, $5 under 18
  • Cardboard and Feather – Sunday, September 18 at 2 p.m. – Concert at The Barn – Tickets $45 adult, $43 senior, $5 under 18
  • Dave Gunning – Friday, September 23 at 7 p.m. – Concert around the campfire – Tickets $50 adult, $48 senior, $5 under 18
  • Forest Sound Footprints – Saturday, September 24 at 10 a.m. – Mary West Nature Reserve – Tickets $75 adult, $73 senior, $5 under 18
  • Kune (family) – Saturday, September 24 at 2 p.m. – Concert on Willow Hill – Tickets $45 adult, $43 senior, free for children under 18 (reservations required)
  • Latest flight feedback! – Sunday, September 25 at 2 p.m. – At La Grange – Free (RSVP required)

Single tickets for the Westben Open Air Autumn Festival are available online anytime at www.westben.ca or by calling the Westben box office at 705-653-5508 or toll-free at 1-877-883-5777 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).

Kuné, a collective of 11 artists from around the world, fuse music from their different cultures to create a distinctive sound.  This family concert on Willow Hill in Westben takes place on September 24, 2022, with free tickets for those under 18.  (Photo: Nicola Betts Photography)
Kuné, a collective of 11 artists from around the world, fuse music from their different cultures to create a distinctive sound. This family concert on Willow Hill in Westben takes place on September 24, 2022, with free tickets for those under 18. (Photo: Nicola Betts Photography)
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