Jim Cuddy plays the Huntsville Festival of the Arts this week.
The 20th annual Huntsville Festival of the Arts is now in full swing, with it’s slate of daily concerts by local performers plus three headlining shows this week. First up is Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy, playing on July 17 in an intimate trio setting with violinist Anne Lindsay and guitarist Colin Cripps. On July 19, powerhouse vocalist Molly Johnson demonstrates why she’s one of the country’s best-known jazz and blues singers. And on July 21, CBC radio host, writer and musician Jian Ghomeshi takes the stage to share stories and insight from his time behind the microphone.
The Festival of the Sound, another hugely anticipated annual concert event, returns on July 18 with a gala featuring England’s Choir of Trinity College performing Eleanor Daley’s festival-commissioned Paradise: A Song of Georgian Bay, plus works by Bach, Mendelssohn and more. And if that wasn’t enough, the event offers classical music every day this week, including an appearance by the Canadian Brass on July 21.
Want more music? You’ve got it at Bracebridge’s Rene M. Caisse Memorial Theatre, which hosts a Jazz in July celebration on July 21. Expect an ebullient evening of big band swing, Latin jazz, R&B, motown and more, as interpreted by 12-piece ensemble Spektrum.
Once you’ve taken in the tunes, it’s time to eye some superlative visuals at the 50th Muskoka Arts and Crafts Summer Show. Running from July 20 to 22 at Bracebridge’s Annie Williams Park, this very popular gathering brings together dozens of Ontario-based painters, sculptors, jewellers, fashion designers and even a batch of gourmet food vendors. It’s a veritable one-stop shop to help make your home or cottage look its best for years to come.
Drake hosts the 40th Juno Awards on March 27 (photo by Anthony Mandler)
Canada’s prestigious music awards, the Junos, mark their 40th anniversary with a return home. To celebrate, Toronto-born rapper Drake leads a pack of award-winning artists from coast to coast for a harmonious tribute.
THE RISE OF DRAKE
Superstars aren’t born everyday—nor is such a label freely given. But hip hop artist Drake is undeniably one, having been recognized not only by peers including mentor Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West, but also by fans who made his first studio album, Thank Me Later, a platinum-selling hit. Even non-fans are likely familiar with the artist for his role as Jimmy Brooks on the TV show Degrassi: The Next Generation, as well as for his life-meets-rap lyrics, which get plenty of airtime on mainstream radio. Among the Forest Hill-raised performer’s chart-topping songs is the swooning ballad “Find Your Love” and the rhythmic “Fancy.”
On March 27, Drake secures double time on the stage at the Air Canada Centre as both the host of the 40th edition of the Juno Awards and as a nominee—and potential winner. The rapper is nominated for several awards, including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. (Drake was also nominated for four Grammy Awards including Best New Album.) Soon, Drake will release his sophomore album, Take Care. It will undoubtedly earn him Juno nominations next year.
The awards ceremony itself is only part of this month’s Juno celebrations. Read on after the jump for more music-related fun.
July 3 to August 26: The Huntsville Festival of the Arts packs an eclectic punch of musical entertainment over six fun-filled weeks. Headlining musicians include returning favourites Hawksley Workman on August 12 and Jim Cuddy on August 25 and 26, as well as folksy singer and songwriter Serena Ryder on July 9 and a tribute evening to country music singer Patsy Cline on July 25. Don’t miss the annual homage to Dixieland at the Huntsville Jazz Festival, from July 30 to August 1. This fest-within-a-fest features vibraphone specialist Peter Appleyard. Most performances at Algonquin Theatre, tickets $25 to $45; call 705-789-4975 to purchase.