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Regina Folk Festival looking into summer options based on COVID-19

Regina Folk Festival will be releasing their Winterruption concert series online this year due to rising COVID-19 cases and restrictions. Ryan Ellis/Global News

The Regina Folk Festival is currently reviewing what their options are for summer concerts based on what COVID-19 health guidelines may be at that point.

The Folk Festival typically hosts concerts over three nights in Victoria Park. Last year’s event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Artistic director Amber Goodwyn told Global Regina that the board and staff wants everyone involved with the concerts, from patrons to tech staff and volunteers, to be safe.

“There’s so many people involved, but we want to make sure that this is a really safe experience,” Goodwyn said.

Read more: Regina Folk Festival cancelled for 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic

“We’re excited about the summer and to produce some programing and we’ll be sharing details about what that’s going to look like quite soon,” she added.

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In the meantime, the non-profit is getting ready to launch their Winterruption series.

Like its name suggests, the series is typically hosted in the winter months and in-person in venues across Regina and other cities.

Goodwyn said the plan was to offer limited in-person concerts in January and record the shows for others to watch, however evolving COVID-19 restrictions forced the group to push back their timeline.

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The performances by Regina-based artists were taped on March 21 and will debut from April 8 to 10.

Winterruption features performances from Val Halla, Kara Golemba and Snake Oil Salesmen.

Val Halla said she was grateful to be in a music venue with a professional sound and lighting crew again.

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“While only crew were in the room and quite far away from me, I knew that this was being recorded for a vast and diverse audience, and really tried to visualize the room full of people, and how I would want to speak with them and engage with them at this point in the pandemic,” she said.

Read more: Regina Folk Festival offers 2 summer events, including concert series

Goodwyn said that each performer brings a unique music style to the stage.

“Val Halla has kind of got a rocky vibe, a little bit of an overdriven guitar thing going on. She’s a great storyteller, really great energy,” Goodwyn said.

The Snake Oil Salesmen is a full band with roots, blues and little bit of country energy, Goodwyn explained.

Goodwyn described Kara Golemba’s music as folk.

“Each artist is very different and really brings together some beautiful personal stories in (the concerts) and their songs,” Goodwyn said.

Kara Golemba said she’s attended Folk Festival as a music lover and cheered on her friends who had the chance to perform.

“I am beyond honoured to be asked to play with Regina Folk Festival, and after having a break in performing due to our current pandemic, I can’t fully express the joy I feel at having this opportunity,” Golemba said.

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The folk festival’s goal is to have people enjoy these concerts in the comfort and safety of their own home.

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Shane Bellegarde, lead singer and guitarist of the Snake Oil Salesmen, said the band is honoured to be featured in the show and he hopes people will tune in to watch.

“I think it’s an opportunity for people to put on something that’s local that they can support that’s hopefully something that they haven’t seen before and just hang out with the members of their family,” Bellegarde said “Maybe have a glass of wine or a drink to pretend that you’re at a show, we all are missing that a lot.”

The videos will be available to watch until May 5 on the Folk Festival’s website, which can be found at reginafolkfestival.com

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