Winnipeg Irish Fest 2006
The Winnipeg Irish Fest was held September 15th, 16th and 17th at the Canadian Mennonite University.
Our Guest Performers …
Kieran O’Hare a respected and highly sought after performer on the Uilleann Pipes, Concert Flute, and Tin Whistle. He was born into a musical Irish-American family, and began to play at home while in his early teens. Kieran moved to Dublin, Ireland in 1991, where he received a degree in Modern History from Trinity College and now resides in Chicago.
Liz Knowles is a fiddle player in a constant search for inspiring music that does not necessarily adhere to categories of genres or styles. With her foundations in formal classical training, A Bachelor of Arts in Music at SUNY Stony Brook and a host of classical gigs in and around New York City. She soon began playing in rock bands, salsa bands, and a variety of new music projects, performing and/or recording with such artists as jazz pianist Marcus Roberts, pop singer Paula Cole and classical minimalist composer Steve Reich. It was during this fertile exploration that she stumbled onto Irish music.
This year’s Irish Fest was very exciting and we are very pleased with the record breaking attendance. Many who had not known about Irish Fest before but had seen the signs and the posters, listened to the radio and saw ads on TV came out to see what it was all about. The halls were busy as people listened to the music, watched dance demonstrations and attended the workshops with our guests from Chicago and local instructors. There were many vendors to visit in the Irish Market as well as Irish Cultural Displays, Instument Builders, Family Activities and Bake Sales.
The Friday night Concert was a new addition this year and featured local talent of Kate Ferris, Larry Fisher, Brian Richardson, Kyle Borley, The Flatland Ceili Band, Janie Paternaude and The McConnell School of Irish Dance.
The Saturday Music Workshops had many participants and excellent instructors. Many people saw the advantage of purchasing a weekend pass because even if you couldn’t play a particular instrument the workshops were very informative and we’ve heard that some people have been inspired to take up certain instruments or revisit an instrument that has been gathering dust due to the workshops !!
The Saturday Concert sold out !! Cruithne, featuring Kyle Borley, Jeremy Hoskins, Rebecca Coish and accompliment by Paul Hammer, were the opening act of the evening. The skillful playing of Kieran O’Hare and Liz Knowles was enjoyed by all. Kyle Borley was invited to join in the second half by the guest players. Their performance was teriffic and the applause and encores forced them all to return and play more. A set dancing demonstration was wonderful
We ‘Thank’ all the volunteers (without them Irish Fest would not have happened) for a weekend of great music and fun. The planing, organization and set-ups of all workshops, entertainment, vendors, registrations, info tables and signage made the weekend go very smoothly.