2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Courtesy Chris Malloy

Local music in full bloom at annual Lilac Festival

By Vagisha Agrawal and Rachel Woodward, June 2 2016 —

Drawing crowds of over 100,000 attendees in recent years, the 4th Street Lilac Festival is one of Calgary’s most popular free festivals and a summer family staple.

This year’s Lilac Festival will take place on June 5. The one-day event spans 13 blocks of 4th Street and features musical performances, vendors and kid-friendly activities.

Festival organizer Jennifer Rempel says the Lilac Festival marks the beginning of Calgary’s festival season and encourages Calgarians to celebrate the beginning of summer.

“In the winter time it’s cold and we don’t get out much, our summer months are shortened compared to other cities,” says Rempel. “That’s why Calgarians embrace outdoor events, especially free outdoor events.”

The Lilac Festival features over 40 local bands and multiple dance groups spread over seven stages. In addition, over 500 vendors will line 4th street.

The festival is a popular platform for organizations and local staple to gain exposure. The Youth Singers of Calgary will return as a local favourite at the festival.

“Our goal right now is to really reintroduce Youth Singers to the city,” says Lauren Thompson, a Youth Singers choreographer and performer. “The marketing of our programs kind of fell off a little bit to kind of prioritize for other things in the last few years. So we really want to use festivals throughout the summer — especially the Lilac Festival [since] it’s the biggest one in the city — to put our name back out there and remind Calgary that we’re here.”

Calgary-based singer-songwriter Doug Waite will play on the Kids Stage at 10:30 a.m. He is a festival favourite for younger audiences.

“They put me on the family stage because I relate to kids pretty well, I’ve done a fair bit of kids’ entertaining over the years, and in the last little while I’ve been writing songs that I like. Maybe my maturity level is 10 or 11 years old because it suits that age group,” he says. “It seems there’s kids in
all of us.”

Waite believes there’s value in showcasing local music at events like the Lilac Festival.

“There’s a lot of work that happens right in the neighbourhood and the region, so I think it’s a great thing that the Lilac Festival supports local artists,” he says.

The festival kicks off with a parade at 10:00 a.m on Sunday June 5 and ends at 6:00 p.m that evening.

For more information, visit lilacfest.net

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet