Archives: music

franco fest

Festival season is quickly approaching. If you are looking to get a little sample of some summer festival happenings in Hamilton this weekend, then you should check out FrancoFest.

FrancoFest is a free three day open-air festival at Gage Park. It is a family-friendly festival that celebrates the diversity of francophone culture through live music, dance, and visual art.

For the kids there’s: circus workshops, art exhibitions, painting, drumming, reptile demonstrations, maquillage, and roaming artists.

Franco Fest

Some of the performances this year include: Karim Ouellet and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hamilton Aerial Group, Lua Shayenne & Co and many more.

FrancoFest has been around in Hamilton for 35 years but it is still pretty low-key (in a good way). You won’t be pushing a stroller through throngs of dusty festival crowds or staking out seats with your lawn chairs to catch the performances. It’s a festival that you can enjoy at a leisurely pace; pack a blanket and some shade, sample some eats from the food trucks and take a wander through the vendors (all beautifully curated).

Mental Floss Sideshow Franco Fest Franco Fest Hamilton Aerial Group Franco Fest2

There’s something about arts, and culture that the French just do better.

This was a festival that I attended last year that I really enjoyed. The vibe was just right. With little to no expectations of what the festival entailed; we grabbed some food from the food trucks, listened to some gorgeous music, wandered around the kid’s art painting station, and got a feel for just how cool francophone culture really is. 

FrancoFest is free and takes places June 24, 25 and 26. Parking on-site is $10.

*FrancoFest, Facebook, Twitter, #FrancoFest


new music expo

In the past few years it has become a bit of an informal tradition to head down to Gage Park for It’s Your Festival.

I love summer festivals. Especially ones that are relatively close to our house.

But let’s be honest. I mostly love summer festivals because of funnel cake.

After I got my funnel cake fix we headed over to a little side stage tucked in back of Gage Park for the New Music Expo.

For the past two years this mini concert series has been a fav of Steve and mine. It’s off the beaten track and in many ways reminds me of days when I was weee little teenager and would see bands down by the lake at the gazebo for Friday Night Live in Burlington.

For the most part the bands are raw, kinda gritty, loud and experimental. What I especially liked was that it allowed for Steve and I both to enjoy a show together since Omi could be there too; tumbling around on the grass and clovers.

We only made it for Doobie Freaks and a smidge of Glasseylashes before we packed it up for the evening.

Last year my highlights were Pucumber Sassquash and The Mystics.

Pucumber Sassquash at the New Music Expo stage 2012

The Mystics at the New Music Expo stage 2012

Happy that there’s still a few summer festivals still kicking it here at Gage Park. Love the seafoam bandshell (don’t ever change), and also love that there’s the Seven Sundays of Gage Park summer concert series, which has a line up of some really great musicians such as the Dinner Belles, Harrison Kennedy, and Jesse Lanza (check her beautifully cool video below), plus there’ll be movie screenings and food trucks. The series kicks off this Sunday July 7th but you can also check their website here for their schedule.

The Dinner Belles playing the bandshell 2012

I leave you with Jesse Lanza’s most recent video shot in  Hamilton featuring Jed the dancing guy. Jesse will be playing at the Gage Park bandshell on Sunday August 11th at 7pm for the Seven Sundays concert series.

tall ships

This weekend the tall ships are coming!

In part for the bicentennial anniversary of the War of 1812, six tall ships will enter into the Hamilton harbour tomorrow afternoon (between 2-4pm) and dock for a weekend of nautical entertainment. The weekend-long event is jam packed with three nights of really fabulous live music from the likes of Hamilton locals such as: Young Rival, The Dinner Belles, Harrison Kennedy and the Soul Motivators (hailing form Toronto). There’ll also be a craft fair, an art battle, snow cones (plus other food vendors), dancing, busking and tours of these historic tall ships. For more information you can visit the Tourism Hamilton website here or take the free shuttle bus down to Pier 8 to see for yourself.

Well Hamilton you never cease to surprise me! The other evening I discovered this little piece of the city that I didn’t even know existed. The Royal Hamilton Yacht Club sits at the bottom of James St. North. If you are a member you can gain access to lakeside views like this one. Well, as a non-member, I won’t be sitting at this exclusive private patio watching the tall ships sail in. But alas that’s won’t stop me from finding a little perch of my own to watch these tall sailing beauties.

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