Tag Archives: Calgary Folk Fest

Folkie FAQ

Where did July go? I swear it was just yesterday Twila and I were on the road headed to Orillia. The folkover (a.k.a. Folk + hangover) hasn’t been too bad since arriving back in Edmonton. I almost made it out to Canmore Folk Fest this past weekend but I just missed it. I was actually checking out #UncleJohn at the Banff Summer Arts Festival instead so I took a folkie weekend off to hang with my friends from the Opera Chorus.

I thought I would address from Frequency Asked Questions I’ve been getting from my friends coming back in case anybody else is interested:

Aren’t you and Twila sick of each other?

After a month of travel and almost 10,000 km on the road, you probably have to ask Twila to get a balanced perspective. However, after living in such close proximity for a long time you start to recognize each others cycles pretty well. You know when to say something and when to hold off. Sure, there are moments of cabin fever rounding hour 30 in a vehicle, but you realize it’s not really the other person that’s making you antsy but the overall travel fatigue. We also have a lot of alone time once we get at the festival since Twila is off session hopping and taking photos and I’m usually in the media tent doing interview research, transcribing, or writing if I’m not watching sessions.

How bad did you miss your bed and/or pillow?

Strangely enough, while there were moments where I did miss home, it wasn’t for my mattress. I seemed to adapt quickly enough to make a temporary home wherever I was. Plus, I am a travel narcoleptic and I can sleep anywhere pretty much instantaneously. It also helped that in Vancouver and Calgary I was staying with good friends that I don’t often see so it was a reunion time! I find that familiar people make a place feel at home since it was easy enough to find replacements for other voids like a good coffee place etc.

What did you eat?!?!

It means a great deal to me that my friends were concerned with how I satiated my voracious appetite. Firstly, I had to adapt from my structured three meals a day routine since Twila doesn’t eat full meals. She successfully subsists off a diet of black coffee, rice crackers, fruit, veggies, pepperoni sticks, boiled eggs, and chips. There were no sit-down meals during any of our travel days. For the most part, I just ate crackers, fruit, cereal, granola bars, chips, and candy. In the mornings, I would get hot water from the first pit stop to make oatmeal or use hot water to make instant noodles in the evenings. It was handy to have a utensil set that included a pair of chopsticks. When arriving in a city, we would both hit up the grocery store to replenish food stores for the rest of the festival. However, once I was at the festivals, I just ate at food trucks. Since the food is pretty well-curated and local, the eats were pretty good. Every festival had a wood-fire pizzeria option, there would often be some kind of Asian Thai food option, donairs/pitas/tacos were standard fare; however, there would be great opportunities to eat at the tasty local food truck options. A few stand-outs were the steamed white bun pulled pork and ginger beef tacos from Taiko Taco at Calgary Folk Fest, the sweet and spicy chicken karage from Mogu in Vancouver Folk Fest, the kale and quinoa salads and pulled pork from the Men with Knives food truck at Mariposa Folk Fest, and there was a tie between the chana masala from East India Company and the empanadas and watermelon/mint/feta salad at Corrientes at Winnipeg Folk Fest.

Perhaps there are more questions people are curious about? If so, they can ask me on Gallagher Hill at Edmonton Folk Fest or ask in the comments below and I will update this post with new answers.

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Not On the Road Again

This is our ‘down’ weekend. The Edmonton Folk Fest isn’t until next weekend, so this is the first Saturday in a month that I haven’t woken up rather early and hauled a blue tarp and bag of evening clothing to a main stage before settling in at a side stage with my earplugs in, sunscreen (and/or raincoat) on and camera fully charged -I don’t know what to do with myself.

The driving portion of our project wrapped up this past Monday morning when we rolled into Edmonton minutes after CBC R2 morning shifted over to Tempo. According to the odometer we had traveled 9,974 km since setting off to Mariposa on July 2nd, but it sure felt like it was further. Our journey out to Ontario followed by B.C. seems a bit like a dream and I can honestly say that I met some really interesting and friendly characters along the way.

Each city has its own flavour and that is reflected in the folk festivals as well. In Vancouver the passion for music, community and life in general was palpable. As we camped out on the shores of English Bay people were not only interested in the music on stage, but chatted with those around them. Fast forward a week and the same could be said of the Calgarians packed onto Prince’s Island, but in Calgary there was a distinct Alberta-ness (the exact nature of which I can’t quite describe, I mean there was probably as much, if not more, country music programmed at the Winnipeg Folk Fest than in Calgary so it wasn’t like there was a run on cowboy boots or hats that made Calgary seem very Albertan).

Although the road trip is over, and I might have neared music saturation with over 16 days worth of live music. I am excited for the EFMF 2014. Excited to see my hometown festival through the filter of the four proceeding festivals, to see some of the artists that I caught at earlier festivals again, to have the emcees shout ‘Edmonton’ rather than one of the other cities, to discover new music which has to last me until the next festival season but most of all to sit on the hill with my family and friends watching the sun set on the Edmonton skyline while all around us lights up with thousands of tiny candles. It’s an indescribable moment.

I’ll see you on the hill.