By Anais Biernat
The Canada Games Festival presents FREE activities and concerts every evening from July 29 to August 12, at the Forks. After Saturday's launch spotlighting Ontario, it was Quebec's turn on Sunday, with a not-to-be-missed outdoor music extravaganza!
Under a scorching sun and a humidex of 38, the evening got off to a decidedly sweltering start in a relaxed atmosphere. Justin Lacroix kicked off the program, followed by the side-splitting "Made in Kouglistan" show presented by the Throw2Catch Street Circus, to the delight of audience members of all ages.
During that time, some festival-goers chose to enjoy the food and beverages available on site, or explore the Festival's many offerings, including physical activities, a giant Jenga set, and the ever-popular hoop dancing.
At 7 p.m., the continuing heatwave was underscored by Fred Pellerin et les Grands Hurleurs, who treated us to their unique brand of traditional music. The trio visited Manitoba earlier this year, in February, and were in a position to comment on our province's temperature extremes! But we all know that Winnipeg summers are not always this hot…
Between two main stage concerts, we took in some wonderful performances on the satellite stage: Tayler Fleming's Métis fiddling, traditional choreography by the Aboriginal School of Dance, and short films presented by the National Film Board throughout the evening.
When the temperature finally began to drop, the oppressive heat lifted, and Bobby Bazini launched into his set of blues-infused pop and folk music, captivating the Festival audience.
Internationally renowned musician Cœur de Pirate wrapped up the main stage program, singing in both French and English. The many Quebecers in attendance sang along, and the crowd discovered some new 'sad songs' that Cœur de Pirate said were her hallmark. Melancholy music has never elicited such a joyful response!
Come nightfall, it was time for me to call it a day, but the Festival still had a fireworks display in store. Sunday night felt like a vacation day, and it's going to be hard to return to work tomorrow. However, if you want to capture that vacation feeling all over again, simply come back to the Forks Wednesday evening, for the Northern Territories spotlight!