Grand Opening of Festival Hall

There’s a new sound in Inglewood.

Local folk bands played to a crowd of 200 people on Saturday, Jan. 26th as Festival Hall, a year-round concert venue in the historic inner city community opened its doors.

Eight years in the making, Festival Hall now acts as the Calgary Folk Music Festival’s brand-new home for staff and 1,600 volunteers.

Festival Hall is a three-storey arts, performance and music space located at 1215 10th Ave S.E.

It is a state-of-the-art multi-media, 180-seat flexible performance space that will host local, Canadian and international artists from a wide array of artistic disciplines.

Artistic director Kerry Clarke says having a permanent presence in the city will be a big step forward for the Folk Fest.

“We are so excited to have our own venue so that we can extended our seasonal programming and present the artistically diverse indie, roots, traditional and world music the festival is known for all year round,” she said in an interview.

Festival Hall will also be the home for new events hosted by the CFMF, including workshops, lectures, and master classes.

Their 1,600-person volunteer army will use the hall as a meeting space as well.

The annual summer music festival will stay on Prince’s Island Park, however.

The Jan. 26 event featured musical sessions throughout the day by local artists Lorrie Matheson, Paul van Kampen, Kenna Burima & Steve Fletcher, Allen Baekeland, and Brent Cooper.

There were over 35 of Calgary’s finest roots, folk, indie and blues artists at the event.

CJSW, CKUA, CJSW and Up 97.7 FM DJs created a comfortable lounge atmosphere in the upstairs offices.

Food trucks were located outside to feed the hungry concert goers.

“We’ve increasingly done concerts during the year at different venues, and we’ll continue to do some at the Jubilee and the Jack Singer and SAIT, but it’s really nice to have a home base where people start associating us with these kind of performances during the year that’s the same kind of quality that they expect at the festival, and the original music, diversity and collaboration,” said Clarke.

Designed by award-winning Vancouver-based Peter Cardew Architects, Festival Hall includes geo-thermal passive heating and cooling systems, reclaimed materials and significant, creative architectural details, such as the timbered ceiling.

About Sonya Nguyen 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Sonya Nguyen worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2012-2013 academic year.