The University of Lethbridge will “Shine On” for its 50th anniversary Sept. 2 in the University of Lethbridge stadium with artisans, food trucks and lots of excellent live music.
“Shine On is a music festival put on with the University of Lethbridge 50th anniversary homecoming weekend,” said executive director of advancement Tanya Jacobson-Gundlock, who had been busy helping co-ordinate this massive event.
“It’s a celebration. The university couldn’t exist without the community and vice-versa,” she said.
While there are a plethora of activities happening on campus coinciding with homecoming celebrations, everything culminates on Saturday, Sept. 2 with the Shine On Music Festival from 12:30 p.m.-11 p.m.
A variety of acts perform beginning at 12:30 including local alternative rock band Doublejack, Trevor Panczak, DJ Millz Skillz, Vancouver indie rock band Mother Mother, up-and-coming Vancouver-based roots and country band Washboard Union, local country musician Corb Lund and Vancouver-based superstar Dallas Smith, who finishes the festival.
“There is a no re-entry policy after 3 p.m., but between 12 and 3 p.m. they are welcome to come and go,” she said.
“We want people to come to stay for the day. And it is easier to manage the crowd that way,” she continued, noting there is limited parking available at the stadium, though the university parking lots will be available as the stadium is only a 10-minute walk away along a lit path.
“We’re encouraging people to take transit, bicycles or taxis,” she said.
The next day there will be a battle of the bands at the stadium featuring local bands competing for a $1,000 cash prize and a Cottonwood Records package beginning at 2 p.m. with awards being given at 4 p.m. Gates will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Competitors include local pop punk band the Youngbloods, country band Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction, hip hop group the AWD fellows with funk rock trio Adequate, Nevada Place, young rock band Diversified and local rock band Scotch Whiskey limousine.
Also on Sunday there will be two rugby games, a craft market, food trucks, an inflatable obstacle course, round dance, cultural demonstration and a beer gardens. It is free to attend on Sunday.
“It’s going to be a great party and something to celebrate,“ she said.
“Let’s hope the weather co-operates,” she continued, crediting generous partners including the City of Lethbridge and the Enmax Centre for their assistance.
Homecoming activities begin on Friday with a variety of events including the John Gill Memorial Golf Tournament at Paradise Canyon Golf course beginning at 1:30 p.m. The tournament is open to everyone, the format is a four-person, 18-hole open scramble with a shotgun start. The entry fee is $200 including golf, a cart and dinner. Players can enter as a single, as a team, or as a corporate sponsor. Entry forms are available here: http://go.uleth.ca/johngill2017.
Washboard Union is excited to play Lethbridge for the Shine On Festival on Sept. 2.
“We played a private event there, but we haven’t played an actual show there,” said Washboard Union multi-instrumentalist and vocalist David Roberts. “Our new single is called ‘Shine,’ so when they booked us, we thought they named the festival after us,” chuckled Roberts, who plays the washboard in the band among several other instruments.
“But anything with ‘shine’ in it is all right with us,” he continued, adding he is excited to share a stage with luminaries like Dallas Smith and Corb Lund.
“I think there’s also a DJ, too,” he said.
Things have moved quickly for the band, who have been nominated roots artist of the year by the British Columbia country Music Association and signed with Warner Brothers record label and scored several rootsy, breezy, optimistic, harmony hits including “Shine,” “Head Over Heels,” “Shot of Glory,” “Can’t Complain” and Maybe It’s The Moonshine” which reflects the sounds of the Emerson Drive and Blue Rodeo.”
“I’ll take that compliment. Actually Warner Brothers is doing a 50-year celebration album with up-and-coming artists recording versions of their established artists’ songs, and we got asked to record Blue Rodeo’s “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet,” which is a really honour, but also made me feel a little nervous,” Roberts said.
Country/roots musician Corb Lund is not only glad to be back home in Lethbridge, but is excited to play a long-awaited, rare local gig at the Shine On Music Festival on Sept. 2.
He keeps a low profile when gets back home to music row in Lethbridge, a.k.a. 7 Avenue South where his neighbours include well-known local musicians like Leeroy Stagger, John Wort Hannam, Trevor Panczak and Dave McCann.
Lund profers a low profile when he gets off the road.
“I just like to take time to hang out with friends. And my parents still have a ranch near Taber and Cardston, so I like to visit them,” Lund said, fresh off the road from tour dates all over Canada and the U.S. and up for a quick visit at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.
“It has been two or three years since I played a local show,” he observed.
“When life is so crazy, it’s nice to just come home and relax and visit with friends, I don’t even think of playing local shows, I don’t know why. A few months ago, I sat around with Dave, John and Leeroy sat around trading songs, which was fun and I recorded some demos in Leeroy’s studio, which is amazing. And something you wouldn’t expect to see in Lethbridge,” he said.
He is starting work on new music.
“I think the last album came out two or three years ago, so I’ve been trying to carve out time to write,” he continued.
Playing the Shine On Music Festival is especially special, since he went to the University of Lethbridge and lived in residence before moving to Edmonton to study music at Grant MacEwan College to study music, where he formed popular alternative rock band the smalls, which toured all over Canada before disbanding, which lead to Lund embarking on a successful solo country and roots career.
“I don’t know what I’ll be playing yet. I don’t use a set list. We’ll wing it,” he said, noting he will be joined by long-time band mates, bassist Kurt Ciesla, drummer Brady Valgardson and lead guitarist Grant Siemens, who are also on his albums.
“They’ve been on my albums as long as I’ve been playing with them. We’ve been playing so long together we have ESP. They’re from Lethbridge, except Grant, who’s from Winnipeg, but they’re better than anyone else out there, so that’s cool,” Lund enthused.
He is looking forward to the rest of his gigs this year.
“I’m looking forward to this one and playing with Ian Tyson in Ottawa.
“We’re on second last (at Shine On) at 7:15 p.m. right before Dallas (Smith). I promise it won’t be so long until the next one,” said Lund.
Vancouver-based indie rock/ pop band Mother Mother return to Lethbridge to play the Shine On Music Festival.
Since playing Freshfest at the University of Lethbridge two years, ago, the band has been busy touring in support of their latest CD “No Culture.”
“We’ve been touring a lot. We got our first Canadian number one hit (“The Drugs”) and we’ve made some headway in America, which is no small feat, but their is still a lot of work to do there,” said frontman Ryan Guldemond from Pearse Island off the coast of British Columbia.
He noted the new album is a slight change in musical direction for the band.
“It’s our most vulnerable album and our most modern sounding album production-wise, which we weren’t sure if our fans would be put off by it, but so far, they seem to like it,” continued Guldemond, who is joined by his sister Molly Guldemond on keyboards and vocals, Jasmin Parkin on keyboards and vocals and drummer Ali Siadat.
They always enjoy playing Lethbridge.
“It’s always a lot of fun and audiences always let it all out,” he continued.
“It’s going to be a really good show. We’ll play a lot of the new album, the older hits and some new songs. it will be a really well-rounded show,” he promised.
Admission to the Shine On Music Festival is $65 for U of L alumni and $75 for the public.