Why an Interview,,,

Over the years we have been able to meet and talk with some very interesting people. They have shared with us their knowledge and have provided us with a great deal of insight as to how and why festivals and events work and why they are so important to our communities and to the Province of Ontario. With this in mind, we decided that we wanted you to meet and hear from some of the wonderful people who work so hard to provide us all with such wonderful Ontario Festivals and Events! We are pleased and proud to present "THE INSIDE SCOOP"!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New Traditions ~ Westben Arts Festival Theatre ~ The Scoop

While Ontario Festivals Visited has had the wonderful opportunity to experience Westben Arts Festival Theatre, we have also had the chance to chat with Donna Bennett in the past. We welcome you to check out our previous interview in “THE INSIDE SCOOP” at these Link’s: Inside Scoop Series Blog #75-#79, April & May, 2012, Westben Arts Festival Theatre - Donna Bennett - soprano, pianist/composer.

 Westben Arts Festival Theatre

Judi "Scoop" McWilliams ~ Ontario Visited
Donna Bennett ~  Westben Arts Festival Theatre

The Next Generation Leahy
Ontario Visited enjoys
Westben Arts Festival Theatre
You can check out another great adventure with our current interview Series with The Next Generation Leahy. We met the family at the Westben Arts Festival Theatre last summer and experienced a fabulous witnessed a magical evening of live performances, filled with the high-energy and infectious smiles of the children. The family performed the Celtic-based music usually associated with the Leahy heritage; fiddle, cello, French accordion, singing, piano, and French-Canadian step-dancing. Over three generations of Leahy musicianship, Doug Leahy, together with his wife Jennifer and their children, are keeping those traditions alive through music, song, and dance.

The "Leahy's" left the audiences in awe with several “standing ovations”! This Blog Series is a fun Series about with the Leahy family. Stay tuned for the entire Series, features stories about ~ “The Importance of Giving Back”; “Travelling with a Large Family”; “Balance in Life”; “Diversity in Education & Life”; “Music affects our Culture” and more!
You can view our visits to Westben at ~ Ontario Attractions Visited ~ Westben Arts Festival Theatre ~ LINK Ontario Festivals Visited ~ Carmen ~ LINK
Cobourg Concert Band joins
Westben Arts Festival Theatre
Fast forward, Westben’s Season of Celebration New Traditions recently opened with Fiddler on the Roof. The cast and crew of 100 people performed to five sold out audiences. Part of the production team and cast were Cobourg and Port Hope area’s Samantha Clarke and Coltrane Faragher. Samantha now studying drama at Queen’s, was a voice student of Westben’s Co-Founder Donna Bennett while studying at Trinity College School. She joined the stage management team for Westben’s Fiddler of the Roof. Coltrane Faragher of Hamilton Township studies at McGill University and has been hired for the summer by Westben as a Production Assistant. Coltrane also stepped in at the last minute as the Priest in Fiddler on the Roof.

Westben has traditionally had strong support from the Cobourg and Port Hope community as volunteers, members, patrons and Board Members. Westben’s current Chair of the Board is Alison Lester, Barrister and Solicitor in Cobourg. Katie Emery and Leslie Orpana are new Board Members. Performances continue this weekend with song writer Ken Tizzard and Friends performing songs from Ken’s new album No Dark, No Light on Friday, June 19 with Frank Moore opening.
On Saturday June 20, the Cobourg Concert Band join Westben’s Wind Ensembles in a program called A Lot of Hot Airs! “Westben is very excited to welcome Cobourg’s Concert Band to The Barn and I am sure will be very inspiring to the Westben Wind Ensembles, states Donna Bennett.” 

Brian Finley
Artistic & Managing Director
Westben Arts Festival Theatre, Inc.

Judi "Scoop" McWilliams enjoys gardens
Ontario Festivals Visited

As you can see, there is a lot happening at Westben Arts Festival Theatre, in Campbellford. The Importance of Community, Sharing, Music, and collaborations across Ontario, Nation and world wide, enhance the experience for the visitors and participants alike. For further information about Westben Arts Festival Theatre, we encourage you to check out their website at http://www.westben.ca/ for all the up-to-date details. Enjoy!

Don't miss "The Wind Ensembles",  part of Westben’s Education program and directed by retired music teacher Nancy Elmhirst. There are over 50 children and adults involved. “It started out as a program for Youth but then parents and grandparents asked if they could play in the bands and this mixing of generations in music making is a wonderful thing, “says Bennett. There are a few tickets left for Westben’s Garden Gala which takes place at the home of Neil Graham and Wayne Sabados near Warkworth on Sunday June 21. See www.westben.ca for tickets. The UBC (University of British Columbia) Opera Ensemble returns to the Barn July 2 to 5 for a fully staged production of Verdi’s masterpiece La traviata. This top 10 opera kicks off the summer season of performances at The Barn which include over 35 performances of classical, broadway, jazz, folk and fiddle music. Improv All-Stars makes a debut this season with Linda Kash, Matt Baram, Sandy Jobin-Bevans and Patrick McKenna July 9. Shauna Rolston, Mary Lou Fallis, Marie-Josee Lord, Stewart Goodyear, Le studio de musique anxienne de Montreal, Jane Bunnett & Maqueque and others including Cobourg’s The Good Lovelies also perform at The Barn. The season wraps up with the new Jazz Fringe Festival taking place at area eateries in Trent Hills, the Clock Tower and The Westben Barn on the August long weekend. 

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