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Biglake Festival Launches 2023 Summer Series: Roots, in Prince Edward County

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, Ontario, May 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Biglake Festival announces its return to the summer festival scene with its 2023 series: Roots, celebrating all the things that ground us, nourish us, and make us who we are. This year’s lineup, curated by Biglake’s co-founders Johannes Debus and Elissa Lee, features an array of interdisciplinary musicians presenting programmes inspired by nature, history and ethnic roots, exploring traditional and folk music from various cultures. Biglake Festival takes place August 18-26, 2023 across Prince Edward County. Tickets are on sale now, with bundle options available.

“We are delighted to bring another season of Biglake Festival magic to the County” said Elissa Lee, co-founder of Biglake Arts. “We’re on a mission to create a community hub, an environment where music, freed from traditional constraints, brings joy and connection to artists and new audiences. We can’t wait to showcase this year’s roster of musicians within some of Prince Edward County’s most inspiring spaces, alongside local food and drink offerings to truly give you a taste of the region.”

Known as a playground for interdisciplinary performance, Biglake offers exceptional musical experiences while showcasing the breadth and beauty of Prince Edward County’s many venues. With a network of world-class musicians all leaders in their craft, Biglake’s concerts showcase genre-bending collaborations in unexpected locations. It’s the only festival to offer Yiddish ballads, opera, traditional Korean drums, a string sextet and folk fiddling all on the same bill.

In its third year, Biglake Festival offers nine days of exploratory and collaborative concerts. Some of this year’s highlights include:

  • Folk & Fiddle, the premiere of a new collaborative work crafted by Dene fiddler Wesley Hardisty, composer Carmen Braden, and the Ensemble Made in Canada (Emic) Quartet. With the generous support of the Canada Council and UBC Faculty of Music, they explored and experimented together to collectively create a new work for 5-string fiddle and piano quartet based on original tunes composed by Wesley Hardisty.

  • Musical & Edible Promenade, an immersive experience showcasing local architecture and fare alongside the performance. Listen to the sounds of the PhoeNX Ensemble while touring Picton’s historical buildings and partaking in inventive food creations inspired by the instruments and musical selections of the cross-cultural chamber group.

  • Candlelight Concert, an homage to Mother Nature, celebrating her beauty and nurturing spirit. The intimate evening will take place at sunset, to the sounds of a string sextet, featuring Musicus artists. Biglake is proud to once again welcome three young artists from Musicus Society, Hong Kong – rising stars at the start of their promising professional careers.

  • Fiddle Extravaganza, featuring award-winning Cree fiddling superstar Ryan D’Aoust. Together with Jeremy Rusu on the keys, Daniel Kouleck on guitar, and fiddler Wesley Hardisty, the group will dazzle audiences with traditional Métis tunes and original compositions. The concert will take place in Tyendinaga Territory at the historic Christ Church, promoting communication and unity through music to inspire positive change and reconciliation.

  • The Joni Mitchell Tribute, in celebration of the Canadian musical legend’s 80th birthday. The culminating event will feature JUNO and GEMINI-nominated singer songwriter Sarah Slean, supported by the sweet symphonic sounds of the Biglake Orchestra, made up of musicians from Ontario’s finest orchestras. The evening is in collaboration with Base31, a cultural destination exploring the fusion of heritage, ecology and innovation.

“Biglake is defined by collaboration, community and a passion for music,” said Johannes Debus, co-founder of Biglake Arts. “This year, we’re proud to debut Biglake’s new look and feel, which perfectly encapsulates this sentiment. It is something we’re very proud of, and we’re looking forward to sharing the beauty of Biglake with locals and visitors alike.”

This year’s talented lineup will showcase performers Alexander Soloway, Angela Chan, Anthony Lemke, Anthony Poon, Daniel Kouleck, David Hetherington, Dior Quartet, Elissa Lee, Ensemble Jeng Yi, Ensemble Made in Canada, Jeremy Hao, Jeremy Rusu, Johannes Debus, Josh ‘Socalled’ Dolgin, Matthew Cairns, Philip Chiu, Phoenix Ensemble, Ryan D’Aoust, Sarah Slean, Sheila Jaffé, Trey Lee, Venuti String Quartet and Wesley Hardisty.

2023 Biglake Festival Schedule

Friday, August 18 Opening Night at 7 PM The Grange of Prince Edward Winery (990 Closson Rd, Hillier)

Saturday, August 19 K-Drum & Dance at 11:30 AM Parsons Brewing Company (876 County Rd 49, Picton)

Voyages at 7 PM Wellington Music Hall (42 West Street, Wellington)

Sunday, August 20 Kids Concert - L’Histoire de Babar at 11 AM Wellington Music Hall (42 West Street, Wellington)

Musical & Edible Promenade at 4PM The CAPE (347 Main St E, Picton)

Monday, August 21 Folk & Fiddle at 7 PM Wellington Music Hall (42 West Street, Wellington)

Tuesday, August 22 Yiddish Soul at 7 PM The Regent Theatre (224 Main St, Picton)

Wednesday, August 23 Fiddle Extravaganza at 7 PM Christ Church (52 South Church St., Deseronto)

Thursday, August 24 Candlelight Concert at 7 PM Slake Brewery (181 Mowbray Rd, Picton)

Friday, August 25 IMPACT Fundraiser Concert at 2 PM Mirazule (1641 County Rd 13, Milford)

Opera Gala at 7 PM Wellington Music Hall (42 West Street, Wellington)

Saturday, August 26 Joni Mitchell Tribute at 7 PM Base31 (26-343, County Rd 22 Building 26, Picton)

Tickets for all events are on sale now and range from $27 - $75 CAD. Visit for more details and to purchase tickets.

For interviews and imagery, please contact:

Sheri Clish, Narrative, Holly Wilks, Narrative,

ABOUT BIGLAKE ARTS Biglake Arts is an organization with a dream of building a playground for interdisciplinary performance and collaboration. Perched on the shores of Lake Ontario in Wellington, Prince Edward County – with its flourishing wineries and vibrant artistic community – Biglake’s inspiring home location stands to be a creative nexus in the heart of Canada’s largest economic and cultural corridor: the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal region. Biglake was founded by Johannes Debus, Music Director of The Canadian Opera Company and Elissa Lee, Violinist and founder of JUNO-nominated piano quartet Ensemble Made in Canada.

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