World music coming to Kitchener

Elizabeth McFaul

The heartbeat of world music returns to the region this summer, this time in Kitchener’s Victoria Park.

Kultrún Festival, the region’s celebration of local, national, and international world music, officially announced its lineup and new location at the Boathouse on Friday, May 29.

Isabelle Cisterna, Artistic Director of Neruda Arts, explained that this year’s festival is unique, as it was selected by Ignite Ontario to host a celebration of the Pan American and Parapan American games.

“It gives us the opportunity to bring some of the best world music there is to our community and to be able to share it with friends and family,” said Cisterna. “The big-stage performances are going be by local, national, and international award-winning world music arts, representing over 18 countries, and over a dozen of world music genres.”

Kultrún will be moving to Victoria Park for the first time this year, having outgrown its original location of Waterloo Town Square. City Councillors Frank Etherington and Sarah Marsh of Wards 9 and 10 each spoke to what the festival will bring to Kitchener.

“I’m delighted to have culture come into the park with this wonderful festival,” said Etherington, “Waterloo’s loss is Kitchener’s gain”. Kitchener-Centre Member of Parliament Stephen Woodworth was also present to announce a grant for the Kultrún Festival and Neruda Arts concert series.

Kultrún opens Friday, July 9 with an Opening Gala at the Victoria Park Pavilion, with Anita Tijoux (hiphop activist and latin pop star), Chico Trujillo (a rock-ska-cumbia orchestra from Chile), and Lucho Quequezana (a traditional Peruvian multi-instrument artist and composer). Saturday’s programming features a special Pan Am and Parapan Am Games showcase of artists. The rest of the weekend features a diversity of genres, of countries, and of music styles. The four-day festival will also feature free workshops, a craft market, children’s activities, foods from around the world, and a local beer garden, all run by community partners.

Kultrún Festival runs July 9-12, 2015 in Victoria Park in Downtown Kitchener. Check back every week for TCE’s Kultrun playlists, highlighting the international artists soon to grace the Region.