Gangways Open on Toronto’s Waterfront presented by The Waterfront BIA as part of the 15th annual Doors Open Toronto presented by Great Gulf is this weekend and the weekend is full of live musical performances from Firesound, Ian Belle Ensemble and Metis Fiddler Quartet. Visit www.waterfrontbia.com for more details.
Firesound – WESTJET Stage at 4:30pm – Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25
See award-winning band Firesound, a group of talented Toronto firefighters, performing at 4:30pm daily on the WestJet Stage to raise awareness for Camp Bucko, a burn camp for children. The band features a three-piece horn section and plays high energy pop, rock and soul music. Debuting in 2005 with the award-winning CD Burning Love, more than 30 Toronto firefighters donated their time and performed 15 fire themed songs including Disco inferno, Ring of Fire, Burn Baby Burn and many more, with all proceeds donated to Camp Bucko. A handful of Firesound members were chosen to be on season one of the reality TV show Canada Sings! They sang and danced their way to first place and a prize of $10,000 for Camp Bucko. Firesound entertains and raises money for charities in and around the GTA including Muscular Dystrophy Canada and Firefighter Cancer research, to name a few. Learn more about Firesound by visiting www.firesound.ca.
Ian Bell Ensemble – Redpath Stage at 1:30pm and 3:30pm – Saturday, May 24
A native of darkest Southwestern Ontario, Ian has performed professionally across Canada and in the United States since the late 1970s. On his own and with a number of different ensembles, he has appeared at numerous folk festivals (and in concerts in every sort of venue). In 1993 Ian was named “Folk Artist in Residence” for that year at Joseph Schneider Haus Museum, in Kitchener, Ontario. In 1985 Ian served as artistic Director of the Mariposa Folk Festival. Ian performs material from a large repertoire that includes Canadian traditional music, his own songs and instrumental compositions. Ian has also contributed to numerous film scores and performed period music for and occasionally appeared in the TV series, The Road to Avonlea. Following the release of three CDs of well-received original songs, Ian has returned to his roots with a new CD of traditional songs and tunes – My Pious Friends and Drunken Companions. Ian was joined on this recording by many musical friends including Geoff Somers, Anne Lederman, Oliver Schroer, Denis Rondeau, Shane Cook, The Bilge Rats and James Gordon. This CD was recently nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award – “Traditional Singer of The Year”.
Ian also performs with The Friends of Fiddler’s Green, Enoch Kent, The Allison Lupton Band, and Patio Dave & The Lanterns.
Metis Fiddler Quartet – Redpath Stage at 1:30pm and 3:30pm – Sunday, May 25
Born in Winnipeg with proud Métis roots, siblings Alyssa, Conlin, Nicholas, and Danton perform Métis fiddle music passed down by their elders, while drawing on their diverse backgrounds in classical music, jazz and beyond. The group has performed their music for audiences across Canada and internationally; from intimate settings in libraries, museums and schools, to festivals and events such as the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Gala, the Mariposa Folk Festival and the Alianait festival in Iqaluit, Nunavut. They released their debut album North West Voyage at the Toronto Harbourfront Centre in May 2012. The album reflects the beauty and diversity of the Aboriginal fiddle traditions of Canada, infusing these tunes with a diverse musical palette, from Beethoven to the Beatles, and beyond. The album received ‘Best Traditional Album’ at the 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards.