Rocking the park at the Manitoba Sunflower Festival

Manitoba's own Lakes and Pines are just one of the many performers on the ticket for the 2018 Manitoba Sunflower Festival. Facebook photo

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From classic rock, country and folk, to gospel and jazz, the 2018 Manitoba Sunflower Festival in Altona will offer a wide variety of music for every taste.
The festival takes place July 27-29, providing a full weekend of free entertainment.
The Incredibly Hip will headline the Friday night stage show. Canada’s premiere Tragically Hip tribute band features a live, rocking experience with songs from Canada’s greatest band – “Ahead By A Century”, “Blow At High Dough”, “Boots or Hearts”, “50 Mission Cap” and many, many more! Formed in 2014, this top-notch group of seasoned professionals all hail from Winnipeg, the epicenter of Canadian Rock & Roll music. The Incredibly Hip delivers a stunning concert experience, capturing the spirit and intensity of Canada’s most beloved band, leaving audiences both thrilled, duly impressed and waiting with anticipation for their next appearance.
Sleepy the Clown will take the stage on Saturday afternoon. Charles Lauder has been clowning around Manitoba for the better part of 20 years. His clowning antics have taken him all over the province from Churchill to Emerson, and even on the other side of the world in Dubai.
Growing up a theatre kid, Charles met a real live clown in his teen years. Fester the clown showed him all he could be in grease paint and Charles’ plunge into the circus arts was assured. He learned everything he could in magic, juggling and clown skills. He best and favourite of all is twisting balloons. Now he is set to travel the world and share his love of the circus arts.
A.R. Cash will be the main attraction at the Saturday night stage show. Recently named 2017 International Tribute Artist of the Year at the Josie Music Awards in Nashville, Aaron Prociuk is the real deal when it comes to performing a tribute to Johnny Cash. Growing up in the countryside of East St. Paul, Manitoba and inspired by the movie “Walk The Line”, Aaron taught himself guitar at the age of 15.
While mastering the lead work of Cash’s original guitarist Luther Perkins, he discovered he had a knack for singing Cash’s music as well. A.R Cash began in 2013 as a stylistically authentic tribute to Johnny Cash from the 1950’s through the 1960’s. With the addition of internationally acclaimed country songstress Ashley Robertson to portray June Carter Cash they charm audiences with solid and playful performances while sharing history of Johnny and June’s careers. Backed by some of the best musicians in the business or performing as a duo, they pack venues large and small, recently headlining the Red River Exhibition and even been invited up to perform with Vince Gill and the Time Jumpers.
Sunday afternoon features a line-up you don’t want to miss.
Leading the way is Manitoba’s own Lakes and Pines. From the humble beginnings of acoustic sets in coffee shops to house concerts and festival stages, Lakes and Pines continue to defy genres and boundaries while bringing listeners along for the journey. Whether it’s an acoustic duo, trio set or the full band, you can almost feel the seasons change through the eclectic collection of songs performed.
Annika Marie will follow. This local folk artist’s smooth and inviting vocals will lull you into a world she creates with her music. With simple but haunting melodies, her unique voice will captivate you to your core. She has spent the past two years playing different venue’s from Winnipeg to her hometown roots in Southern Manitoba, as well as on stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Keep your eyes peeled for her debut EP set to drop sometime in the new year.
Next, you’ll be delighted by father-and-sons trio, The Janzen Boys. The group got their start busking as a rootsy, harmony-singing family playing in various places around Winnipeg. It wasn’t long, however, before there was a demand for more. After racking up almost 4,000 views on YouTube in the University of Winnipeg’s Uniter Fiver contest for new bands, they were chosen for a finalists showcase at Winnipeg’s iconic West End Cultural Centre. From there the ball started to roll and soon their schedule was filled with house concerts and festival gigs all over the province.
Not far behind is Nathan Nasby. This award winning singer/songwriter discovered his passion for music at a very early age. Growing up in a home where musical instruments were abundant and exploration and discovery were highly encouraged, he seemed destined to gravitate to a career in music. This multi-instrumental background has served him well as he would eventually own and operate a private studio where he caters to the needs of publishers, and clients around the world. In 2011 he started composing and producing for the film and tv industry. Since then his music has reached around the globe and been heard on major networks such as Global, MTV, NatGeo, DIY Network, ABC Family, Showcase, HBO and many more.
Rounding out the festival will be Jayme Giesbrecht and Jonathan Alexiuk. Powerful, soul-inspired, and moving vocals are what you can expect when listening to the music of Jayme Giesbrecht. She got her start singing in church at 11 years old, but was quickly recognized in the Winkler-area as a gifted vocalist, and “the little girl with the big voice”. Jonathan Alexiuk currently spends months at a time as a cocktail pianist on cruise-lines like Princess and Holland-America. He played multiple instruments with the Air Command Band from 2004- 2007, and has performed and recorded as a pianist, trumpeter, saxophonist, trombonist, drummer, and is a largely self-taught arranger. The duo met at a Manitoba Choral Society event in 2009, where they hit it off musically, and decided to join forces to bring their jazz and gospel styles together! Audiences are always delighted, and moved to hear the musicianship of this dynamic duo.