39 Days of July 2018
~a musical summer festival~
Live music every day...
and in the evenings too!
June 29 - August 6
In downtown Duncan, BC
Brought to you by the Duncan Cowichan Festival Society and a variety of community sponsors.
Yes! 39 days, long weekend to long weekend, are taken up with ‘free to the public’ musical treats in an inclusive festival atmosphere in the train station park in downtown Duncan... (the longest daily music festival in the world that we can find) ‘a rather fun place to be’.
Artistic Director’s Message...
‘if we are treading on thin ice then we might as well dance’…Jesse Winchester
‘a rather fun place to be’…Rob McKenzie
‘we got this’ …Ted Cadillac
Yep, we decided we would do it again…push ourselves past our limit and bring you even more music than last year. Still with our 39 days of free music in the park, we have added 6 more events in the City Square other than our 5 Coast Capital Savings Walkabout Wednesdays…and then we added 10 extra shows at the ‘after 9 ‘ series at the Duncan Showroom…
Why would anyone want to run the equivalent of a marathon or two every one of those 39 days? (hint-it ain’t for the pay).
Cause at the end of each day when all the equipment is put away in the bus, we sit around and trade the great experiences that we each witnessed during that day. The various different people showing up - our regulars, the first timers, the astounded tourists and not to forget all the artists blown away by the concept that a 39 day festival in an outdoor setting where everyone listens, where community experiencing culture is the joining factor is taking place in Duncan BC… our Duncan BC…Ah, the smiles on all the faces is so worth it.
Oh, when we turn around to clean the park? Turns out there is nothing to do, everyone took away their own garbage with them - how cool is that.
Now, hours and hours / months and months are required for programming the world’s longest daily music festival. It has taken 11months of planning, being contacted by, contacting various performers from all over and making the final selections based on stage presence, performance abilities and being able to engage audiences. Some are newer to the stage than others but they all bring much more than 100% of themselves to their performances and so we ask you might give them 100% of your attention when available?
Watching this festival unfold over the 39 days year after year is a wonderful experience…sometimes that wonderfulness feeling leaves me when I have to explain to certain peoples that each festival has a followed etiquette, certain festival courtesies that if we was all to agree to we could all have us a real good time at this public outdoor music festival. A ‘free’ festival I might add, just sayin’.
And so I step out on a limb
Please be gentle with me
- as an audience member do your best to only engage in conversations between the songs so as to not to interfere with the performers attempted flow or the ability of other audience members to enjoy that created flow, you will find yourselves much appreciated.
Another really wonderful adult courtesy
- many of our musicians create music that is designed to encourage people to dance, please feel comfortable enough to do so.
- but alas, when the occasional dancer detracts from the performance at hand by dancing in contest with the performer or only for the audience, it puts us in a hard place and of course, we is attempting to have smooth roads to most everyone’s satisfaction. So when dancing, dance for the music, not for the audience.
- we do not encourage the stealing of someone else’s thunder…just sayin’.
And for sure
- if you are seen consuming alcohol on site or are effected by over consumption, we will make sure you are requested to leave.
- although smoking is prohibited in the park, the wind does not know this…so please, if you must smoke…do so downwind of the audience and make sure to take your finished butts with you…thank you
In the park:
Kid courtesies / safety tips
- do understand we believe children should be encouraged to be around live music and with that comes a few responsibilities for their parents/guardians.
- although children are cute and even cuter when they dance, when they start to play in front of the stage instead of dancing to the performance or attempt to climb on the stage, that is when they start to steal the thunder from the performer with that cuteness and we find we have to step in and ask that you please let your children play only where it does not affect other audience members or the performance at hand - this is also a courtesy to the performer, who already in an outdoor setting is fighting with traffic noises and all for your attention.
- railway tracks run right along and thru our festival and all kids want to play on railway tracks… ‘walk the line’ so to speak….this is fine but when done in frenzied play mode beside the stage where performers are doing their best to captivate their audience….well, I am sure you get the picture.
- children transferring stones from the railway bed on the grass near the stage is not a good idea, actually letting the rocks end up where they started the day is a real good idea.
- we trust that this will help you to not be the parent that, at the end of the day, everyone wished had taken care of their kids during these fantastic scheduled performances.
- and please, out of respect, children or adults should be taught not to climb our city’s memorial cenotaph, thank you.
In the city square:
- smoking is not allowed in City Square and again, the wind knows no boundaries so if you must smoke in public please be downwind of the audience …and take your butts with you – thank you.
- public consumption of alcohol is illegal and will be dealt with appropriately as will public intoxication.
Kid courtesies / safety tips
- please keep your children off the steps in front of the stage…safety first.
- if the children want to dance with the adults that is fine.
- if they want to play and chase each other and distract from the performance, that is not fine…a courtesy would be getting your kids involved in the music instead so they can grow up to be music loving adults like us.
There, now that is out of the way let me chat a little more about the festival I organized for you all this year.
Well, I put together 348 slotted performances over the 39 Days of July with 10 ‘after 9’ shows at the Duncan Showroom (my bad, sorry Ted Cadillac / thanks Trevor, for willing to step up). That will be over 200 different acts taking to the stages of the 39 Days of July 2018...wow...There was so much fun to be had in programming the CFS Stage in the CHM park for this year.
The Lunch in the Park series has 28 local performers scheduled for the 75 available slots, Showcase Mondays from 4-8pm became full of treats with some state side performers joining us as well. What a way to start off a week. Again, Blues on Tuesdays gonna please the blues lovers and on Wednesdays, before heading over to the City Square showcases you might want to catch the evening acts in the park, this of course designed to make you have to make a decision. As for decisions, I made sure all 5 Coast Capital Savings Walkabout Wednesdays were programmed musically such so as to have people under 35 (or older if you must) dancing during the 8:30pm shows in City Square. Then I added on 6 extra nights of City Square events where three were specifically designed for dancers as well. Oh oh...appears to be a pattern taking place but please let it be known that those other three nites plus the 7:30pm acts in the City Square on Wednesdays are the ones you might sit back and listen up to so don’t be scared to show up (especially the early Beatles musical tribute on July 14th at 8pm). Thursdays have a certain flair in the touring performing acts in the evening and of course the Fridays have musical performances that might just get you ready for a weekend of fun. Saturdays this year appear to have a theme somewhat in that some are for quieter audiences and some for the young at heart, you to figure out which ones to attend. Event Sundays are always fun ones to plan as they are only for four hours and then the changeover to eclectic genres for the rest of the day gives me some headroom to explore. And don’t forget your cameras for the Teacher/Student Showcases weekdays at 3pm on the CFS Stage and do join Roz for Zumba at 11am for your workout on Saturday mornings.
So you knows...printers deadline was June 10th and right up to the last minute changes were being made...and then, for me came the waiting game, much like me waiting for Xmas to happen and wanting to open the presents away ahead of time, yes, I get excited about this festival. I get excited by how it gives life to our citizenry, excited to see familiar faces, excited to feel that sense of community this festival brings to our downtown, to our valley, our island, our province, our country, our continent, to the world, to th....uh..uh...sorry, got excited again, hope you will too while we all prove we do live in ‘a rather fun place to be’.
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The 39 Days of July is a powerful tool for engaging the Cowichan Valley in positive change.
Studies have shown that the general well-being of communities can be enhanced with arts and culture. What is the evidence?
The arts are a means of public dialogue. Communities can express, via the creativity of the arts, issues that are difficult to talk about. Creativity allows people to explore their values and can raise expectations about what is possible and what is desirable.
The arts contribute to the development of creative learning communities. The community culture becomes more positive, creative and supportive in communities that support the arts. The arts stimulate creative problem-solving and innovation within a community.
The arts help create healthy communities capable of action. Citizens who participate in cultural activities correlate to citizens who are active in social and civic purposes. Cultural activities reduce isolation. The arts provide opportunities for intercultural learning, community healing and conflict resolution and resilience.
The arts can serve as a powerful tool for community mobilization and activism. Art has the ability to captivate participants and lead to more active citizenship and the cultivation of positive civic values. Frequent arts and culture participants are also likely to participate in civic, religious and political activities.
The arts can build community capacity and leadership. People involved in community arts projects feel better connected, more inspired to get involved, and more confident about their ability to make a difference in their communities.
That is why the Duncan-Cowichan Festival Society continues to present to you The 39 Days of July. Join your friends downtown. Your attendance and contributions continue to make the Cowichan Region “a rather fun place to be”.
Rick Martinson, President
Duncan-Cowichan Festival Society
All of these scheduled musical events are designed to bring community together to celebrate our diverse local / Canadian and international music scenes, to give the opportunity to meet our neighbours, share a common experience and hopefully be able to now greet each other with a friendly smile on any future happen chance connections. We are proving that downtown Duncan and the Cowichan Valley is... ‘a rather fun place to be’.