Tribe House Blog

Lille Gard Festival – What a blast!

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Posted : July 31st, 2014 by

We have just hosted our 5th annual Lille Gard Music and Arts Festival at Bottega Farm Inn, Kelowna BC over July 25th – 27th 2014.

Crowd at Lille Gard (photo Darren Hull)The weekend was really well attended and so many people got to connect with old friends and made some new ones too. The weather was glorious this year and the Music and Arts were top notch. There were so many highlights that it’s hard to know where to start.  

The festival began with our popular TEN TEN TEN event, where ten diverse artists shared their life and work with us for ten minutes each. Joshua Smith performed with his recently acquired ukulele and played some new tunes, one of which was a beautiful tribute to our dear friend Ingrid Boesten who recently passed away. 

Ryan Dumas (photo Darren Hull)Ryan Dumas and Jesse Lee performed some powerful rap which was charged with the plight of the homeless and addicted. Aaron Ord shared his journey into not only performing on the Celtic harp but also building them. Two amazing dances from Creator’s Arts Center ,choreographed by Jordan McAlpine and Nessa Worsfold, struck us with their meld of movement and message. Nygel Metcalfe delivered some thoughtful slam poetry, and Dylan Padgett wowed everyone with his vocal dexterity, performing drums, bass and melody simultaniously with his voice.  Jimmy and Nikki Balfour filled the whole night sky with beautiful atmospheres, Jimmy weaving musical mastery on his lap steel guitar while Nikki interpreted the music with her beautiful painting.

Ezra Kwizera (photo Darren Hull)Rwandan singer Ezra Kwizera, with Dylan Ranney joining him on percussion, performed 3 powerful songs in various African languages. Ezra interspersed them with stories of fleeing the Rwandan atrocities of the past as a child. An amazing evening was capped off by Zac Gauthier who mesmerized the whole crowd with his skillful creative performance on a drum kit made of “trash” buckets and pots and pans mixed in with a conventional set up.  At the end of the evening it felt like we had eaten at the table of a King. So much rich fare to digest from one inspiring evening of the Arts.


Seth MacGregorThe festival continued on Saturday beginning with an array of talent mainly drawn from our own locality with a few notable artists travelling from the lower mainland and Vancouver Island and one even from Germany. Things kicked off in fine fashion with our Teen Showcase which consisted of performances from Chloe Davidson, Hayden Ward, Seth MacGregor, Micah Mazur, Eli and Lukas, Olivia Penalva, and Charis Ord. It was quite staggering the amount of young talent on show on one stage. It was hard to believe that these guys are just starting out on the music road.

Caleb McAlpine followed this, his considerable skills on the guitar matched by his fine song writing and commanding live performance. He was joined by his sister Jordan whose harmonies were so precise that you might have thought he had a vocal harmonising effect on his voice. Oh when families sing together!  Johanna Olson’s jazzy vocal colourisation was beautiful and her trio supported her so well, interpreting her songs really sensitively.

Raquel Cole (photo Darren Hull)Raquel Cole next impressed us with her country-tinged pop written and performed with a maturity that belies her years. Raquel’s ability as a writer and consummate performer was so inspiring for many of the other young artists at the festival. Ari Neufeld and Brent Tyler performed a one hour set together alternating their songs and accompanying each other with various instrumentation. Their harmonies and musical sensitivities reflected the friendship they obviously share and it was a blast to have them at Lille Gard again. Next up was Loredda Jaque from Germany. She performed with her producer Norm Strauss leading a band made up of other talented musicians and took us through a creative journey of her new songs featured on her recently completed recording. The Urbanbirds were a welcomed musical change bringing their jazz funk instrumentals to life. They are such a talented trio and if the live performance was anything to go by the new CD is a ‘must buy’ for the summer. Fraser Campbell travelled up from Victoria along with his band and showed us why he was nominated for a Juno award. His voice is like a glass of water on a hot day summer’s day and his songs speak of a very real faith experience. Then, after his solo performance the night before Zac Gauthier took the stage again this time with the power trio Joyfuldoor. Really tight complex arrangements of songs also featuring the vocal prowess of James Balehowsky too. It was great to hear some rock at last!

Elk TribeThe Elk Tribe took the stage next. They are a relatively new band from Salmon Arm, B.C., featuring three Harder brothers and several other fine musicians. Their set was modern folk/pop with great melodies and interesting arrangements. It was apparent from their performance why they had come so highly recommended to us. Next up, as the light was now fading and the stage lighting created a new atmosphere, was Ezra Kwizera, this time with a full band featuring Dylan again along with Scott and Jordan from the Urbanbirds, Jon Perkins from Vancouver on bass, and Graham Ord on guitar. Now the whole festival was rocking. It was hard to stay seated with Ezra laying down his African grooves. He was joined on stage by his two young sons who played djembe and also by Dylan Padgett who freestyled on human beatbox while Ezra rapped in his native tongue. AMAZING!  The day was rounded off in perfect fashion by the Devon Coyote band who got the crowd going with their bluesy soulful grooves. What a full day.

Chloe Davidson (photo Wendy McAlpine)Sunday

Sunday Morning was another perfect sunny day and the Kelowna Vineyard hosted a pancake breakfast with all proceeds benefitting Narrow Road Ministries, the Rwandan charity run by Ezra and Mona Kwizera. The Trips played a set of Bluegrass Gospel tunes and were joined on stage by their musical friends Jonathan Tromsness on bass, Chloe Davidson on fiddle and guest vocalists Russ Rosen, Chris Baxter, Jordan Klassen and Josh Dobson. First Nations Poet Diane Larsback also shared some poetry with us from her soon to be published book.  All in all a great fun way to sign off on a fantastic community festival.

Nikki Balfour (photo Darren Hull)Along with the musical artists there was a great array of visual artists not only showing work but some actually painting on site.  These were Liz Ranney, Dylan Ranney, Maud Besson, Nikki Balfour, Leanne Spanza, Jim HayesSophie Desaulniers (face painting) and the artists coordinator Sara Gagnon. The children also had some activities provided with Christine Cloutier hosting a special craft based game of life and Jennifer Jade Kerr providing a kids sing along time in the main building. It was also great to see the kids adorned with henna tattoos and face painting.

Inn From the ColdOne of the values we have when putting on events at TribeHouse is that there should always be a social justice element to them and Lille Gard is no exception to this. The charities represented and helped through this event were Mug of Hope, who made and sold nearly 200 handmade and beautiful pottery mugs, with all the proceeds going to Narrow Road Ministry. Vineyard Church also cooked all weekend and gave 100% of the proceeds to the same charity. Our local charity was Inn From The Cold which is a Kelowna based shelter for those without a home. They too sold food all weekend with all proceeds benefitting their charity. It sure makes you feel good to know that people are being helped in practical ways through our festival.

There are so many people to thank and appreciate at an event of this size and at the risk of inadvertently missing someone we would like to thank the hardworking sound crew from NHP, all the dedicated on-site volunteers, the Bo.ttega staff ,  as well as Inn from the Cold and Vineyard Church who catered the event. Most of all we thank everyone who performed and everyone who chose to spent their weekend with us at Lille Gard Festival. Thanks everyone.



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