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City of Burnaby seeks more performers for its free cultural events

Shawnee Kish
JUNO-nominated Two-Spirit Mohawk singer Shawnee Kish is one of the performers at StreetFest Central, which takes place in Burnaby on Canada Day. JUNO photo.

Musicians and other performing artists might want to keep Metro Vancouver’s third-most populous city in mind for future gigs. That’s because this week, the City of Burnaby invited performers and community groups to express interest in participating in its free cultural events.

Every year, the city produces various celebrations, such as StreetFest on Central, Summer Stages, and Central Spark. But sometimes, such as on Canada Day, Burnaby is competing with other governments for musicians.

“Burnaby consistently delivers accessible, safe and exciting cultural events” Burnaby’s director of culture, Emmaline Hill, says in a news release. “Showcasing the talent and creativity of local artists and performers makes our events memorable for residents.”

For Canada Day, StreetFest on Central has already announced two performers: four-time JUNO Award–winning electropop musician Lights and Two-Spirit Mohawk recording artist Shawnee Kish. Kish was nominated for the 2022 JUNO for Contemporary Indigenous Artist of the Year.

StreetFest on Central musicians will play Civic Square (6100 Willingdon Avenue), followed by fireworks.

Watch the video for “Prodigal Daughter” by Lights.

Burnaby promises industry-scale rates for artists

In the meantime, the City of Burnaby says that it is seeking “a diverse range of performers, including emerging and mid-career artists, as well as artist teams and collectives, to infuse excitement and energy into our family-friendly signature events and festivals throughout the year”.

“Selected artists will receive compensation in accordance to market rates and industry scales for professional artists,” the City of Burnaby states. “We also extend an invitation to community groups, including businesses, non-profit organizations, and charities, to showcase their valuable contributions and connect with our community. Our preference is for groups who offer engaging and interactive family-friendly activities.”

Burnaby has several venues where arts and cultural events take place, including Swangard Stadium. It will host this year’s free Pinoy Festival: Panahon na para Magsaya 2 on June 22. Large events, such as the annual Burnaby Roots + Blues Festival, also take place at Deer Lake Festival Lawn.

In addition, the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Deer Lake Park is an important venue. Other attractions in the park include the Burnaby Art Gallery and Burnaby Village Museum.

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Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.