Fredericton now has a festival that will shake off your wintertime blues.
Jane Blanchard, 20, a Fredericton student and musician, has created FLOURISH, a music festival that combines live theatre performances and art shows throughout.
“We have the Circus in the summer, Harvest Jazz & Blues in the fall and Shivering Songs in the winter, but there’s nothing filling that springtime gap. We need something to lift people up before the festival season.”
FLOURISH will take place in clothing stores and art galleries from April 16 to 18. Blanchard says the venues differ from most festivals because of the variety of components she wishes to share with festival-goers.
The ShiftWork studio will be used as a music venue for the very first time, Reneu Boutique will be used for some of the all-ages shows and The Next Folding Theatre Company will provide some theatrical flare to one venue.
“Gallery Connexion is sometimes used a venue but we are going to be using it in a different way so we have a theatre component coming in and have bands playing too.”
Blanchard has teamed up with some New Brunswick artists to provide the artistic aspect to FLOURISH; along with using galleries as venues there will also be art for sale.
“The biggest visual art component is there are going to be a print sale and a zine fair and an art sale Saturday afternoon.”
But, what separates FLOURISH from most festivals is Blanchard’s focus on providing underage bands a place to play.
“All-ages are usually exclusive in Fredericton and the limited venues make it difficult. It’s harder to draw people to all-ages shows,” she says. “With all-ages shows it’s about the event and the music opposed to the drinking and hanging out part — a lot of people find that intimidating or they don’t know how to reach the all-ages audience.”
This is Blanchard’s first stab at planning and organizing a festival and she says without the help of the Fredericton community, she wouldn’t have had it so easy.
“It’s been surprisingly easy. Every idea I’ve been able to follow through with everyone have been saying yes to anything I ask them,” she says. “It’s phenomenal it’s actually crazy people are so willing to help. If was trying to get this done in any other place it would be impossible.”
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