Island Lake with blades of green grass in the front on a nice sunny day

15th Annual Blues & Jazz Festival is here!

Prepared to be entertained at the 2017 Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival. The festival will run from June 1-4 in downtown Orangeville.

Celebrating its 15th year, the blues and jazz festival has 180 volunteers who contribute about 5,000 hours to the event. Named one of the top 100 festivals and events in Ontario for six years, some changes have been announced to enhance the festival and ensure it’s sustainable.

The festival will feature a larger main stage with improved sound and stage lighting along with designating the entire main stage audience area as a licensed area. There will be a $5 per person daily admission fee to the Royal LePage Main Stage and the Opera House. There will be no admission fee for children 12 years of age and under.

Festival founder and artistic director Larry Kurtz said there will be more than 90 acts on three stages and in local pubs and restaurants with pop-up bands featured on Broadway and Mill Street over the course of four days.

The popular Blue Cruise returns to Broadway on the Friday starting at 5 p.m., featuring 10 bands performing amidst 300 classic cars.

Following the Blues Cruise, the Royal LePage Main Stage will feature Larry Kurtz and the Lawbreakers taking the stage at 8 p.m., followed by the award-winning Dawn Tyler Watson Band from Montreal.

On Saturday, performances on the main stage will start at noon beginning with Soul Collective following by Harp Attack! Spencer Mackenzie will take the stage followed by Turbo Street Funk who will lead the Dods & McNair Memorial Jazz March from the main stage and then along Broadway and back to the stage area. Braithwaite & Whiteley, the Juno-nominated Paul Reddick Band, and Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials from Chicago will round out the evening schedule. Also taking place on Saturday afternoon will be the Blues & Bikes event on Mill Street, sponsored by Harley Davidson. Saturday afternoon will feature free music workshops in the Orangeville Public Library.

The Royal LePage Main Stage performers on Sunday include Chris Antonik, the Gabriel Palatchi Trio, Coco Love Alcorn, and a special closing performance by The Last Waltz Band.

The Opera House Series features jazz and acoustic blues performances on Saturday and Sunday, with performances by Stan Chang & Eric Bruck, Carol McCartney, Juno-nominated Sean Pinchin and Los Variants, followed by Manitoba Hal, Michael Pickett and Guy Davis of New York City.

The TD Tent Local Stars will showcase the ODSS Jazz Band, Flashback, Orangeville Music Theatre, Southern Fryde Inc., Itchy & Scratchy, Andi Trepanier, Orangeville Chorus, the Travelling Wannabees, the Fire Cats, the Jazz Society Band and the Heather Katz Band.

For more information about this year’s festival, visit www.orangevillebluesandjazz.ca.

Road closures

Fun,frivolity, and good music is what you can expect at this weekend's Blues and Jazz Festival. And road closures...Please take note of the following closures to accommodate the festival:
• Broadway from Wellington Street west to First Street between 1 p.m. on Friday, June 2 and 7 a.m. on Sunday, June 4, 2017.
• Second Street from Broadway to First Avenue between 8 a.m. on Friday, June 2 and 11 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, 2017.
• Mill Street from Broadway to Little York/Armstrong Streets between 1 p.m. on Friday, June 2 and 7 a.m. on Sunday, June 4, 2017.
• First Avenue from Second Street to Third Street between 8 a.m. on Friday, June 2 and 11: p.m. on Sunday, June 4, 2017. Local residents will be allowed access.