It’s time to warm up for the annual Woodstove Festival in Cumberland.
For a few days, the community will be filled with music and more. Festival-goers can literally walk across the street downtown from one great show to another on Nov. 1-3.
“All the venues are within a couple blocks of each other,” says Tereza Tomek of the Cumberland Culture and Arts Society, which puts on the festival, now in its fourth year.
The idea behind Woodstove, of course, is to create a warm, cozy environment in which people can enjoy music, dance, theatre or spoken word, take part in workshops and exchange ideas.
“It kind of started as an idea that myself and another member of the Cumberland Culture and Arts Society came up with at another festival,” says Tomek.
They had attended the ArtsWells festival in Wells, B.C, and recognized the possibilities of holding an arts event in a town steeped in history, just like Cumberland.
“We just sort of had this realization that there’s not enough spaces for this kind of gathering of creative people … of live music happening in the winter, and we thought Cumberland would be a great place to present that kind of thing.”
This year, over the busy three-day schedule with lots of music, the festival will be holding a conversation around mental health and sharing stories about struggles.
“We always have workshops surrounding that theme,” she says.
That’s part of the idea behind Woodstove, says Tomek, as it is supposed to act as a beacon for people to gather around for warmth and creativity.
There will also be workshops for activities like songwriting. For kids, there’s a workshop Sunday morning where they write a song, make puppets and perform the show on a festival stage.
And, of course, there is lots of live music, including in-the-round workshops where artists take turns performing songs on a chosen theme, such as the treeplanters’ songs this year.
“We have over 120 acts performing,” Tomek says. “Lots of fun dance bands, lots of amazing songwriting.”
There is local talent alongside acts from B.C., the rest of Canada and beyond, playing a range of styles.
For ticket information and more about the festival and bios of participating artists, see woodstovefestival.com