Summer Kicks is an annual music series hosted in Spirit Square by Kicking Horse Culture. Keri Sculland/Star Photo

Kicking Horse Culture announces Summer Kicks lineup

Kicking Horse Culture is kicking off another Summer Kicks season with big bands and an eclectic mix of music.

Beginning on Wednesday, June 12 with Chase the Bear, music will take place every Wednesday (with one exception on a Tuesday) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Spirit Square. If it rains, the event will be moved indoors to the Civic Centre.

“This year is phenomenal,” says Kicking Horse Culture executive director Bill Usher. “The music is coming from all over the world.”

With 20 different acts in 10 shows, and more than two months of music, Usher works hard at Kicking Horse Culture to bring in the best talent and most variety to Golden. Each of the acts brought in is complemented with an “in betweener” show, usually performed by locals.

The season begins with a rock show from Chase the Bear with local Eric Laroque in between sets, followed by Cousin Harley with Pablo Euphoria and the Slinkies, then Elizabeth Shepherd with Will Wardwell. Starting things off in July is Mbira Renaissance with The Pickups in between sets, followed by Holly Hyatt Band with Carrington and Syenna Mitchell, then Nick La Riviere Band with David L’Hirondelle. Lester McLean Band plays with The Usually suspects in between, Oktopus plays with Dave Whyte in between, then Locarno with Parson Jazz Cooperative, and Mercy Funk finishes up the season on August 14 with From Mountains to Prairies.

Most of the acts coming to the stage are big bands, which will bring a big sound to the audience.

“The music is maybe 60 or 70 per cent of the fun of the evening,” Usher says, because people from town and rural areas gather together to enjoy the atmosphere, dance, and kids colour and run through sprinklers. “They’re getting out there for all 10, or eight or nine. They’re making it a part of their week.”

This year’s Summer Kicks lineup marks 14 years of Kicking Horse Culture hosting the weekly music shows in Spirit Square. The event has become a staple in Golden’s culture and lifestyle.

New this year, the Town of Golden has built a stage for the music series. Before, organizers would have to set up and take down the stage each evening.

“We just could not do it without the support of the Town of Golden and Area A,” Usher said. “We do the work, but they give us the funds to do it.”

Each show brings out hundreds of locals and visitors to Spirit Square. At peak times, Usher estimates around 300 people attend the event, but there are probably more, because people do come and go throughout the evening. The audience is invited to arrive early to secure seating. There are some seats available, but people are encouraged to bring their own chairs down to ensure they get seats.

“I think it’s just the experience of people enjoying that summer vibe,” Usher said.

Check out the full lineup on the Kicking Horse Culture website at www.kickinghorseculture.ca.

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