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Singing in the Rain: Highlights from Art in the Garden Festival

Photos by Tracy Creighton/Copperblue Photography and Design Article by Melanie Macpherson

Art in the Garden was held Saturday, June 8 at the Wiebe Works venue near Langham, Saskatchewan. It was a delightful showcase of local talent despite the unpredictable Saskatchewan weather. Advertised as "a cultural celebration of Saskatchewan musicians, artists, and talent in a beautiful garden environment!" this festival aims to bring artists of all sorts together on the grounds of the Wiebe family farm for a full day of fun.

As our team arrived, Gillian Snider and Kim Salkeld were charming the audience with a mix of covers and originals, setting a laid-back tone under the cloudy skies. Afterwards, one of the standout moments came from the young and immensely talented tweener Belle Diabolique, whose haunting rendition of The Decemberists' "Down by the Water" captivated everyone. At just 16, her maturity as a songwriter and performer was evident, especially with her original "Party in My Hometown".

Gillian Snider and Kim Salkeld
Belle Diabolique

As Treblesome took the stage, the rain decided to join in during his cover of Men at Work's "Down Under", but that didn't dampen spirits. The crowd embraced the weather with umbrellas and ponchos, adding a unique vibe to his set that included an impromptu hip-hop on climate change—complete with harmonica!

Throughout the day, the festival continued to surprise and delight with a diverse lineup and talented tweeners. From the uplifting performances of Ten02 to the powerhouse vocals of Backseat Driver with Dara Shindelka, the joy of Greg Orrē and storytellers Jay Semko and Danica Lorer, and solid sets from festival mainstays Lost Highway Navigators and Oral Fuentes Reggae Band, each act brought something special.

Treblesome Music
Backseat Driver
Greg Orrē

A particularly touching moment was the Songs in the Garden workshop showcase, where participants unveiled songs crafted during the week with mentors Jay Semko, Earl Pereira, Katelyn Lehner, and Valerie Wiebe. Naomi, the youngest participant at just 12 years old, stole hearts with her spontaneous song, showcasing the transformative power of music.

Even the unexpected scheduling bonus for Shayne Lazarowich's extended set kept the energy high, leading up to Christopher and the Saints delivering solid originals and covers, including a memorable rendition of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth".

Shayne Lazarowich
Thrive Dance Studio
Jay Semko and Danica Lorer
Amy Blom
Christopher and the Saints
Lost Highway Navigators

Amidst all this, Amberwave's fiery cover of Kings of Leon's "Sex on Fire" set the stage for a collaboration with hiphop act ILLHuman Nation, proving that Art in the Garden was not just about music but about creative fusion and community spirit.

Nik Porrelli
ILLHumanNation with Amberwave
Eden and Emily Beaulac

Despite the weather challenges and a smaller-than-expected crowd, the festival shone with impeccable organization. The lighting and sound were top-notch, and dedicated volunteers kept everything running smoothly. The family-friendly atmosphere, complete with artisan markets and interactive activities, made it clear: Art in the Garden is more than a festival; it's a celebration of local talent and community togetherness.

Oral Fuentes Reggae Band

While the turnout may have been modest, those who stayed till the end were treated to a memorable performance by headliner Katelyn Lehner, who brought the evening to a crescendo with her energetic set and unexpected covers.

Katelyn Lehner

Despite the chilly conditions, Art in the Garden proved to be a gem of a festival. With its intimate setting and strong community vibe, it's clear why this event has become a beloved staple of Saskatoon summers.

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