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African Guitar Summit to launch Performance Series

MacIsaac cancellation delays opening night to November



The Whistler Arts Council-MY Place 2005-06 Performance Series is delaying its official launch to coincide with November’s African Guitar Summit show in the wake of Canadian rock ’n’ roll fiddler Ashley MacIsaac’s cancellation.

The MacIsaac show, originally scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 20, was to launch the new season. However, the artist struck all Canadian tour dates from his calendar in late August citing a bout of dysentery.

MacIsaac ticket holders were offered refunds. In the meantime Performance Series organizers set out to find another act of similar calibre to replace it in the program, but found it difficult due to the demands of autumn tour schedules. Rather than book another act, the consensus was to postpone the series launch to the African Guitar Summit show on Nov. 1, Whistler Arts Council executive director Doti Niedermayer said.

The African Guitar Summit is a super-group of Canadian world music players of African origin, whose roster includes Juno award-winning Vancouver-based Alpha Ya Ya Diallo, a guitar player of Guinean descent who has played regularly at the Boot Pub.

The group of nine Summit musicians first gathered in Toronto in 2004 to record the African Guitar Summit album, which won them the 2005 Juno Award for World Music album of the year. In addition to Diallo, the ensemble includes multiple Juno award winner Madagascar Slim and players hailing from Ghana, Burundi/Rwanda and Kenya.

Other confirmed acts in the 2005-06 Performance Series lineup include Le Vent Du Nord, an ensemble of multi-instrumentalists and dance performers playing traditional Quebecois folk music, who will take to the Millennium Place stage in February 2006. March comes in on the sounds of the Hank Williams Revue, a theatrical recreation of a night with the country music legend circa 1952 starring actor/singer Joe Matheson. In April world-renowned comedic vaudevillian performer Tomás Kubínek brings his wacky antics to Whistler. In May, beloved Canadian children’s entertainer Fred Penner makes an appearance, and June features fringe theatre auteur TJ Dawe with his one-man show A Canadian Bartender In Britain.

The Performance series is aiming to present 10 shows in all with additional encore performances running through the summer of 2006.

Ticket information is available through the Arts Council or at MY Millennium Place by calling 604-935-8410.