Digital Concerts at the Barn

Welcome to Westben’s Digital Concerts at The Barn. It is the magic of Concerts at The Barn, straight from The Barn, but without audiences!

An exciting array of guest artists are creatively united with the natural beauty of The Barn setting into a series of engaging, online concert experiences. Watch as nature and music come alive in each other’s company. Hear the birds sing along with the music! Concerts will be premiered each month on Westben’s interactive Digital Venue, a new website that features an interactive representation of the Westben farm where you can let your curiosity roam free! You can even visit The Milk Shed to be refreshed by the latest Dare to Share cooking videos. On premiere days, you can enhance your experience with “Westben To Go” where your favourite Trent Hills chefs are ready with scrumptious food for you to take out!

To round it off, look for opportunities to join the artists before or after the premiere! And don’t miss all the pre-performance excitement including behind-the-scenes photos and stories, and podcasts where I sit down with the artists.

Enjoy Concerts from the comfort of your own home on your favourite device, or wherever you may be. It’s a totally new experience, and it’s totally Westben!”

April 17 – New Orford String Quartet
A special performance of the third movement from Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132. Dubbed “Heiliger Dankgesang” (Holy Song of Thanksgiving), Beethoven composed this piece upon recovering from a serious illness. Embracing hope for the future, principal players of the Montreal and Toronto Symphony interpret this magnificent piece amidst the restorative beauty of the Westben grounds. Jonathan Crow, Andrew Wan, Douglas MacNabney, Brian Manker

May 15 – Ken Tizzard and Music for Goats
Description: The Barn stage becomes a friendly living room as singer-songwriter Ken Tizzard brings some of his best friends together to share some of his favourite music. Loaded with originals, the party spills out onto the Meadow as the sun sets, before ending up at dusk for a little Ron Hynes around the campfire. Heartwarming and deeply satisfying. Ken Tizzard, Ken Grant, Neil Lucy, Steve Dagg

June 05 – Good Lovelies
As refreshing as a summer breeze and as colourful as a brilliant autumn day! Recorded at The Barn in September 2020, this digital concert features the ever-colourful Good Lovelies amidst the beauty of one of the most colourful Northumberland autumns in memory. Three guitar-wielding songsters and goose-bump-raising three-part harmony at The Barn – Colour it with a smile! Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough, Susan Passmore. Video: Stephen Dagg & Wayne Eardley; Sound Production: Andy Thompson; Production Coordinator: David Vanderlip.

Westben Arts Festival Theatre

Looking ahead to summer 2021

and the probable restrictions on gathering due to COVID, Westben is planning for what it can, and hoping for what it may be able to do!

In addition to recording several new and exciting Digital Concerts at The Barn, we will be hosting our 4th annual Performer-Composer Residency online. In terms of live events, we are hoping to be able to present concerts at the (reconfigured) Barn and at two new outdoor venues. For sure, the safety of our patrons and artists remains our number one concern. If it is safe to do so, we will present concerts every weekend from July 2 to July 31. To encourage a safer experience, concerts will be shorter and fewer than usual, and they will have fewer audience members.

As we go cautiously forward, our plans include:

  1. (Online) Digital Concerts at The Barn – a new series of experiential performances, presented online
  2. (Online) Performer-Composer Residency – a multi-generational, international gathering of creative artists, also online
  3. (Live) The Barn – with its reconfigured seating plan to allow for physical distancing; capacity likely 50
  4. (Live) Willow Hill – a large natural amphitheatre by the willow tree north of the pond; capacity likely 100
  5. (Live) The Campfire – a wonderfully intimate outdoor space tucked away beside the Ticket Shed; capacity 25-30
  6. Musical installations and performances around the Westben farm and across the street in the Mary West Conservancy. Located right next to Westben, the Mary West Property is a natural area of meadows and forests managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. And there’s music in that nature, as small groups will discover!

Please stay tuned for more in-person concerts for the summer of 2021. Planning will be updated continually as more information is released about best practices & protocols for outdoor gatherings. As our Members and Sponsors are always first to hear about our summer concert lineup, why not become a Member today? That way, you are guaranteed to be among the first to know…

As we keep Sunshine Ahead! in our hearts and minds, we want to assure our patrons that when we open again, Westben will be a safe place to visit, clothed in nature and surrounded with music!

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