ONTARIO’S ORIGINAL UKULELE FESTIVAL HELD THIS MONTH IN MIDLAND
Midland Cultural Centre to Honour ‘Grandfather of Uke’, Chalmers Doane
This month, Midland will be on the agenda for hundreds of people attending the 4th Annual Uke Fest, presented by the Midland Cultural Centre (MCC) from May 17 to 19, 2019.
This year includes a special visit from the pioneer of Canada’s Ukulele scene, Chalmers Doane, as the MCC bestows him as Honorary Lifetime Festival Director, along with Mayor Stewart Strathearn who will present a Town of Midland Plaque.
Each Spring, Uke Fest is marked by dozens of ‘Ukers’ descending peacefully on the streets of Midland to attend weekend workshops, participate in nightly jam sessions and enjoy the Saturday All-Star concert. This year, guests will get to enjoy a Friday night Uke Cruise aboard the Miss Midland to welcome the boating and sightseeing season.
“To MCC, this festival represents a kick off to Spring in Midland, adding colour and life to the town after a long winter,” said MCC General Manager Eugene Rea, who founded the Festival with Midland’s Douglas John Cameron five years ago. “The hotels sell dozens of rooms, the restaurants feed hundreds of visitors, and this year, the program has grown too big for the MCC facility alone and is spilling over into the Midland Library and the Quality Inn.”
In 2017, Uke Fest hosted Chalmers Doane, who was the driving force that introduced Ukuleles as a learning tool into the Canadian education system. That year, Chalmers was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year, Chalmers will be making a return trip from the East Coast with his entire family to join Uke Fest 2019. Chalmers will present a 90-minute workshop Saturday morning and will be joined on stage by his daughter, Juno-winning singer and Canadian artist, Melanie Doane, to perform in the Saturday evening All-Star concert.
“This year was already shaping up to be one for the books – and Chalmers’ visit is just the icing on the cake,” said Rea.
The MCC Spring and Summer events offer a high caliber mix of artists and talent that attract audiences from as far as Kitchener, Waterloo, Toronto, Owen Sound, Ottawa, and even New York state and Michigan.
“Our ticket prices, audience experience, free parking and our proximity to many urban and rural regions, are all appealing for people to come, visit, and stay,” said Rea. “Along with, of course, our secret ingredient, small-town hospitality!”
For Uke Fest 2019 tickets: www.ukefest.ca/register-tickets
For more info on Uke Fest 2019: www.ukefest.ca
For more info on Midland Cultural Centre: www.midlandculturalcentre.com