Tips for Anyone Thinking of Starting Their Own Festival

Festival season is here! From sweet and savory eats to performances on the street, it’s hard not to make it through Edmonton in the…

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Festival season is here! From sweet and savory eats to performances on the street, it’s hard not to make it through Edmonton in the summertime without finding a new or long treasured festival to take in. Festivals provide spaces and opportunities to gather, to connect, and best of all, they can spark a little inspiration — as was the case for Kathryn Macintosh.

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After performing in the Edmonton Fringe as a Bring Your Own Venue show, she decided to start her own festival. Launched in 2013, the C’mon Festival has brought chamber music (old AND new) to audiences ever since. As she prepares for the program’s sixth season, we asked Kathryn what tips she might offer to anyone inspired to start their own festival; here’s what she had to offer:

  1. Find a spot in the calendar where there’s a gap to fill (no easy task in “Festival City”)
  2. Program what you have a passion for sharing with other people. It’s a lot of work, so it has to mean something substantial to you.
  3. Assemble a team of people that are fun to hang out with.
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This year’s C’Mon Festival is set to run from July 13–15 at Studio 96.

About Kathryn Macintosh

C’mon Festival artistic director Kathryn Macintosh joined the Edmonton Symphony as Assistant Principal Trombone while in her early twenties. Ever since she arrived in the city, she has been active in various chamber music projects. Kathryn has an active private teaching studio, and in 2017 joined the faculty of the University of Alberta as a sessional trombone instructor. She currently serves on the board of the ESO/Winspear Centre, and mentors young musicians as an ESO-YONA Ambassador.