This weekend marks the 30th year of Edmonton’s Silver Skate Festival, one of the longest-running winter festivals in Canada. Each year for 10 days, Hawrelak Park is transformed into a winter wonderland that features a plethora of activities like watching the fire sculptures, visiting the ice castle, snowshoe races, winter movies—the list goes on. The festival also has a great showcase of live local music, and the booking of that showcase relies on one man: Darrek Anderson.
“I kind of scratched out a wish list and broke down each day and imagined what would be cool for the type of audience,” Anderson says about the booking process. “It’s actually all Edmonton artists this year, which was just a challenge I gave myself.”
This year’s lineup features some of Edmonton’s newest talent like King of Foxes, David Jay, and Naeem Gabriel, as well as some Edmonton classics like the Derina Harvey Band, John Guliak, and Swear by the Moon.
Anderson—who is already working on next year’s list—is excited for the lineup on one of the final nights. On Feb. 16 the day begins with jazz and swings into bluegrass with The River City Playboys. Later on, Lucas Chaisson followed by Lucette, Swear by the Moon, and nêhiyawak.
“Silver Skate isn’t a music festival,” Anderson says. “Music is just a part of it, and the audience is going to have all different kinds of tastes. So I wanted a bit of everything.”