Mark Fewer, Edwin Huizinga, Rory McLeod, Joseph Phillips and Amahl Arulandandam in performance during Saturday night's Glorious & Free.
Mark Fewer, Edwin Huizinga, Rory McLeod, Joseph Phillips and Amahl Arulandandam in performance during Saturday night's Glorious & Free.

Audiences Enjoyed Amazing Weekend of Music During SweetWater 2017

Sept. 20, 2017


The response to SweetWater 2017 is summed by the words and phrases used by those who were in attendance: “amazing”, “brilliant”, “fantastic weekend”, “wonderful

music”. The 14th edition of the SweetWater Music Festival featured numerous standing ovations for performances from the enthusiastic audiences and two sold out concerts over the three-day weekend.


"We have the best audiences anywhere. It’s part of the reason we love doing this so

much. What an amazing weekend – again,” said SweetWater Artistic Director Mark

Fewer. This sentiment was echoed by Board Chair Colleen Purdon.


“It was another brilliant SweetWater Music Festival weekend - brilliant program, brilliant musicians and brilliant weather all in an unforgettable three days of music. It is hard to find the right words to thank Mark Fewer for his outstanding work as SweetWater’s Artistic Director, and as the heart of the festival. Mark said that his work is to create a rich, shared experience of ‘deep listening’ for us all - to bring music and musicians together in ways that haven’t ever happened before. SweetWater 2017 was that and so much more.”


The Festival opened with another unforgettable concert at the Historic Leith Church. The Heroes featured performances by baritone Russell Braun making his SweetWater debut. His voice not only filled the standing room only Church but likely was heard throughout

the Leith area. James Campbell and John Novacek closed the concert with a performance of Brahms’ Clarinet Sonata in E-flat Major.


Saturday night offered SweetWater patrons two concerts. The early evening Glorious &

Free showcased the best in Canadian composition including Russell Braun’s vocal

talents on display again performing John Estacio’s Away and Awake in the NIght. For

many, Guy Few’s trumpet performance on Mathieu Lussier’s Impressions de l’Alameda

that began the second half was a Festival highlight. The concert concluded with the

premiere of three movements from Richard’s Mascall’s new work, Kanata.


Later the music moved to Heartwood Hall for another sold out concert, After Hours.

Juno winner guitarist Duane Andrews led several other SweetWater headliners in an

amazing concert featuring original Canadian jazz as well as a few other surprises. The

over two-hour concert was enjoyed by all and went well past midnight.


Sunday’s matinee finale, Pianoroma, featured two incredible pianists, Kati Gleiser and

John Novacek. Both received standing ovations for their performances along with

SweetWater’s incredible line up of string players, including Mark Fewer. The two

pianists also paired for a surprise performance to open the concert’s second half

performing Brahms’ Hungarian Dance Nov. 4 in f minor.


Along with the concerts, hundreds came out to the Harmony Centre for free,

interactive music events beginning at 9:30 a.m. with the Musical Petting Zoo. The kids

loved checking out the many instruments on the display. Later they all got up to

dance with their parents during Mozart for Munchkins featuring Duane Andrews and

Edwin Huizinga. The Classical Jam also brought in many players from throughout the

area who enjoyed playing along with Mark Fewer, Guy Few and other SweetWater

performers. Finally luthiers were front and centre throughout the events. The Luthier

Exhibit was well-attended and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the Luthier Performance.

It featured SweetWater performers playing instruments made by local luthiers along

with James Campbell performing Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet.


The SweetWater Music Festival is supported by Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts

Council. SweetWater 2017 is also sponsored by the Community Foundation Grey

Bruce, the Eva Leflar Foundation. The Medley Family, and Murray & Ruth Cathcart. A special thanks to all the other sponsors, donors and volunteers for making the Festival



The 15th Festival will take place September 21 to 23, 2018. Watch for details about

performers and more in early 2018.


See photos from SweetWater 2017 CLICK HERE