As the Summer Festival Coordinator, I'm writing from the perspective of someone behind the scenes. For me, the KR Barkman Concerts in the Park series - which happens every year in June (and sometimes July) - has been an amazing experience right from the very first concert. Each and every performer brought a smile to my face with their infectious smiles. And Manitoba, we have some serious talent! I'm so happy to have been able to be a part of getting these talented performers on our local stage at the KR Park. Watching the crowds interact with these performers - everything from singing along and dancing - was a rewarding experience. Crowds upwards of 300 people showed up to support and enjoy our local musicians and bands.

Some of this summer's highlights (in no particular order) were seeing a group of five kids run up to 'Elvis' (Corny Rempel) mid-performance and present him with lilacs they had picked for him. I loved watching Coffieman's mini dance lesson that got 20 people up and dancing. Another heart warming moment happened when Jordan St Cyr dedicated a song to his son. I liked watching members of the community stroll into the park, set up their chairs, and take in the music. I think Soul Purpose said it best: "There's something attractive about making music in the outdoors in the presence of friends enjoying a sunny day in a beautiful venue."

So KR Park, it's been an excellent month.

Bravo and thanks to our 2013 KR Barkman series performers for an amazing season: May Flowers in June, Jordan St Cyr, Corny Rempel, The Devon Gillingham Trio, the SRSS Jazz Band, Shannon Shewchuk, Dan Thiessen, Barbara Joy, Trevor Johnson, The Chammartin Family, Maxine Peters, Rhianna Rae, Coffieman and Soul Purpose. A big thanks to Barkman Concrete Foundation for their support of these shows.

The KR Barkman series is an initiative of Steinbach Arts Council to provide performance opportunities for local artists; a venue, technical equipment and marketing. KR Barkman concerts are free for the public to enjoy.

Hope to see you next year at the KR Park... in good community company listening to some amazing Manitoban talent.

Submitted by Kyra Loewen, SAC Summer Staff

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About the Steinbach Arts Council

The Steinbach Arts Council, an umbrella organization for performing and visual arts groups, enriches the lives of our community through development of local artists and musicians and exposure to professional art forms. The Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre is a home for all these groups and their programs. It’s purpose is to create an environment where all arts disciplines can work together under one roof and share their resources and their talents with each other, and the entire Arts Community!

For more info, visit steinbachartscouncil.ca.

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