Coldsnap has solidified its lineup for this winter's freezing hot concert series.
The nationally renowned winter festival is excited about its most ambitious lineup ever.
The upgrades are subtle, said artistic director Sue Judge, but their talent acquisition department signed a lot more established and recognizable names this year.
"Its all very exciting, but I do want to say the music is always exceptional," said Judge. "There might be just a bit more name recognition this year with Elliott Brood and The Jerry Cans (for example, but) we are not getting better, the music has always been great."
The ticket sales have consistently indicated that Judge is correct about the level of talent. Audiences learned long ago to trust in whomever the festival scouts dug up from across Canada and around the world to fill the annual roster, even if they weren't household names.
"This year's festival features performers from across the country in a wide variety of genres including jug-band jazz, east coast classical, sensational soulful singers, and many, many varieties of roots, folk and blues with some world music thrown in," said Judge.
The shows play out in popular venues all over the city between Jan. 25 and Feb. 2. All concerts commence at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise specified.
Jan. 25 - The Ramada
Celebrate Our North
The Lheidli Men's Group Drummers
Ryan McNally Trio
The Jerry Cans
Jan. 26 - The Ramada
Folk Rockin' It
Big Little Lions
Jan. 27 - P.G. Playhouse (2 p.m. matinee)
Coldsnap For Kids
Ginalina (award-winning children's entertainer)
Jan. 27 - P.G. Playhouse
Chase Away The Blues
Darlene Shatford & Curtis Abriel
Jan. 28 - Royal Canadian Legion (7 p.m.)
Regional Showcase: Strength In Song
Jan. 29 - P.G. Playhouse
Coldsnap Goes Classical
Prince George Symphony Orchestra
Amir Amiri & Richard Moody
The Atlantic String Machine
Jan. 30 - Royal Canadian Legion (7 p.m.)
Regional Showcase: Strength In Song
Jan. 31 - P.G. Playhouse
Leave It To The Ladies
Grace Hoksbergen (Limelight Quest Winner)
Celeigh Cardinal Trio
Feb. 1 - The Ramada
Dance Up A Storm (Dansez Une Tempête)
The French Connection
Feb. 2 - The Ramada
Coldsnap Turns Up The Heat
Some of these acts have performed in Prince George before like Red Haven, Richard Moody and Guy Davis, although the latter was not a Grammy Award nominee when he was last here.
Other honours are attached to this collection of acts like Western Canadian Music Awards, the Polaris Music Prize, Maple Blues Award, Trille Or awards, Junos, Genies, and many more.
"I am pretty darned excited about the lineup, there truly is something there for everyone," said Judge. "What does Coldsnap do every year? (We present Prince George with) high calibre musicians from across Canada and around the world, presented with exceptional professional sound quality in warm, safe, friendly and accessible atmosphere - both tons of fun and musically exhilarating. That is our goal."
It is also a festival that propels the local music industry forward. These top-shelf performers don't just do a concert and hit the bricks. They also stay on to conduct workshops, master classes, and other intimate interface events where they pass on some legacy of their visit.
"Throughout the week, the performers will participate in a number of free daytime community outreach events called Icejams, where artists will perform and answer questions in relaxed and casual venues around downtown Prince George," Judge explained. "We welcome one and all to 'Come In From The Cold' and enjoy these free, daytime events that help make Coldsnap one of the most anticipated cultural events of the year."
Local musicians also get the impact of opening each night's concert and being the full event features at the two regional showcase concerts at the Legion where four of the area's top acts fill up the evening.
More information about each act, plus online ticket purchasing, can be done at coldsnapfestival.com or you can buy tickets in person at Books & Company.