Waterstock 2017: Judah's Top 511 June 2017 / by Judah Kauffman (author)
For activists and artists alike, the wait is finally over. Waterstock is taking place today at Erin Fairgrounds. From 12 to 5 p.m., there will be local, artisanal food, all ages activities and performances by Canadian artists such as Jim Cuddy and Oh Susannah.
The festival is a rallying event for the ‘Water Is For Life, Not Profit’ campaign. For the past 10 years, this campaign has advocated for stronger water protection legislation. It gained momentum last fall when the multinational corporation Nestle outbid the town of Wellington for control of a local water well.
The name Waterstock is an homage to the 60s Woodstock festival and aspires to be a "watershed" moment for the water protection movement.
Many of the organizers of Waterstock and the ‘Water Is For Life, Not Profit’ campaign are from indigenous communities.
In terms of activities, there’s a great lineup for kids and adults. There will be visual art presentations, yoga classes, face painting and much more. To wrap up the day there will be a large parade, including a 15-foot high water goddess puppet, a marching band, stilt walkers, belly dancers and children in water-themed hats and capes.
Check out Judah's top 5 artist picks for Waterstock below:
Probably the most well-known artist at the event is Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo. His soulful voice has only gotten better with age since his 1998 album All In Time went on to sell Gold in Canada. You might recognize this tune:
Another group I’m excited to highlight at Waterstock is Digging Roots. This duo composes their music using the traditional Anishinabek Song Lines technique of tracing melody and rhythm from the contours of the land and treelines.
Reuben And The Dark
Bringing in some some cross-Canada influence, Calgary-born Reuben Bullock of Reuben And The Dark will be taking the stage. The group is a collection of five multi-instrumentalists and vocalists who specialize in indie folk and soul. Bullock released the solo albums Pulling Up Arrows in 2010 and Man Made Lakes in 2012 before adopting his current band name. In 2016, their single "Heart in Two" reached #1 on CBC Radio 2's Top 20 chart.
And how could I not mention Montreal’s JF Robitaille? He just released his third album Palace Blues and the single “Missing You” featuring Julie Doiron hit #4 on CBC Radio 2’s National charts. He has opened for the likes of St. Vincent and Jonathan Richman and has toured extensively throughout Canada and Europe.
The multitalented Guelph-born artist Shannon Kingsbury is also on the lineup. Kingsbury is a singer-songwriter, harpist and music educator. She’s performed for soundtracks, on stage and in collaboration with many local dance companies.
Other artists who will be performing at Waterstock on June 11 include Oh Susannah, Bry Webb, Harrow Fair, Test Their Logik, Band of People and Moscow Apartment.