For any of you that have been paying close enough attention to my videos so far, you’ll have noticed that as often as possible, I try to use Saskatchewan music. This province is overflowing with incredible musicians and one of my goals for the year is to showcase as many of these artists as I can.
From Swift Current to Langenburg, up to Prince Albert and beyond, the amount of talent scattered throughout this province is unbelievable. Big names like Jess Moskaluke and The Sheepdogs stand out in the crowd, but small town heroes like Megan Nash, Tenille Arts, and Northcote have nowhere to go but up.
Which leads me to Bengough, Saskatchewan. For 13 years now, this agricultural town of 300 has been exploding its population into the thousands for its annual Gateway Music Festival.
On the last weekend of July, the festival attracts attendees from all over the prairies to take in big names like Tom Cochrane and Lindi Ortega, while introducing emerging artists like Bombargo and Ava Wild.
The festival aims to fill 65-70% of its lineup with Saskatchewan artists, making this a great festival if you’re on the hunt for some emerging Saskatchewan artists to add to your summer playlist.
Growing up in a neighbouring community, I have watched this festival grow since day one. Local volunteers do a phenomenal job of keeping things running smoothly, and the people in Bengough have continued to welcome the increasing number of visitors with open arms.
Not only does Gateway generate revenue for the community of Bengough, it drives people off the beaten path to explore the surrounding area and get to know the beautiful Big Muddy Valley.
The arts scene in the middle of rural Saskatchewan is alive and thriving, and we have festivals like this one to thank for it.
Hats off to you Bengough. I’m proud to be your neighbour.