By David F. Rooney
There were mixed results for the Arts Council’s Le Rendezvous festival last weekend: One of the major acts, the children’s group Vazzy, had to cancel almost all of their performances when singer Suzanne Leclerc lost her voice. Then Saturday evening’s concert featuring Alouest saw only a handful of people turn out for the show. The band could have packed up and gone home early but they gave what amounted to a very gracious, 90-minute concert for the five or six people in attendance.
Still, the people who attended the performances by children’s performers Will Stroet and his band and by comedian Martin Varallo and acrobat Dominque Major were treated to excellent shows.
While some people may regard this as a failed festival I think the Rendezvous concept is a good one that could prove to be very successful in the future. Our local French-speaking community is growing and there are more than enough Francophones and Francophiles in BC and Alberta to support this kind of weekend event. And, says Arts Council Executive Director Garry Pendergast, Heritage Canada is willing to provide financial support to help it succeed. But it needs to be held in a month with good weather. In the 15 years I’ve lived here I have yet to see a June event that has succeeded. It’s usually cool and the weather sucks. I hope the Arts Council revisits this festival idea next year.
Here are some photos of the Sunday shows and a short video of Dominque Major in action: