Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Festival promises plenty of smiles

Daron Letts
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 08/05) - Winnipeg's beloved entertainer Al Simmons is packing his
polka-dot bags and heading for Yellowknife.

Winnipeg entertainer Al Simmons will cart four crazy cases of wacky props and goofy costumes to his gig at the 25th Folk on the Rocks. The appearance marks Simmons' second year as festival emcee. - photo courtesy of Al Simmons

Simmons is carting four crazy cases of wacky props and goofy costumes to his gig as emcee of the 25th annual Folk on the Rocks festival.

"Folk on the Rocks feels the way a festival should," he said. "It's an intimate setting, with a crowd that feels like a family."

During his first appearance as emcee in 2001, Simmons brightened the event with his unpredictable antics and comical gadgets.

He joined Tanya Tagaq Gillis on stage as she gave him his first throat singing lesson.

"She looked me in the eye for what seemed like several minutes," he said.

"The crowd went wild and I had goose bumps - it was an amazing experience that I'll never forget."

Simmons ended the 2001 festival by scaling the slippery metal roof of the main stage with a megaphone to encourage the audience to "dance on the way home."

Festival organizers will be pleased to learn that he doesn't plan to repeat that stunt again this year.

Be sure to join Al for a junk jam session in the cultural area during the festival. Bring your noisy junk and make your own instruments.