Live music galleries: Great Lake Swimmers [2013]

(I got the idea for this series while sifting through the ‘piles’ of digital photos on my laptop. It occurred to me to share some of these great pics from some of my favourite concert sets from time to time. Like my ‘Vinyl love’ series, these posts will be more photos than words but that doesn’t mean I won’t welcome your thoughts and comments. And of course, until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts page.)

Great Lake Swimmers performing live at Ottawa Dragonboat festival 2013

Artist: Great Lake Swimmers
When: June 22nd, 2013
Where: Ottawa Dragonboat Festival, Mooneys Bay Park, Ottawa
Context: Back on March 10th of this year, Dan Mangan was announced as headliner for the first night of Ottawa Dragonboat festival, which would have been tonight, and organizers promised to announce more acts as the festival drew closer. A few short days later, the country started shutting down to combat the spread of COVID-19 and the festival, along with all the others, had to be cancelled. The Ottawa Dragonboat festival is actually more about dragonboat racing and raising money for charity but they just so happen to also have a great free concert series every year that features amazing Canadian artists. I’ve been going to catch some of these free shows ever since 2013 and I’ve come to see the festival as the opening of summer. The very first band I ever saw at Ottawa Dragonboat festival was Toronto’s Great Lake Swimmers. I’d been following the indie folk act headed by Tony Dekker for a number of years already and couldn’t help but jump at the chance to see them for free. The night of the concert was quite rainy so the organizers decided to move the band’s set from the main stage to a covered stage under a tent on the beach. It was perfect for me because it gave the show a more intimate feel. I would definitely jump at the chance to see them again. And I am definitely looking forward to future Dragonboat festivals.
Point of reference song: New wild everywhere

Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers
Erik Arnesen of Great Lake Swimmers
Miranda Mulholland and Bret Higgins of Great Lake Swimmers
Bret Higgins, Greg Millson, and Tony Dekker
Erik Arnesen on the banjo
Tony Dekker singing it

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