During the dog days of summer, nothing quite beats a cold drink and some even cooler tunes.

Not convinced? Let me paint you a picture.

The Civic Holiday long weekend has come and gone. The Labour Day weekend is still a few, steamy weeks ahead.

You’ve been to the pool. You’ve been to the beach. You’re tired of road trips and having to pack up the car, fill a cooler and plan out a route to your destination.

So what should you do for fun?

The organizers of the Kitchener Blues Festival hope you’ll head down to the free music festival running Thursday, Aug. 4 to Sunday, Aug. 7.

I chatted with Rob Deyman, Executive Director of the TD Kitchener Blues Festival and talented musician, about the event, which celebrates its 16th year in 2016.

Q - How and why did you get involved in the blues festival?

A - I am one of the founders of the festival and have been involved since day one. So 17 years.

Q - Why does the blues festival exist?

A - The founders felt there was a gap in the music events being offered in the community. With the presence of Mel Brown in our community, plus the pent up demand that followed the closing of Pop the Gator, we felt that the strong regional blues scene would support such an event

Q - How many volunteers help run the festival?

A – More than 400 a year.

Q - Who has been your favourite performer?

A - There have been so many: Koko Taylor, Colin James, Nikki Hill, Jimmie Vaughan, Gregg Allman, Dr. John.

This year I am especially looking forward to Third Coast Kings, Cedric Burnside, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Moreland and Arbuckle, and the Cowboy Junkies

Q - Here’s the question on everyone’s mind: How will construction this year impact the festival?

A - There may be some traffic delays due to LRT construction, but all city parkades will be open and no stage areas will be impacted.

The OLG Clock tower stage in Victoria Park will feature a Bike Valet service and the GRT will continually be accessing Downtown Kitchener.

Q – What should people expect from the festival?

A - This will be the music event of the summer, with a chance to hear not only legends of blues and roots music but legends in the making. You will discover that blues music comes in a wide range of flavours, with lots to enjoy — all in a summer festival atmosphere that incorporates food, shopping and fun for folks of all ages.

Visit www.kitchenerbluesfestival.com for the full schedule and download the free TD Kitchener Blues Festival app at your favourite app store.


We’re rolling into the August long weekend, and I foresee sunshine in your future. Stay cool this weekend, wherever you may be. I see and hear . . . This Thursday, July 28, Ottawa Street South is going to be rocking! Sherwood Systems (124 Ottawa St. S., Kitchener) is throwing a free street party to support the Red Cross Fort McMurray Fund and local businesses affected by the LRT construction. The Sherwood Shindig starts with live music at 12 p.m. Featured bands include Romeo Sex Fighter and Steve Strongman and Rob Szabo Band. It’s also Sherwood’s annual Fender Day sale. Plan to stay the day and take advantage of the food trucks that will be on site . . . It’s the dog days of summer, so what’s better than a movie under the stars — with your dog? Dog Days of Summer: Movie in the park is back on Wednesday, Aug. 3, in the Civic Centre Park at Queen and Margaret streets (beside the Kitchener Public Library). This free event starts at 8 p.m. You’re invited to bring your pup for a huge group walk to tire out the pets before screen time. The movie begins at sundown. While the feature film hasn’t been announced yet, you can bet it will be canine-related.