30th anniversary a successful; Singers winter series begins

The 30th anni­versary of the Elora Festival was a major success.

From the celebratory fire­works on opening night to the closing performance of Han­del’s Coronation Anthems and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, organizers were delighted.

“Mother Nature was kind to us,” said General Manager Jur­gen Petrenko. “Our two main quarry series concerts, Natalie MacMaster and Serena Ryder, went ahead in the quarry as planned, despite the threats of inclement weather throughout the day. And we set a new record for ticket sales. Who could ask for more?”

Noel Edison, Artistic Dir­ector of the Elora Festival for 28 of its 30 years, was also pleased.

“Given the current econo­my, it’s extraordinary that so many people attended this year. Those that came went away with a sense of awe. It still amazes me that this little town can attract not only such large crowds, but that we are able to attract artists of international cali­bre to perform here year after year.”

He added, “And I have to thank all those who have sup­ported us; countless hours by numerous volunteers, financial support from all levels of gov­ernment, and private com­pan­ies and individuals.

“I look for­ward to the festival growing and developing even more over the next 30 years.”

Edison added that plans are already under way for 2010.

Petrenko said he feels a strong sense of community surrounding the festival. “This year we were able to give back to the community in many ways, including a $1,500 dona­tion to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Ontario Region.”

Although the anniversary is over, the Elora Festival Singers winter series begins in Sep­tem­ber. As part of the celebration, the group has released a new CD, What Child is this? Christmas from Elora.

A concert of secular songs kicks off the series at the Freemasons historic venue, the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 4 Queen Street South (at King Street) in Hamilton on Sept. 19 at 2:30pm. General seating tickets are $35.

Additional performances in the winter series include Motets of Bach, Handel’s Messiah, a Festival of Carols, Rach­mani­noff’s Vespers, and Spring Fever. Tickets and additional information are available online at www.elora­festival.­com, by phone at 519-846-0331 or 1-888-747-7550, or in person at 33 Henderson Street in Elora.