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Songwriters on stage: Heather Rankin, Ria Mae to headline Harmony Bazaar

article_largeNova Scotia’s award-winning Heather Rankin and Ria Mae, along with festival favourites Christina Martin, Coco Love Acorn and Christine Campbell and Dana Beeler.

Festival artistic director Errin Williams said festival organizers are thrilled to offer their audience the opportunity to hear Rankin’s poetic and intimate original songs, along with some Rankin Family classics.

Visual artist Holly Carr will be on stage to create art inspired by the performance Williams announced.

“I am honoured to share the stage with the incredibly talented artist Holly Carr,” Rankin said in a release.

Mae has played the Lockeport festival twice before, earlier in her career.

“The festival committee was so excited to hear that Ria’s single Take Your Clothes Off was nominated for a 2016 Juno award,” Williams said. 

“We want to celebrate this extremely talented and hard working woman at the festival this summer.”

The festival has brought large crowds and unbeatable talent to the small, seaside Town of Lockeport since it began 11 years ago. Past Harmony Bazaar’s have included memorable performances by Rita McNeil, Michelle Wright and Serena Ryder.

“At its heart, the festival has always driven the promotion of local women and artists and this year will not disappoint,” said Williams.

Now a popular festival drawing audiences from Atlantic Canada and beyond, Harmony began s an idea by the Shelburne County Women’s Fishnet, an organization created around rural kitchen tables to support women and families during the downturn in the traditional fishery.

Seeing a need to highlight women in the music industry, a festival was born, said Williams.

This year’s festival will also host a youth songwriting mentorship program and a songwriting retreat lead by Linda MacLean.

Participants will draw their inspiration from the 100th anniversary of Canadian women’s suffrage as the launch pad to create solo and collaborative songs about women’s rights, determination and freedom, said Williams.

The festival has offered budding, local musicians instruction and a stage to encourage their art.

Early bird tickets for the July 22 to 24 festival at Seacaps Memorial Park are on sale until April 30. Full details at