Podcast: Bandwagonish Episode 5, les siemieniuk

Posted by Mike Bell on 22 May 2014

PHOTO: Leah Hennel, Calgary Herald
les siemieniuk, the recently retired General Manager of the Calgary Folk Music Festival, is this week's guest on Bandwagonish.

In this long overdue episode of Bandwagonish, I speak with les siemieniuk, the recently retired General Manager of the Calgary Folk Music Festival.

Recorded less than a week after his last day at the helm of one of the city’s most important cultural institutions, he opens up and lends a little insight into his 15-year tenure as well as the life that he led before it began.

Some of the topics siemieniuk and I discuss are: growing up in Winnipeg a schoolmate of Burton Cummings; falling in love with radio at the campus and community station in his hometown; his time in England, where he worked with the legendary BBC announcer John Peel; his friendship with Stan Rogers and a genuine love of Canadian music; his return to the country and relocation to Calgary where he worked at the CBC before joining the folk fest; last year’s event post-flood; the legacy he leaves behind, including the brand new Festival Hall building and the annual Songwriting Competition; his thoughts on the direction of the fest as well as the expanding definition of folk music; and, finally, what’s next for him.

Unlike other Bandwagonish episodes, and others to come, there’s no music, just a conversation with a man about the significant role he’s played in Calgary’s music community and the community at large.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

And, on a side note, for anyone who cares and has actually missed it, please forgive the lengthy pause in podcasts, which were due to a number of unrelated reasons (circumstantial, technical, personal, etc.). Consider this week’s episode a return to regularly scheduled programming.

No. 6, a superb chat with Reuben Bullock, is already recorded and ready to run next Thursday, the week his debut for Arts & Crafts gets its release.

Thanks very much for your time and, hopefully, your ongoing support.

Calgary’s music community deserves it.