In celebration of Herbert’s 100th Anniversary, the Steeplejack Festival has invited Governor General’s Award-winning Saskatchewan author Dianne Warren to do a reading and book-signing on Aug. 5 at 4 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Church in Herbert.
This will be a words and music event with music provided by a country/folk/gospel group named Homemade Harmonies featuring two harmonizing sisters, Lois Wiebe and Marlene Abell, both raised in Herbert, and Albertan musician Bob Woolgar.
There will also be an open-mic, play-or-pay Steeplejack Cabaret on Aug. 4, at 8 p.m., offering free entry to those willing to sing a song, play an instrument, or perform a poem or skit.
The Town of Herbert, Saskatchewan was incorporated in 1912 and St. Patrick’s Church was built in the town that same year. The Steeplejack Festival has been presenting concerts, readings and solo theatrical shows at the former church in Herbert since 1997.
Dianne Warren is from Swift Current and currently lives in Regina. Her first novel, Cool Water, won the 2010 Governor General’s LiteraryAward for fiction and has since been released in several countries including Australia and the United States. In addition to her novel she has published three short story collections, including Bad Luck Dog, which won the Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award. In 2004 Warren won the prestigious Marian Engel Award from the Writers’ Trust of Canada.
To Steeplejack Festival founder/producer Pat Donnelly, who works as a journalist in Montreal, the year 2012 also marks the 100th anniversary of the arrival of her father Joseph Patrick Donnelly in Canada. At the time he was a 17 year-old budding homesteader, from Rice Lake, Wisconsin. (Since he was too young to claim the quarter section he had chosen in the Neidpath area, he reserved it, with the help of his older brother, until he turned 18 the following March.) J.P. Donnelly soon became a Canadian citizen, served with the Saskatchewan Regiment in WWI, and spent the rest of his life in the Herbert area until he passed away in 1989 at the age of 93.
The weekend of Aug. 3 to 5 is also the annual rodeo weekend in Herbert, with multiple events including a Saturday pancake breakfast (8 a.m to 10 a.m) followed by an 11 a.m. parade, and many other events, in addition to the rodeo itself which begins Friday at 6 p.m and continues through Sunday afternoon.
For further information on Steeplejack events or to reserve a seat ($10 donation) for either the Saturday night open-mic Steeplejack Cabaret or the Sunday afternoon Dianne Warren event call 306-784-2689.