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‘Girls and guitars’ grace storefronts

Female singer-songwriters performing in downtown storefronts over a three-hour period Saturday is a new, free feature of this year’s Hillside Inside.

The Hillside Festival runs a “girls and guitars” program in schools, and “this time we thought we’d take it out onto the street,” said Hillside executive director Marie Zimmerman.

The seventh annual Hillside Inside, which runs from Feb. 7-9 in the downtown, is a mix of ticketed and free events.

A 9:30 p.m. Feb. 8 show by July Talk and The Darcys is sold out, Zimmerman said Wednesday. Almost sold out is a 10 p.m. Feb. 7 show by A Tribe Called Red.

The festival opens with a “Fab 5 Cabaret” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 in Co-operators Hall in the River Run Centre. It features offerings by five of the city’s most prominent arts festivals – the Fab 5 Festivals.

A 2 p.m. Feb. 8 concert in the sanctuary of St. George’s Anglican Church features Timber Timbre, which was nominated for a 2012 Juno Award for Alternative Band of the Year, performing with Tanya Tagaq, an Inuit throat singer.

The festival’s other ticketed concert has the  band Whitehorse – made up of Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet – performing alongside the “folk pop-grass” band The Strumbellas. (Note:  A late schedule change has been made and Guelph singer-songwriter Tannis Slimmon, who was originally due to perform at this show, is no longer.) Tickets are “selling briskly” for this 3 p.m. Feb. 9 concert in the sanctuary at St. George’s church, Zimmerman said.

Hillside Inside includes several free events.

The “Girls and Guitars” event, which is new, starts at 10 a.m. Saturday with Sarah Felker performing in the storefront of Millennium Clothing, 26 Wilson St. As with the other concerts in this event, people can listen either inside or outside the store, as the music will be piped out onto the street during the half-hour storefront concert.

At 10:30 a.m., Steph Yates will in the storefront of Something Green, 54 Carden St.

At 11 a.m., Paula Perri will be in the storefront of Renann Isaacs Contemporary Art, a gallery at 31 Quebec St.

Also at 11 a.m., Madison Ing will perform in Planet Bean, 2 Wyndham St. N.

She’ll be doing double duty there, as she’s also the first performer in a “youth music” event that starts at 11 a.m. at Planet Bean, showcasing young musicians.

At 11:30 a.m.,  Slimmon will perform in the storefront of Coriander, 112 Wyndham St. N., as part of the Girls & Guitars event.

Performing at  noon in the large storefront of Budds, 111 Wyndham St. N., will be a female group known as beau.

Playing at 12:30 p.m. in the storefront of Wyndham Art Supplies, 125 Wyndham St. N.,  is Emma Bortolon-Vettor.

Hockey match-ups from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the RBC parking lot on Quebec Street will raise money for the Nicholas Lambden Memorial Children’s Foundation.

Hillside Inside once again has an acoustic Celtic “kitchen party” happening at 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Red Brick Cafe. It’s free.

Also free at 6 p.m. Feb. 8 is a new event at Planet Bean, where authors will read stories inspired by songs from a record by the band Broken Social Scene.

Before each reading, The Darcys band will perform that song.

Sunday has three free events in the River Run Centre. There’s a hand drumming workshop with Tom Wolf at 9:30 a.m.

At 11 a.m., there’s a hip-hop workshop with Gadfly Dance Company.

At 1 p.m., people can sing along with Guelph Community Singers.

For more info, visit hillsidefestival.ca.

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