Peterborough Prize-winning poet Sarah Lewis gathers around Westben Campfire on Sunday

The Peterborough Prize-winning first poet will perform around Westben Campfire on Sunday evening as Westben Theater continues a summer series of 25 concerts that began last weekend.

Westben Campfire is a series of outdoor Sunday night shows in which artists share their stories and songs in an intimate meeting while enjoying the warmth of a gentle fire, a glass of wine or beer and of course fresh s’mores.

Lewis will perform at 8 p.m. Speech artist, Anishnaabe Kwe (Ojibwe/Cree) of Curve Lake First Nation.

Westben Theater describes her as “a mother, social justice activist, artist, community organizer, artist, dreamer, and inquisitive spirit in pursuit of answers about the universe.”

“Her stories highlight the struggles and most importantly resilience within Aboriginal communities,” a statement from Westben.

The Campfire series continues with singer-songwriter Julian Taylor on July 17 and sculptor and instrumentalist David Markle on July 24.

Westben’s original show space, The Barn, will present jazz concerts by Afro-Cuban-rooted jazz band Okan on July 29, jazz musician Carol Willsman on July 30, and Barbara Lica with the Toronto Pop Orchestra on July 31.

Comedian Mary Walsh gave vocals Friday night while the Canadian brass band is scheduled to perform on July 17.

Opera singer Karina Goffin presents an afternoon of classics and vocals with Steppin’ artistic director Brian Finley on July 24, returning to Broadway with “ABBA Mia!” On July 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 and 22.

A late-night concert with Westben artistic director and pianist Brian Finley is scheduled for Saturday, featuring a program of Chopin and Finley’s originals with poetry and moonlight.

Celebrating pride, Westben welcomes Montreal’s Queer Songbook Orchestra to perform pop and original compositions on Sunday and Campbellford’s Eve Parker Finley on July 16 with a mix of baroque pop, synthetic soundscapes and dance rhythms.

The new Willow Hill Coliseum also opened with Joel Plaskett performing on Saturday. William Prince performs on July 15 with Natalie McMaster of Douro Domer on July 23.

Family party for “ABBA Mia!” It takes place on July 22nd at Willow Hill to encourage everyone to come in, sing, dance and dress up as your favorite ABBA character. There is a pre-show workshop for machine making and youth tickets are $5.

Visit westben.ca or call 877-883-5777 to obtain tickets.

Westben also offers gourmet picnics in the meadows, a curated selection of wine and beer curated from the milk barn, pre-concert talks, guided nature walks in a nearby nature reserve and the chance to relax by the pond.

“Westben is where music comes to life amidst breathtaking nature,” Westben co-founder Donna Bennett said in a statement.

Westben is located on a 50-acre farm and the original venue, The Barn, seats 400 and has doors that open onto a meadow. Designed to bring nature into the Westben concert experience. In 2021, new spinning fans have been installed, and with the doors open, it feels like an outdoor experience.

Also last year, Westben created two new outdoor venues. Willow Hill is a natural grass amphitheater located north of The Barn next to a pond and a large willow tree. The audience brings their own chairs and enjoys the music that gets closer to the beautiful nature.

The new Campfire Place is an intimate space with music, stories, and campfires like s’mores and brie baked.

“Watching the sunset while listening to music around the campfire is unforgettable,” Bennett said.

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