For many, it’s the music which draws them to Victoria Park for the Regina Folk Festival — and for some, it’s also the sense of familiar belonging. That’s the case for 13-year-old Khemissa Cardinal, who has attended the event with her family since she was a toddler.
Back then, the Queen City teen said her favourite part was doing crafts in the children’s area. Now, she enjoys taking in the music most.
She said the best part each year is lining up early to get up close to the main stage with her grandparents.
“My grandpa usually gets here around 6 a.m. to try to get to the front,” she laughed. “It’s like a competition almost — it’s kind of funny.”
She added that she couldn’t imagine her summer without watching new Saskatchewan musicians, or grooving out to some familiar bands.
Despite her young age, Cardinal said there’s something indescribable about the nostalgic atmosphere.
“Everything’s new, but it’s the same at the same time — I just like to see that,” she explained.
Her grandmother, Bev Cardinal, said Folk Fest is a tradition for their family and goes back as long as the event has been around.
“I started accompanying my daughter here when she was small,” she explained. “Then, after my granddaughter was born, we started bringing her here when she was three or four years old.”
She added that it’s the inclusive, easy-going environment that keeps them coming back.
“It’s just a great opportunity to come and relax, and to enjoy this beautiful space we have here in Regina,” she explained. “It’s all about the vibe — and it’s the best vibe in the city.”
Buffy Sainte-Marie closes the festival Sunday night on the main stage, and the Cardinals said that’s one of the performances they looked forward to most this weekend.