MONTREAL, QC—July 23, 2020— KlezKanada, an international leader in the world of Yiddish culture, has released the full program for the 25th Anniversary edition of its annual summer festival. The festival’s first ever virtual edition will be held from 24-28 August, 2020, with over 60 workshops and classes on offer over the five days.
As ever, the festival features famous names from Yiddish culture alongside emerging talent. Audiences can enjoy exclusive online concerts from headline acts including the Grammy Award-winning band The Klezmatics (New York, NY) and the genre-bending DJ Socalled (Montreal, QC).
While many cultural events have been canceled this season, it was out of the question for KlezKanada. “If the culture of Eastern European Jewish life teaches us anything, it is how to persist in difficult times, to laugh through the tears, to keep on singing,” says Executive Director Sebastian Schulman. “To paraphrase the old adage, l’impossible n’est pas Yiddish – nothing is impossible in Yiddish. How could we miss this milestone year? Luckily, a global community like ours is well-positioned to make the move online.”
Usually held in the Laurentian mountains at summer camp by a lake outside Montreal, KlezKanada’s Summer Retreat normally attracts a diverse crowd of some 500 people, Jews and non-Jews, from all over the world. This year’s online edition promises to attract hundreds more. It will feature many of its classic programs– except perhaps canoeing. Alongside world-class music masterclasses and Yiddish language classes, there are online lessons in Jewish visual arts, cooking, film screenings, and more, as well as children’s programming and the renowned Azrieli Scholarship Program, an incubator for new talent and creativity among young people ages 16-35.
There will also be innovative options tailor-made for the digital moment. From live recordings of the hit all-Yiddish podcast Vaybertaytsh, to a digitally enhanced Yiddish Barbershop quartet, to collaborative film projects and even a class for dancing-while-seated, KlezKanada’s festival will take full advantage of the opportunities these technologies provide.
The full program can be accessed at this link
“Who could have predicted this when we first went up to camp for KlezKanada? We’ve faced many challenges over the last quarter century, but nothing like this. Of course it won’t be quite the same, but I know our community will make our anniversary edition as special as ever,” says Montreal founder, Hy Goldman.
KlezKanada was founded in 1996 to teach, nurture and present to a broad public the best of Jewish traditional arts and Yiddish culture. Its goal is to foster Jewish cultural and artistic creativity worldwide as both an ethnic heritage and a constantly evolving contemporary culture and identity. From its start as a small summer festival, KlezKanada has become one of the leading Jewish cultural organizations in the world.
For more information, visit https://klezkanada.org/featured/register-for-2020/