FOLDA brings creativity and innovation to Kingston with four-day festival

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DJ Shub will close out FOLDA on Saturday, Jun. 10, 2023. Photo by Hunter Scallion.

The Festival Of Live Digital Art (FOLDA) is back for its sixth iteration next month, returning to the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts from Wednesday, Jun. 7 to Saturday, Jun. 10, 2023. The four-day festival will celebrate creativity and innovation with captivating performances, thought-provoking workshops, and a closing concert with Juno winner DJ Shub.

This year, the Festival delves into the idea of synesthesia, a unique experience in which stimulation of one sensory pathway causes an automatic and involuntary response in another. Synesthetes hear colours, taste shapes, and feel sounds. In other words, their senses can get mixed up and create unique perceptions that are not typically experienced by others.

In addition, programming for FOLDA shows how everyday digital technologies make opportunities for artists and audiences with disabilities to access the arts.

“Together, through their performances, the artists presented this year are asking the audience to consider how our senses inform who we think we are, and how we relate to those around us,” said Adrienne Wong, Michael Wheeler, and Marcel Stewart, co-curators of the festival.

“As co-curators of FOLDA 2023, we hope audiences will encounter and reconsider their preconceptions of ability, security, and community, and emerge from the festival with a renewed sense that anything is possible.”

The Festival culminates in a concert with DJ Shub — in a performance that integrates electronic music, traditional dancers, and is a celebration of Indigenous music and culture.

DJ Shub won the 2022 JUNO Award for Contemporary Indigenous Artist of the Year, and previously won Breakthrough Group of the Year in 2014 (with A Tribe Called Red). Considered the Godfather of PowWowStep, DJ Shub has pioneered a growing genre of electronic music.

Local artist Erin Ball and Maxime Beauregard of Mohkinstsis/Calgary will perform an immersive accessibility experience about a queer love story, Intercomplementary Elements. The presentation will be a hybrid work-in-progress, both presented in-person and online, created in collaboration with Amy Amantea and other access consultants.

Amantea is a returning artist at the Festival this year with Through My Lens, which brings her lived experience with blindness to one small photography studio where she shares her work as a photographer with a single participant who then describes her images—images she has never “seen”—back to her.

Also featured will be a solo sign language performance by UK-based Deaf Japanese artist Chisato Minamimura, Scored in Silence, as well as a choreographed response piece to a home invasion, Home, by multiple Dora nominee and Stratford Festival regular Beau Dixon, and a 7+ hour video game designed to be played beginning to end by the audience, asses.masses.

For more details on this cutting-edge festival, to see the full festival lineup, and to buy tickets, visit folda.ca.

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