Sled Island pre-show exhibits Canadian musicians

By Jason Herring, June 11 2015 —

In just three years, the Sled Island pre-show at Lukes Drug Mart has become a Calgary staple. With hometown heroes The Rural Alberta Advantage and Shad, the now-host of CBC’s q, headlining the past two years, matching those lineups was no easy task.

But Sled Island managed to assemble an impressive bill of performers for the show. Acclaimed Canadian violinist and composer Owen Pallett will headline the event. Pallett, who frequently composes for bands like Arcade Fire, is known for impressive solo shows that make extensive use of looping pedals.

The Sled Island pre-party will be held at Lukes Drug Mart June 12. This year's lineup is headlined by violinist Owen Pallett. // Louie Villanueva

The Sled Island pre-party will be held at Lukes Drug Mart June 12. This year’s lineup is headlined by violinist Owen Pallett. // Louie Villanueva

Opening for Pallett are Winnipeg indie-pop band Royal Canoe, Vancouver surf-rock group BESTiE and local electro-pop musician Mark Mills.

Lukes Drug Mart owner and event organizer Gareth Lukes says he’s excited about the Canadian talent performing at the show.

“When we got Owen, I was somewhat surprised. Booking was a long process this year because the US dollar made it impossible to book any American acts, but we got lucky and managed to do it,” Lukes says. “And then Royal Canoe wanted to do the show as well. They sold out the Republik earlier this year, so we’re excited to have them open.”

The Sled Island pre-show at Lukes Drug Mart began in 2012. Lukes, a long-time festival-goer, says he’s happy to be part of Sled Island.

“[Sled Island] is a really positive festival. They attract a lot of people who wouldn’t normally see a lot of the bands playing, but there’s always lines out the door,” he says. “I think that’s the amazing part of Sled, getting that excitement for things I could never fathom there would be that excitement for.”

The Sled Island pre-show will take place at Lukes Drug Mart on June 14 at 1:00 p.m. Admission is free.

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