Get ready to celebrate Saskatoon’s 2023 SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival from June 30 - July 9, 2023. Founded in 1987, the festival showcases emerging and renowned acts from pop to jazz (and many things in between) and will host around 75,000 music and culture lovers at the festival’s new Victoria Park site along the banks of the South Saskatchewan River in Riversdale. “The SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival is synonymous with summer in Saskatoon. It’s the unofficial kickoff of summer in the city and brings the community together for great music and memories. Live in Saskatoon long enough, and you’ll have a Jazz Fest story or two to share” explains Shannon Josdal, Executive Director of the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival.
The festival boasts an impressive six-day lineup of family-friendly free programming from June 30 - July 5 followed by four days of ticketed programming from July 6 - 9 featuring five main stage artists each day. Get ready to attend with these tips for navigating the 2023 SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival like a pro!
New this year: The festival’s day passes are available for single or multiple days of the events held on July 6 - 9. On sale no
Head to Victoria Park: The 2023 SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival Hub
Photo Credit: Nathan Janzen
The riverside setting of Victoria Park is the central hub for the majority of this year’s festivities. “The new Victoria Park festival site is an event all on its own. With amenities like the 9 Mile Legacy Artisan Market, the Saskatoon CO-OP Beer Gardens, a Family Fun Zone, Food Trucks, and Yoga in the Park (to name a few), the new festival site is designed to be a great place to gather, explore, and enjoy fantastic music all day long” shares Josdal. Family fun also includes free art classes for kids and youth in partnership with Art By The River as well as an Instrument Petting Zoo offered by the Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Time Music Society.
Getting there: A free shuttle will provide transportation to and from Victoria Park to key locations in the city including Riversdale, The Maurice Drouin Lounge at Persephone Theatre, The James Hotel, and The Broadway Theatre. The Victoria Park festival site will also be operating a free bike and stroller valet service.
Not to Miss: Highlights of the 2023 SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival
Photo Credit: Bob Holtsman
The SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival showcases emerging and established local, national, and international artists across their stages. This year’s festival welcomes a few darlings back to perform including Serena Ryder, Amanda Marshall, and Blackie & The Rodeo Kings with special guests Daniel Lanois and Terra Lightfoot. One of the most wonderful things about the festival is discovering new music and this year hosts first-time appearances by artists like St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Charley Crockett, Margo Price, Johnnyswim, Brekky Boy, The Della Kit, Joe Rainey, and many more. The festival is the perfect backdrop for enjoying legacy acts while discovering your new favourite artists.
Insider tip: “The always charming Fred Penner will be playing a set for the young and young at heart that you won't want to miss” expresses Josdal.
Celebrate Community: Keeping it Local at the 2023 SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival
Photo Credit: Nathan Janzen
Enjoy connecting with the community through local music, arts, and activities throughout the duration of the festival. At the main festival site in Victoria Park, you can explore local vendors, take a free yoga class, sample local flavours in the food and beverage offerings, and partake in family fun activities.
As for the music, “local artists are the backbone of the festival and make up at least 50 percent of the artists performing in any given year. One of our key priorities is to provide opportunities for local artists to perform, hone their craft, and advance their careers. Saskatchewan artists performing in the 2023 festival include Jake Vaadeland & The Sturgeon River Boys, Katie Tupper, Jeffery Straker, Eliza Mary Doyle, FunkJoint, Wolf Willow, The Whiskey Jerks, The Rory Lynch Quartet, Lyssa & The Try-Tones, and many more” shares Josdal
A pre-festival event on June 29 at River Landing kicks off The Neighbourhood Pop-Up Series which features Saskatchewan artists throughout the duration of the festival at partnering businesses across the city. Catch even more local acts alongside national and international artists at The Strictly Jazz Series at The Bassment on July 3, 4, 7, and 9. Throughout the festival, check out the late-night programming at The Maurice Drouin Lounge in the Persephone Theatre Lobby which showcases the best small jazz ensembles in Saskatchewan.
Family fun: The festival hosts a Canada Day pancake brunch on July 1st at Victoria Park. Head to their website for more details!
Explore more: Nurture your love for music further by exploring live music in Saskatoon.