Can you believe the Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle is turning 20 this year? It’s true and they are bringing back some of their favourite acts from over the years to help celebrate. Billed as Mississauga’s Musical Mardi Gras the Shuffle draws people from around the world and has helped to make Port Credit an event destination. This year the Shuffle was honoured to receive the MARTY award for Best Festival of 2018 by the Mississauga Arts Council.
It all started 20 years ago with founder and artist director Chuck Jackson’s vision and passion to bring the blues to Port Credit. 4 bands, one stage and 2,300 people in 1999. Today the Shuffle draws over 75,000 people and has grown to encompass 4 stages in Memorial Park featuring continuous entertainment plus the free Rabba Fine Foods Street Shuffle running from noon to 4pm on Saturday afternoon, Junior Jam, workshops, Blues & Roots Jam Stage Friday and Saturday night at the Legion sponsored by White Oak Ford Lincoln and kicking it all off on Thursday the annual Beggars Blues Banquet featuring guest artists and a southern style buffet sponsored by The Shores of Port Credit. There is also a vendor village offering artisan clothing & crafts and a food court. The park is completely enclosed and licensed allowing people to shuffle through the park from one stage to the other.
Over the past two decades Buddy Guy, Mavis Staples, Johnny Winter, Ronnie Hawkins, David Clayton-Thomas, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Fathead, The Funk Brothers, Charlie Musselwhite and Sab are just some of the artists who have graced the stages. So many memorable performances.
Memories are meant to be shared and the Shuffle has created a Wall of Memories installation this year that will be located inside Memorial Park by the library with plenty of room for everyone to jot down their special memories.
The Shuffle is welcoming back American blues artist Coco Montoya, Austin based Juno award winner Sue Foley, British Blues pioneer Savoy Brown (led by guitarist Kim Simmonds), 2 time WC Handy Award winner Duke Robillard, Ray Fuller and The Blues Rockers, Stacey Mitchhart and closing out the weekend on Sunday evening Chuck Jacksons award winning Downchild Blues Band.
This year the Shuffle has expanded it’s very popular Ladies Sing the Blues from one day to three days featuring Judy Brown, Angel Forrest, Rita Chiarelli, Cheryl Lescom, Sue Foley, Krista Blondin’s Tribute to Janis Joplin and Maria Aurigema.
The Scotia Bank Free Zone has two free stages featuring festival favourites Paul James, Steve Strongman, Harrison Kennedy, D’Mar and Gill plus many others along with Mississippi Delta and Zydeco workshops and the ever popular junior jams and a performance by Toronto Blues Society Talent Search 2018 Winner Bywater Blues.
Saturday afternoon the free zone serves up a dance party on the World Stage offering free salsa dance lessons at 11:30 with Salsa Dance Club followed by an hour of salsa dancing to K’Bola, Zydeco dancing with Loco Zydeco, Reggae with Juno Award Winner Kirk Diamond and The Movement of Ahryel followed by Jazz Fusion artists Manteca.
The Shuffle in partnership with Port Credit Legion Branch 82, Veteran Affairs Canada and Verve Senior Living will also be bringing Portraits of Honour to the Festival this year to pay tribute to our fallen Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. Located in the free zone, the 10’x40’ hand-painted mural depicts the 158 Canadians who lost their lives in the line of duty. The artist, Dave Sopha, a veteran himself, will be on-hand to answer questions and discuss how the painting evolved. The exhibit has travelled to Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach in France and is expected to attract many local veterans and their families to the large tent that will house the display throughout the festival in Memorial Park.
For further details please visit www.southsideshuffle.com