Today’s blog is part of an ongoing feature series of Arts Organizations who are doing it the right way. If you are looking for genuineness, creative innovation, international quality music making at its finest - all set amidst intimate, pastoral environs, then look no further than Westben.
Formed in 1999 by the dynamic husband and wife duo of Brian and Donna Finley, the Westben Arts Festival Theatre has grown from a modest six concert series summer festival in its formative years, to one of the country's cultural treasures now offering year-long programming of the highest international standard.
I know Brian and Donna personally (both internationally acclaimed soloists) and they are nothing short of spectacular people who absolutely adore the arts and are committed to putting forth a memorable experience for all patrons. Set amidst the pristine natural landscape of Northumberland County, two hours East of Toronto, the majority of Westben concerts are performed in a 400 seat custom built barn.
Patrons can enjoy an acoustically perfect, international standard concert while reclining in movie theatre seating. Intimacy, comfort and excellence rolled into one outstanding production package.
Over the years the couple has cultivated Concert platforms both at the Westben Festival Barn and at smaller venues throughout Northumberland County ranging in productions from operas, musicals, guest orchestras, and a legion of international classical instrumental soloists. Special projects include a jazz festival, young artist showcases and as of last year, a composer and performer in residency program. Westben also features an outstanding array of folk and rock groups in their programming.
Brian and Donna’s incredible imagination and ability to adapt to any circumstance resulted in a seamless transition to online concerts during the pandemic. For their Herculean efforts and incredible service to music and the arts in the country, the couple were awarded the Order of Canada (OC) last year.
You can find out more about their digital programming at the link cited below:
To learn more about this fantastic cultural treasure, please visit the website listed above and enjoy the YouTube link narrated by Donna and Brian themselves.
A concert experience worth every penny of the ticket price, and worth every minute of the drive from the GTA and beyond. As the pandemic lockdown begins to lift throughout the province, Westben should be on everyone’s concert radar.