The Longview, Alberta ranch that was the home of Canadian icon Ian Tyson is just a ten-minute drive from Diamond Valley, so it’s fitting that the town will be the site of the first Ian Tyson Memorial Festival: Fly Spirit, Fly. The area is stunning, and its history in ranching, music, and cowboy culture is intertwined with Tyson’s own life.
On July 30, a one-day celebration that includes music, jingle dress and powwow dance, food, an open-air beer garden, and a motorcycle show will take place in the town of Diamond Valley. Fans of Tyson’s music will appreciate the care with which the day’s lineup of performers has been curated. Opening act Girl Crush will be followed by John Wort Hannam, and The Gift, a group of musicians who are former members of both Ian Tyson’s touring and studio recording groups.
Stewart MacDougall has been a part of The Gift from the start. He says, “Back in the 80s, during my time in the Chinook Arch Riders, I spent a lot of time in Black Diamond and Turner Valley, just up Highway 22 from Longview and the Tyson Ranch. There were a lot of good musicians living in the area, many of whom were associated with Ian. For those of us dedicated to keeping his music alive, it’s especially fitting to have an opportunity to honour our mentor’s legacy so close to his old backyard.”
Everyone is welcome the festival, which takes place from noon to 9pm on Sunday, July 30. Tickets can be purchased on Showpass.