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On October 27th, the Flamenco de la Isla Society held a fundraiser event at The Mint restaurant. The event was generously supported by The Mint and the Alma de España Flamenco Dance School, which brought the musicians and dancers under the direction of Veronica Maguire.

Trudie Begbie, chair of Flamenco de la Isla Society, and Kat McCann, the society’s treasurer, received us during the event to share their story. The venue was sold out, the audience was engaged with the performances, and the cozy environment set an intimate mood between the audience and the performers. Flamenco is based on various folkloric music traditions of Southern Spain. It includes singing (cante), guitar playing (toque), dance, percussion (palmas and cajón) and vocalizations (jaleo). These elements are showcased both individually and in collaboration with each other.

Kat McCann and Trudie Begbie of the Flamenco de la Isla Society. Photo by: Val Coe

The Flamenco de la Isla Society’s mandate is to promote and develop the art of flamenco in greater Victoria and Vancouver Island. They aim to inspire artistic exploration and collaboration, provide performance opportunities for artists, strengthen creative liaisons with the business community, and encourage public access to the art form.

The event was a showcase and fundraiser for the Victoria Flamenco Festival. Each year, the Festival supports professional, semi-professional, and emerging artists from Vancouver Island and across Canada to present original material and collaborate with other artists in their performances. Trudie summed up the Festival:

“The Festival brings an atmosphere of celebration and vitality to Victoria, a colourful, passionate and powerful feast for the eyes, the ears and the soul.”

Alma de España Flamenco Dance School performers. Photo by: Val Coe

The Victoria Flamenco Festival is a four-day event, with daytime and evening performances. The shows take place in various venues such as Centennial Square and the Cameron Bandshell at Beacon Hill Park, both free and open to the public. They also have exclusive ticketed performances in the downtown area. The Festival promotes workshops in dance; they also encourage public participation with either cante (singing) or percussion during the festival. The next Festival will be in July 2020.

Alma de España Flamenco Dance School performers. Photo by: Val Coe

Photo gallery from the Flamenco de la Isla Society’s showcase and fundraiser event at The Mint. Photos by: Val Coe