Flood damage forces folk festival to move artisan market

One of the landmarks of the Calgary Folk Music Festival aren't on Prince's Island this year after flood damage forced organizers to move the popular artisan market just south of the park to Eau Claire Market.

Rest of festival goes ahead with full roster of artists

The music is going ahead as usual at the 34th annual Calgary Folk Music Festival, but the popular artisan market had to be moved off site because of flood damage on Prince's Island Park. (CBC)

One of the landmarks of the Calgary Folk Music Festival will not be on Prince's Island this year after extensive flood damage forced organizers to move the artisan market just south of the park to Eau Claire Market.

Tracy Friesen, who works at one of the stalls, said it’s not ideal but vendors understand why the move was necessary.   

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"Think it's a good compromise. I do think they've been trying hard to make everybody happy. It is relatively close by. But, for sure … it's not going to have that same feel," she said.

For 10 years, Sabrina O'Donnell has enjoyed the sights and sounds of folk music while selling her wares.

"Now we're listening to mall music," she said with a laugh.

Parts of Prince's Island are still being rehabilitated and need time to recover, said city parks department official Greg Stewart.

"We just looked at an island that was completely submerged in water. And then once the flood subsided, it was filled with silt, debris, garbage and extremely damaged," he said.

Aside from having to move the artisan market, organizers succeeded in staging the 34th annual festival as planned.

"We didn’t have to cancel any artists, we’ve kept the programing intact," said Kerry Clarke, the festival’s artistic director.

There are also some free performances at the Eau Claire Market site, she said.