Fredericton’s Harvest Music Festival today shared details around its 2022 Blues in the Schools (BITS) Program, presented by the University of New Brunswick. An educational program created to promote, preserve, and perpetuate the art, culture, and heritage of the blues through clinics in local schools and investment in local school music programs, Harvest’s BITS Program has reached tens of thousands of New Brunswick students since its inception in 2003.
Delivering the program virtually in 2022, Harvest has this week distributed pre-recorded clinics hosted by award-winning Canadian musician Rick Fines to the roughly 70 public schools in the Anglophone-West District, along with 142 additional public schools throughout New Brunswick. A longtime Harvest favorite and one of the country’s hardest working performers, Fines has taught Blues In The Schools programs in New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories.
As part of the 2022 Program, Harvest will additionally provide roughly $15,000 fundraised from bar tips and patron donations to Fredericton area schools that currently have, or plan to have, a band program as of Fall 2022.
“Before COVID-19, a typical year of Blues in the Schools would include 2-3 clinicians covering roughly 20 schools in the Greater Fredericton area,” said Harvest Music Festival General Manager, Jeff Richardson. “By moving online, we’ve expanded the program across the province and grown the audience of students learning about the power, importance, and history of the blues tenfold. We’re really pleased to partner with UNB on this tremendous initiative.”
The 2022 Harvest Music Festival takes place this September 13-18, featuring The War On Drugs, Blue Rodeo, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, William Prince, JJ Grey & Mofro, The Record Company, Kathleen Edwards, Andy Frasco & The U.N., and more.