Femme Wave and the importance of representation in music

We’re so excited for Femme Wave this weekend and hope you are too. After the line-up announcement we talked to co-founder Hayley Muir about the history and creation of Femme Wave, what we’re sure is going to be the best part of your November.

Photo by Amber McLinden. 

Photo by Amber McLinden. 

A few years ago Hayley Muir and Kaely Cormack’s band the Shiverettes was playing a show at Pizza Bob’s in Kensington when they noticed something that should not be considered out of the ordinary. They were playing on a bill filled with all female musicians.

After that night the idea to organize another show filled with female artists grew and instead of a one-night showcase, Femme Wave, a four-day feminist arts festival, was created.

“It went from one show that was going to be few rock and roll bands and some comedians and then just kind of blew up.” Now in its second year, the festival has expanded once again to feature four days of music, film and accessible education. As well as visual arts programming that continues on after the festival ends.

Calgary’s music community has been very supportive of Femme Wave despite recent controversies and a feminist music festival was a long time coming. “It definitely seemed like we were filling a need,” said Muir.

“We have a different perspective on how much it’s needed to create these spaces and room for women and non-binary folk so they can have a moment in the spotlight. We’ve played on a lot of different bills and most of them have had primarily white, heterosexual men on them, which is fine, but you know, they’re not the only people making music in the city.”

This idea carries throughout the festival and with a focus crafting a safe and inclusive space year two of Femme Wave will be even better.

In its first year nearly every event was sold out and that the crowd left “really impressed with some of the musicians that played that they had never seen before, which was which was kind of the best part.” 

Brand new this year is the Femme Waves’ Sunday showcase which will be a free, all ages and filled with interactive, educational workshops including tarot readings, sword fighting and rapping and noise how-tos.

Femme Wave starts this weekend and you can still buy individual tickets at the door of each venue. Check out the programming online and we’ll see you there!