Fête Jockey launches summer event options for the whole family

By: Daniel Halmarson

Andrina Turenne plays a backyard show as part of Fête Jockey’s Sidewalk Soirée series on May 29, 2020./ANDRINA TURENNE

As summer rolls in and gathering restrictions are loosened, one Winnipeg events company wants to bring the party to Winnipeg backyards.

Fête Jockey has curated a list of musicians, visual artists, dancers, and other entertainers available for performances at social gatherings throughout the summer. 

Andraea Sartison, Fête Jockey’s co-owner, said the concept came together while filming performances with local musicians for an upcoming virtual Canada Day celebration. 

“I was reminded how special it is to experience live music and art,” Sartison, a theatre artist, said of the filming process. “It kind of solidified for me why this could be a good program [to offer the public].”

Fête Jockey, co-founded by Sartison and visual artist Jennie O’Keefe, is putting together a menu of sorts – everything from 15 minute “à la carte” performances to full evenings of entertainment. Aside from live music and dance, interested parties will be able to book paint nights, photo shoots, puppet shows, cocktail bars and coffee carts.

“You can really choose your own adventure,” Sartison said.

Fête Jockey will serve as the bridge between hosts and performers as a way to help support local artists this summer. 

Fête Jockey is launching a summer menu of entertainment options for backyard parties in Winnipeg./FETE JOCKEY

Sartison, 32, said one of Fête Jockey’s primary focuses is working and building relationships with local talent. This past winter, they hired 400 artists to work the Zoo Lights Festival at Assiniboine Park Zoo. In the wake of COVID-19, Fête Jockey explored ways to continue helping artists. 

“We wanted to support and continue collaborating with this community we’ve helped build.”

Fête Jockey launched a series of events called Sidewalk Soirées. Instagram followers could enter weekly contests for a chance to win a pop-up performance outside of their home. Sartison said they invested in the idea as a way to directly impact neighbourhoods and the arts community. 

Singer/songwriter Andrina Turenne first collaborated with Fête Jockey when she performed at the Zoo Lights Festival. The 38-year-old musician from St. Boniface said she was thrilled to be invited to participate in a Sidewalk Soirée at the end of May. 

“Just to see people’s faces and be able to sing to a live audience was really good for me,” Turenne said. “It brought me a lot of joy to be able to share some songs and feel that connection again.”

Turenne said she’s impressed with Fête Jockey’s efforts to reintroduce live art back into people’s lives and thinks backyard parties are going to be the biggest events of the summer.

“I’ve always been a fan of more intimate settings where art and audience collide,” said Turenne. 

Turenne said she’s looking forward to playing small-scale shows throughout the summer as she works on writing new music. She hopes her program creates relationships that wouldn’t normally happen at venues or large festivals.

“When I think about gathering and the sharing performances or art, it’s not about the quantity of the people that are there. It’s about the quality of that connection,” Sartison said. 

Sartison said Fête Jockey hopes to launch their full summer menu of performers at the beginning of July. 

To contact Fête Jockey about future events, visit https://fetejockey.com and follow them on Instagram at @fetejockey.

Andrina Turenne’s new single ‘When The Smoke Clears’ is available for purchase through https://www.andrinaturenne.com and is streaming on all music platforms. Follow Andrina on Instagram at @drunita.