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Bienfait's first Coal Creek Festival promises to have great music

Some well-known Saskatchewan talents are slated to perform at the inaugural event.
The Coal Creek Festival is to take place on June 30 in Bienfait. Tickets are on sale at and at RM and town offices.

BIENFAIT - The town of Bienfait is set to host the inaugural Coal Creek Festival on June 30, aimed at showcasing Saskatchewan musical talent and boosting regional tourism and the economy.

The event, extending Bienfait's traditional Canada Day celebrations on July 1, promises a vibrant lineup of mainly Saskatchewan-based artists and various family-friendly activities.

The first-ever Coal Creek Festival promises to shake the community, attracting guests from all across the province and beyond. The day of music will feature Midale's The Johner Brothers with The Johner Boys, North Portal's Last Birds, Estevan's Library Voices, Weyburn's Brayden King, as well as Saskatoon's Munro & Patrick, who are well-known in the southeast, and country star Mariel Buckley.

The family-friendly festival, organized by the Southeast Sask. Economic Partnership (SSEP), a non-profit economic development initiative between the RMs of Estevan and Coalfields and the Town of Bienfait, will be centred around the Coal Creek Stage, located between the Bienfait Memorial Arena and the Bienfait Curling Rink.

Trevor Keating, an economic development professional with SSEP and an RM of Estevan landowner, explained the genesis of the festival.

"The idea to host a regional music festival was born out of discussions with the SSEP committee, recognizing that tourism is a major economic driver and a multi-billion-dollar industry in Saskatchewan," said Keating. "We hope this becomes a regional event that not only benefits Bienfait but also surrounding communities."

The festival's formation began in late 2023, with RM of Coalfields Reeve Richard Tessier playing a pivotal role by securing tourism funding.

"He submitted a provincial grant application on behalf of the SSEP to try and get tourism funding to make this a reality. And through that application, we were awarded provincial funding that was meant to be used strictly for tourism, so we're using those tourism dollars to put on this festival," Keating noted.

Community support has been strong as well, with contributions from sponsors like GenCo Asphalt Inc. and the Bridges and Company Law Firm.

"We're still calling out for sponsors. The more help we get, the better," Keating said.

He emphasized that all sponsorship dollars and revenue generated will go directly back into the community, benefiting local projects like the town's recreation board, the Bienfait Memorial Arena, the Bienfait Curling Rink and the Roche Percee Park and Campground.

The festival's lineup was curated with the help of former Estevan resident Michael Dawson, who is the former executive director of SaskMusic and currently with the Western Canadian Music Alliance and Breakout West, to showcase not just Saskatchewan, but mainly the southeast artists.

"We knew from the start we wanted to focus on local talent," Keating said. "There's a vibrant music scene in southeast Saskatchewan that we want to acknowledge."

Attendees can expect a full schedule of activities.

"The Canada Day celebrations in Bienfait have always been a family affair, and we're extending that to the festival," Keating explained. "There will be bouncy castles, the pool will be open, and music will start at 2 p.m. on June 30, continuing until 11 p.m."

Additionally, there will be food trucks, an ice cream truck and local eateries participating, including contributions from the Catholic Church in Bienfait.

The festival has been widely advertised, with efforts reaching across the province and into Alberta, and Keating noted that the event has already attracted ticket sales from across Saskatchewan and beyond.

"This is a local regional event, we're hoping to see a large number of people from Bienfait and Estevan and the surrounding communities, obviously. But we do know that we're actually selling tickets all over Saskatchewan and places like Regina, Saskatoon and Alberta too. So, it's going to be great to bring these people that have never been to the Town of Bienfait to this region to see how amazing it is and what it has to offer," Keating said.

Logistics have been carefully planned to accommodate the influx of visitors.

"We've reserved a designated shuttle service, the Good to Go company out of Arcola. I believe it's a 20-person bus. It'll be running between Bienfait and multiple spots, hotels in Estevan, starting an hour before the event and [ending] an hour after the event, ensuring people don't have to worry about drinking and driving. … And it also allows people that don't want to bring a vehicle, to just jump on the shuttle bus, come out to the event and then take the shuttle bus back to Estevan," Keating said.

Looking to the future, Keating expressed hopes for the festival's longevity.

"The goal is to turn this into an annual event that continues to grow," he said. "We've laid the groundwork with a website, signage and a detailed planning document, all of which will stay with the community."

The festival is also seeking volunteers, with Keating humorously noting that his 106-year-old grandmother Blanche Keating, who resides in the Estevan Regional Nursing Home, plans to help out in the beer tent.

"If my 106-year-old grandma can volunteer, surely we can get some more local volunteers to help us out," he said.

"One hundred per cent of proceeds go right back into the community. These events are community initiatives, that benefit the community and they do rely on volunteer support."

If anyone is interested in volunteering, they can reach out to the Lemon Wedge Marketing Group via email at [email protected] or [email protected]. Anybody who is interested in sponsorship opportunities can reach out to Keating via email at [email protected] or [email protected].

Bienfait's first Coal Creek Festival promises to become a day of music, fun and local pride, and the hope is that this event will become a cherished annual tradition boosting the local economy for years to come.

Advanced tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for youth (13-18 years old). A package of 10 is also available at $250. Kids 12 and under are free. Tax is not included. Advanced tickets can be purchased at or at the RMs of Estevan and Coalfields and Town of Bienfait offices. At the gate, tickets will increase to $40 for adults and $30 for youths.