How did the festival come to be?

This initiative began in the summer of 2015 when a few friends thought about doing a little house concert to bring some of the community together in their home, and to showcase some local talent.

Sprouting from that idea, they put their heads and talents together and went even further to put together a backyard music festival in Derwent, at the home of 4 men called the Bro-Tel.

 The event featured an impressive lineup of both professional and amateur musicians and opportunities for open-stage performances as well.  Somewhat surprisingly, attendees came from all parts of Alberta and also from out of province!

At the end of the 3-day festival they were saying: “Do it again next year and we’ll be back.”

Mime-Light Theatre Society

Founded in 1978 as a registered non-profit society, Mime-Light Theatre Society has sponsored many seasons of performances and workshops throughout Canada, even beyond the Arctic Circle.  In the Spring of 2016 the Bro-Tel Backyard Festival became a major work of Mime-Light.  This grass-roots initiative had begun in 2015, attracting many volunteers and supporters, and its mandate fit perfectly with Mime-Light’s mission to support culture through the arts.

The chair of the Bro-Tel Backyard Festival committee, Saul Noster, serves on the board of directors of Mime-Light Theatre Society, assuring excellent continuity as the Bro-Tel Backyard Festival takes its place at the heart of Mime-Light Theatre Society’s work.

The Bro-Tel Festival Committee

Saul Noster

Chair, Producer

Saul was raised on a farm in rural Alberta.  Being homeschooled from K-12, he had the opportunity to freely explore music and creativity in his daily life. His desire is that the Bro-Tel Backyard Festival would bring a greater level of music and visual art to the surrounding community.

Gabriel Birn

Artist Liaison

Gabriel Birn, an aspiring musician himself, is the Artist Liaison. He coordinates the musicians to perform at the Bro-Tel Backyard Festival. Gabriel has been part of this project since the beginning and has helped develop the identity of the Bro-Tel Backyard Festival. He is eager to share another amazing festival weekend!

Christian Bekolay

Graphic Design Lead

Christian completed his diploma in graphic design in 2012. With that and experience in being a youth coordinator/summer camp director, he acquired training and practical experience which has helped in the production of this festival. Christian's real passion though, is in all the boardgames which no longer fit on his shelves.

Dylan Kwasnycia

Secretary, Volunteer Coordinator

Dylan is an Electrical Designer. He is currently the committee secretary and takes care of licensing work for the Bro-Tel Backyard Festival. Dylan is one of 4 founding members of The Bro-Tel, located in Derwent, AB. Now married, Dylan resides in Lloydminster, AB, but he continues to be a vital part of the festival and is excited to see the event thrive.

Elaine Maynard

Festival Aesthetic Director

Elaine has been a part of the festival team since its second year. No one really told or asked her to design the stage, she just decided it was the best way she could contribute to the festival. Now we don't know what we'd do without her! If you see a girl with hands as dirty as the stage is clean, drinking Moscato from the bottle, then that's probably Elaine.

Amy Laurence

Marketing Director

Amy was raised in the small town of Vermillion, AB. She had an appreciation for music from a very young age, spending most of her time between theatre and music lessons. After volunteering at the first three Bro-Tel Backyard Festivals, Amy is now excited to offer her talents and passions by joining the committee.

Kyra Tinant

Operations Manager

Kyra Tinant lives on a small acreage with her husband and five daughters. Kyra is a classically trained singer who has slowed down from performing  to be at home with her growing family. When she isn’t homeschooling her oldest three children, she is working on a number of other initiatives, including assisting on the committee for the Bro-Tel Backyard Festival.

Haley Bekolay

Assistant to the Chair

Haley Bekolay was born in Cold Lake, AB. Last summer She moved out to little ol' Derwent. Haley enjoys eating sushi, reading a good book, and is passionate about music. She is very excited for the ways that the festival is enriching and enlivening her community.

Ezra Noster

Site Manager

Growing up on a family farm, Ezra developed many practical skills in handling machinery and animals.  He has applied his talents to the world of film production and acting, taking particular interest in special effect makeup and stage violence. Ezra has also completed his studies in firearms repairs. Having a plethora of talents, he lends a great hand in helping the festival operate!

Thomas Pottle

Concession Manager

Also known as T-Potts, Thomas frequently shows up at the Bro-Tel, even unannounced. He's looking forward to pleasing your culinary palate as Concession Manager at this year's Backyard Music Festival! Also, he likes sunsets and long walks on the beach.

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