Wanderlust has quietly added a few more festivals to its 2013 tour circuit, including Tremblant (near my home in Montreal!), Philadelphia and Austin. Wanderlust Tremblant (August 23-25), the franchise’s first date in eastern Canada, was added to the summer festival roster a little late and differs from other festivals in many ways.
“It just took a long time to put a deal together with the companies that run Mont Tremblant and the Tremblant Village,” co-founder Sean Hoess explained via email from New York City. “We only had a few dates that would work for us, and they have a very successful summer season so it was hard finding the right date where we could get the facilities we need (conference space, mostly).”
The festival promises to be a smaller, multicultural iteration of Wanderlust’s large domestic festivals, welcoming approximately 800 French- and English-speaking yogis over 2.5 days in the Laurentian mountains, north of Montreal. Wanderlust Tremblant plans to ramp up into a full-scale, four-day festival in Summer 2014.
Tremblant is one of seven locations across North and South America in 2013, and it’s the second Canadian Wanderlust Festival for the brand, after Wanderlust Whistler was added last year.
In addition to the size and cultural flavour of Wanderlust Tremblant, another difference between it and the other 2013 festivals is the lineup of yoga teachers and musicians. Big names like MC Yogi, Shiva Rea and Seane Corn are missing from the itinerary.
“We’re excited about the lineup because there are a lot of new teachers we haven’t worked with before, as well as some of our respected alums like Elena Brower and Eoin Finn,” Hoess said. “Our hosts at Mont Tremblant haven’t done large scale yoga events before and wanted us to prove that yoga is as strong in Quebec as it is on the West coast. Happy to say that we’re on pace to prove that, so you should expect a ‘full scale’ Wanderlust at Tremblant next year.”
Hoess and the other organizers wanted to make sure that Wanderlust Tremblant reflects Quebecois culture, so they made francophone teachers and musicians front and center. Much of the lineup is Montreal- and Mont Tremblant-based teachers and musicians.
“Our in-house programming team worked with Janick Leonard, our partner in Tremblant, as well as Genevieve Gerard and Erik Giasson, from Le Studio in Montreal. We also have two employees who are from Montreal, so it wasn’t hard to get some ideas together.”
With a lineup that includes leaders in the Montreal yoga community such as Lyne St Roch, Dawn Mauricio, Nathalie Veilleux, Bram Levinson, Yasmin Fudakowska-Gow and Elizabeth Emberly, and Quebec-based musicians like Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neufeld, folk group Bears of Legend and kirtan superstar Lea Longo, Wanderlust Tremblant seems to have more of a local flavour than the other Wanderlust festivals. I wondered if this was because of Quebec’s language laws and cultural policies.
“Laws weren’t a factor – it’s all about the unique culture of Quebec,” Hoess explained. “We’ve always tried to make sure that our festivals embrace local culture. You can see this in a number of areas: language (Wanderlust Chile is Spanish language; Tremblant will be both French and English), food (we bring in local food vendors & produce a locally-sourced Farm to Table dinner at every event), vendors (our Kula Marketplace is filled with local craft vendors), teachers (we bring in local & regional teachers at all events) and of course music. It’s true that our bigger events also feature many nationally- or internationally recognized yoga teachers, but our goal is for Wanderlust (the event) to reflect wanderlust (the desire to travel or roam). That means each event should feel different and rooted in the place in which it’s held.”
So follow your wanderlust and get a taste of some authentic Quebecois yoga culture and outdoor activity at Wanderlust Tremblant, August 23 – 25, 2013.