For Immediate Release / August 3, 2023

St. Albert Latin Festival Returns

When Jorge Vargas first moved to St. Albert, he couldn’t find any events that celebrated his latin heritage. So he made one of his own.

Gathering some musicians, they set up for a one-off concert day in the Lions Park picnic shelter. Vargas didn’t have much in the way of expectation, he admits, beyond sharing a stage with those he’d invited to play.

“But by word of mouth, 300 people showed up,” he recalls. “After that picnic shelter experience, we realized that people were ready to get other flavours here in St. Albert.”

The response led them to form the St. Albert Latin Cultural Association, who now host the St. Albert Latin Music Festival as a yearly event. This is its second “official” year—not counting that first concert—and the free-to-attend festival features music, food, dancing, and more, all celebrating the flare and joy of latin culture. It’s being supported by the city through the community capital grant program.

The festival line-up is impressive: 19 performing acts that range all over the latin diaspora, featuring artists with connections to El Salvador, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and more.

“We wanted to have a little taste of what the latin culture is all about, of all the spectrums of music,” Vargas says. “From mariachi, from ballad, from latin blues and rock, from salsa—a little bit of everything.”

In doing so, the festival celebrates St. Albert’s talented local community by giving both new and established acts a set on the stage. Vargas, a school teacher by day, is even bringing some of his students to perform.

“We really want to find more talented people in the latin community here in St. Albert, and be able to showcase their talent here,” he says.

In doing so, Vargas also hopes to connect the local community to parts of their culture they might not otherwise see represented as widely as this.

“It’s keeping the tradition,” he continues. “There's a latin community here in St. Albert, and they would love to feel a little bit like they are at home again. Dancing some salsa, dancing some cumbia, and having a taco, an empanada. … you would go for the day and get that flavour that would remind you of those good old days.”

The festival’s quick growth has been impressive—so much so that the St. Albert Latin Cultural Association has started producing other events throughout the year. But Vagas isn’t content to settle with what they’ve already achieved.

“I’m a dreamer,” Vargas admits. ”The bar was set up that [first year], so let's keep it, or let's go a little bit higher. We have dreams of really putting this latin festival on the map. Not only here in St. Albert, but in our province.”

Article written by: Paul Blinov 

The St. Albert Latin Music Festival runs from noon to 10pm on Saturday, August 19th in Lions Park. More info available at by following this link.

- 30 -

Last edited: July 27, 2023