All hail Queen Kate! With a career spanning over 40 years, Kate Bush remains one of the most singular, influential and mysterious singer-songwriters of the 20th century and beyond. Venus Fest founder, Aerin Fogel, has assembled some of Canada’s most exciting female musicians to perform stunning renditions of Bush’s work. From ”Running Up That Hill,” to “This Woman’s Work,” there will be plenty of Kate classics covered in this night to remember. Every era of Kate is covered in this starry tribute show.

Exclusive Interview with Venus Fest founder, Aerin Fogel

What inspired you to create the entity that is Venus Fest?

Having been part of the music industry for more than 15 years, I have seen and experienced first hand the barriers that women face. I felt ready to do something to create proactive change within our community, and build a platform that can foster the development of rising artists who might otherwise struggle in traditional music spaces.

Since beginning, how has Venus Fest grown beyond the original festival itself to becoming a year-round presenter of events?

We launched the monthly series directly following the inaugural Venus Fest as a means of continuing our work. The more shows we do, the more we can support the artists we are striving to support. The scope of our series has grown steadily over the three years to include more international touring artists, and has seen an incredible development with some of the local artists we’ve worked with.

You have your Kate Bush Tribute Night coming up at the newly reopened Paradise Theatre. How did this concept come to be, and why Kate?

I believe that Kate Bush’s music embodies a spirit of artistry, innovation, healing, and insight that is completely unique. Her music has touched so many people in a profound way because she speaks to the experience of being a woman in a strange and often painful world, what it means to keep hope alive, how to find connection even in the face of loss. For this reason her work seems an obvious choice for Venus Fest, as we support the voices of hope, connection, and the experience of feminized people. We were also excited at the news of Paradise reopening, and in such a special space, we wanted to create something exciting and collaborative with them.

You have assembled an awesome line up of talent to perform this evening. How was it decided who would sing which songs, and will they be done solo acoustic style, or with a backing band?

One of our performing vocalists, Carmen Elle, was a part of the creation of this night so it was a natural decision to invite her to sing. From there, I reached out to four other vocalists who I felt had a unique style that would match Kate Bush’s wild abandon and heartfelt expression, and added myself to the group as well because she has inspired me personally as a musician since I was very young. Each vocalist was asked to choose two of her favourite songs from the Kate Bush canon, making sure there was no overlap. We will have an incredible house band as well with members of Great Lake Swimmers, Partner, Luna Li, and more, who have been working so hard to learn all the songs and create some very exciting arrangements and surprises for the evening.

Coming up next is likely one of your biggest presentations to date, Bikini Kill, for two sold out nights in May at the Danforth Music Hall here in Toronto. As one of the original Riot Gurl acts from the 1990s, are you able to give us a glimpse into what fans can expect at the shows?

We know for sure that Bikini Kill will be performing songs from their main LPs from the 90s, returning for a reunion that many of us thought would never happen. In recent interviews, Kathleen Hanna shares about the healing in her friendship with Tobi Vail, which alongside Kathi Wilcox will be nearly the exact original lineup, with the addition of guitarist Erica Dawn Lyle. The rest of what’s to come from this reunion tour will be an amazing surprise I’m sure, and something we can treasure for the rest of our lives.

Here are the musicians bringing you a glorious night of Kate Bush tunes:

Aerin Fogel, Ansley Simpson, Carmen Elle, Elsa Gebremichael, Hannah Bussiere Kim, Kate Palumbo, Kelsey McNulty, Kritty Uranowski, Kyla Charter

Kate Bush Tribute Night – Saturday Dec 14, 9pm (Doors 8pm) – All Ages

Paradise Theatre – 1006 Bloor Street West, Toronto


About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.