Convicted farmer Michael Schmidt announces 2018 festival and plans for new arts centre hub
(Durham, ON): Farmer, advocate and conductor Michael Schmidt has been at the forefront of the national battle for the legal sale of raw milk in Canada for over twenty-four years.
In Schmidt’s recent November 2017 court case he was sentenced to fifteen weekends in maximum security at the Penetanguishene Prison for obstructing a peace officer during a raid on his farm. Currently out on appeal, his sentencing was swiftly followed by a permanent injunction issued by Justice P.W. Sutherland in a January 2018 court hearing in Newmarket, Ontario, which restrains any further raw milk production without licenses.
While the battle is headed to the Supreme Court of Canada, Schmidt continues to find new means to stand his ground, this time with his new Centre for Performance and AgriCulture.
This summer Schmidt will announce major plans to build a dynamic multimedia performance venue to house his yearly festival and year-round innovative educational and multidisciplinary programming. Schmidt’s festival entitled “Symphony in the Barn” has been host to performances and bespoke events for nearly twenty years, drawing musicians, chefs and creators like the Bolshoi Ballet, pianist Anton Kuerti, and chef Michael Stadtlander, from around the world.
The 2018 Symphony in the Barn Festival (August 3 -5, 2018) will host over 20 international musicians for a one-week residency on the farm leading up to a weekend of performances, installations and finely curated dining experiences. The event is the annual pinnacle of Schmidt’s progressive thinking on shifting our perspectives on food rights and consumerism.
The new Centre for Performance and AgriCulture will utilize state-of-the-art construction methods, renewable, solar and geothermal energy sources, accessibility design, and become a hub to enhance the interaction of the arts within society at large. “Symphony in the Barn evolved as a cultural necessity to creatively connect farmers and artists. The substance of creating music is nourished by the everyday creative force of a living farm, and vice
versa.” says Schmidt.
“Over the twenty-four years that Ontario has been prosecuting Schmidt, the number of U.S. states that have enacted laws allowing consumers to access raw milk has risen from 26 to 42. Canada is the only G-7 country that completely prohibits the distribution and sale of raw milk, through both federal and provincial laws. In many European countries, raw milk is sold in vending machines. Italy alone has about 1,300 such machines.” – courtesy of Business Financial Post
For tickets and info: www.symphonyinthebarn.com