Get set to get ‘salty’ as the 5th annual Salt Shaker surfs into Manitou Beach this weekend from July 12-14. It’s a phantasmagorical celebration of summertime music that has something for all ages and all musical tastes. Best of all, the three-day summer festival makes use of many of the iconic Beach stages and haunts for music and mirth. 

The Festival was born out of the Manitou Beach Boogaloo, a predecessor with its own history and reputation. The event came under the wing of Lenore Maier, her sisters and her music loving accomplices, to become one of the most unique music festivals on the prairies.  

It’s back bigger and better than ever this year, says Lenore. 

“What we’ve been trying to do is not only grow the festival in size but trying to prioritize growing it in quality and improving the attendee experience. We’ve been really fortunate to get some grant funding last year and this year to give more capacity, to pay artists more, and to invite different types of artists. That just gives us more leverage to do the things we do.” 

Maier says the festival is also growing in terms of community support, and that just strengthens a dynamic social fabric in the community.  

The event is anchored by the feature Friday concert at Manitou Beach’s historic Danceland. Always an eclectic gathering of musicians, this year is no different.  

Friday evening features the renowned Brian Sklar and the Western Senators. The dance band, known far and wide for its polka and old-time dance numbers may very well reintroduce the form to another generation attuned to rock, hip hop, surf styles and other genres popular at the Salt Shaker. The Grammy nominated group have been going strong since the 70s, and 32 albums later, they’re about to get salty at Danceland.  

The Marmalads is a quartet of well-known Regina touring musicians who play in a variety of other bands and projects. Their throwback brand of instrumental surf music, harkens to the days of The Ventures, The Safaris, and the more recent Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet.  

The Friday evening set up would not be complete without The Garrys, featuring Lenore and her siblings surf laced, but utterly unique, haunting harmonies and energetic beats. The Garrys are happy to be back home to the salty shores after a stint overseas. 

“We’re just back from the UK on a tour in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, which was pretty wonderful. Each one of those countries is such a different flavour, and we really can’t wait to go back. But we’re excited to be back playing at home, especially playing at Danceland. It’s kind of unbeatable.”  

Of course, along with Friday’s entertainment, a host of other bands will be taking the stage at Mike’s Beach Bar and the Little Manitou Art Gallery throughout the weekend. While the full festival wristbands sold out, there’s still plenty of great music to be had by pulling up a blanket on the beach and partaking in the soulful sounds.  

“We’ve got a whole slate of bands from Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert on Saturday afternoon. A band from the Yukon called Diamond Dino will be playing with other bands at the Little Manitou Art Gallery.” 

Sunday features a free drive-in movie at the Salty Cinema. ‘The Goonies’ hits the screen at dusk. Also featured are a pancake breakfast on Saturday, a horseshoe tournament, and of course a chance to browse the businesses, galleries and restaurants that are regular mainstays of Manitou Beach.  

There are surf sounds, polka parties, rocking revelry – from lo-fi to hi-fi, Manitou Beach has it all on July 12-14 with the Salt Shaker. For the complete roster of events and musicians, check out the Salt Shaker Facebook page. Tickets for the Friday night show at Danceland are still available at  

Enjoy our full conversation with Lenore Maier.