Calgary celebrated the 55 years of the Salsa genre.
Expo Latino and the International Salsa Festival celebrated the 55th anniversary of the Salsa Genre

For three consecutive days, the City of Calgary hosted performances by key figures of the salsa genre. 
Oscar D’ Leon
Calgary, AB. (23 de august del 2019) — Last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Prince’s Island Park once again became the stage that receives great local and international artistic figures. 

Expo Latino Photo Gallery:

Expo Latino’s After-Parties Photo Gallery:

The Expo Latino Festival delivered thousands of free tickets to its fans during the free periods of 12:00-2:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Two new features were implemented in this edition of the festival: the VIP beer garden, which was located close to the stage and had special services for guests, and the inauguration of the cultural pavilions, being El Salvador the pioneer country in making a display.  

The park was also full of many local food vendors and liquor providers that offered a variety of meals and drinks. Many Latin food vendors were extremely successful and were sold out with their products. Overall, the park underwent many changes that made this year’s festival stand out. 

Like every year, around twenty local dance schools and artists gathered to present their shows. The cultural diversity this year was not only notable in the local and foreign attendees at the event, but also in its performers and MCs.  

MCing our event, we had Alberto Maucó (Miami TV Show host), Magali Cuvillier (French-Canadian influencer personality), Cristina Rosati (Calgarian-Italian Dancer), and Cesar Altamirano (Calgarian-Ecuadorian entertainer).
Magali Cuvillier, Alberto Maucó, Cristina Romana, Cesar Altamirano
On Friday the 16th, the festival opened with a parade that featured street performers and dancers from all over Latin America. Josephine Pon, Alberta’s Minister for Seniors and Housing, was our special guest and presented a speech on multiculturalism to start off the night. The performances that followed the parade and the special guest speech were local groups that represented Bolivia, Peru, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, and many other countries.  

That night had an explosive performance by the Robert Vilera Son band, that travelled from Miami to attend this special occasion. The director, Robert Vilera, is a Venezuelan percussionist with more than 30 years of musical career and has won countless awards including 27 Grammys in collaborations with well renowned Latin and Anglo-Saxon singers and musicians. 
Ismael Miranda
Vilera is listed by the union of American Musicians as an Extraordinary Talent Artist for 5 years. His band has a very personal style of salsa with modern implements of the urban genre. Mariela Parra, Artistic Director of Expo Latino, announced that Vilera Son will be the official band of the Expo Latino from this year on.  

The night closed off with the legendary “Niño Bonito de la Salsa” from Puerto Rico, Ismael Miranda, who received a 2019 White Hat Recognition and a Gold Hat Recognition. Throughout the 50 years of his musical career, Miranda has recorded dozens and dozens of hits and he performed many of them on stage.
Joseph Amado | Oliver Miguel
On Saturday the 17th, the whole day was full of diverse performances by Venezuelan, Salvadorean, Spanish, and Colombian groups. One of our headliners, Fiona Malena, dominated the stage with a passionate Flamenco performance. We were fortunate to have amazing weather with lots of sun and cloudless skies. Later in the day, the party was lit by celebrated the 55th anniversary of the Salsa Genre., a party-band that put thousands of fans to dance. Closing the night was Joseph Amado with his tribute to Héctor Lavoe, “Lavoe Forever”.  

Amado was one of this year’s big surprises as he gifted the audience with an extra world-class salsa performance. Closing the night, we had Los Adolescentes Orchestra, who sang all of their hits. Aside from being the most popular salsa band in Venezuela for more than two decades, their songs are well known to all salsa lovers throughout the world. Their unique style is characterized by the use of trombones and baritone saxophones for a deep bass character. 
Robert Vilera | Willie Panama
On Sunday the 18th, there more cultural presentations, including performances by Chilean and Mexican groups. Coming from Zacatecas, the Mariachi del Cobre captivated the audience with many iconic Mexican songs. Towards the end of the night, Willie Panamá, the King of Salsa Rap, gave an energetic performance and was awarded a White Hat.  

To close the festival, Oscar D’ Leon, who came from his Europe 2019 tour to Calgary to receive the White Hat Recognition, was also awarded the Gold Hat Recognition.  

The Gold Hat Recognition, the highest prize by the public, was implemented this year by the Expo Latino Festival and the International Salsa Festival. At the close of this ceremony, the “Sonero del Mundo” surprised the audience by singing one of his legendary songs, “Lloraras”, accompanied by the Robert Vilera Sonband, and the singers Joseph Amado and Willie Panama.
Ismael Miranda | Los Adolescentes
The president of the Expo Latino, Mariela Parra and the producer of the International Salsa Festival, Henry Salazar Moure, are already preparing more event calendars which will allow the City of Calgary an international projection and provide local artists with the opportunity to share the stage of the Hand of great artistic figures.
Prince’s Island Park
It was an emotional event, full of music and special guests, who joined this one-of-a-kind celebration for the Salsa Genre

It’s important to highlight that new this year, Expo Latino and the International Salsa Festival performed VIP After-Parties with some of the Stars each day at the official festival’s hotel: Hyatt Regency Calgary, which included media conferences and a red carpet. 

The president of the Expo Latino, Mariela Parra, and the producer of the International Salsa Festival, Henry Salazar Mouré, are already preparing a calendar of events which will give the City of Calgary an international projection and provide local artists with the opportunity to share the stage with performers from all around the world. 

“THANK YOU to all the volunteers, sponsors, vendors, food vendors, musicians, dancers, emcees, festival attendees, staff, crew, and all the supporters and everyone who put in many hours to help make the 23rd Expo Latino Festival a great success. We have nothing but Love and Gratitude!”, said Mariela Parra

Stay tuned for upcoming events and if you want to dance salsa — don’t stop living it! 

For more information visit: Instagram: @expolatino
Productions by: 
Expo Latino / A&G Productions USA
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