In 1995, capitalizing on his deep passion for the blues, Swiss native Silvio Caldelari established the Blues Bar music club in Sierre, Switzerland, a small mountain town known as "the city of the sun." Fourteen years later, in 2009, Caldelari and a group of dedicated volunteers further strengthened the blues scene in Switzerland by founding the Swiss Blues Society. After affiliating their new organization with The Blues Foundation, Caldelari's group boldly decided to launch the first-ever Sierre Blues Festival. Since that inaugural event, the three-day festival has steadily grown in popularity, and today hosts internationally renowned artists such as the Mannish Boys, Ana Popovic, Playing for Change, Shemekia Copeland, Marco Pandolfi, Janiva Magness, Eric Gales, and Shakura S'Aida. In 2022, the 13th version of the Sierre Blues Festival attracted an estimated 11,000 fans by featuring popular Italian headliner Zucchero, along with regional and international talent such as Sara Zacarelli's Nu Band, Guts, One Rusty Band, Nigeria's Justina Lee Brown, and Emir Kosturicas & The No Smoking Orchestra. North America was well represented with a lineup that included Larkin Poe, Mike Zito & Kat Riggins, and Sugaray Rayford. Every year, the Sierre Blues Kids share the stage with blues luminaries, building on the festival's Blues in the Schools program launched by Michael "Hawkeye" Herman and other notable blues educators. Through the years, Caldelari has continued to work with European blues leaders to nurture the European Blues Union and its partnership with The Blues Foundation. As a result of these successes and Caldelari's energy, passion, and collaborative spirit, the Sierre Blues Festival has attracted a wide range of partners and sponsors, including Canton of Valais, the City of Sierre, Loterie Romande, the La Nouvelliste newspaper, Rhone FM radio, and a constellation of more than sixty national and local businesses, ranging from hotels and nightclubs to major Swiss and European companies. In 2020, the European Blues Union honored Caldelari with a "Blues Behind the Scenes Award," recognizing his decades of work promoting and celebrating blues music in Switzerland. Given the longevity and ongoing success of the Sierre Blues Festival and the event's importance to the larger European blues scene, the festival is most certainly worthy of a 2023 Keeping the Blues Alive Award.