Halifax is heating up for the next few weeks as the annual Atlantic Flamenco Festival infuses the city with Latin music and dance.

Artistic director Maria Osende says the festival is constantly growing in content, attendance and venue sizes.

“Flamenco seems to fascinate people around the world … It appeals a lot to human emotions that we all have and it’s very powerful and very expressive,” said Osende.

The Atlantic Flamenco Festival is Canada’s first international festival of this sort and Osende said she thinks it’s a great way for people to get a taste of southern Spanish culture.

“It works like a little escape, it’s like a mini-holiday for people who attend this event because they feel like they’re going somewhere else,” she said.

High-energy concerts, free shows, talks and classes fill the festival's schedule.

The fiesta kicks off Saturday, with a night of performances that includes Lee Park’s seven-piece ensemble “Libertango” and a salsa dance party.