Squamish Valley Music Festival 2015

Squamish2015_IMG_5010The 6th edition of the Squamish Valley Music Festival has come to a close with record attendance coming to see 4 days of great music. Across the Festival’s five venues, top talents met EDM and played alongside up-and-coming acts and local artists.

With Saturday and Sunday, headlined by Drake and Mumford & Sons respectively, sold out the festival reached a new record of 118,000 attendance.  Adding in Friday’s headliner, Sam Smith and the Thursday pre-fest shows music fans were spoiled for choice, the only drawback was deciding who to see.  Squamish2015_IMG_5026

The Festival’s five music venues spread around the scenic 97 acre grounds can be a fair distance between and some of the set times overlapped, making it difficult to get between stages.
Squamish2015_IMG_5007Hundreds of vendors and supporters’ activations filled the site with activity so guests could always find something to do and see no matter where they were on-site.   New this year was the trial open-field liquor policy at the Tantalus Stage, festival-goers 19+ could take their alcoholic beverages beyond the confines of the beer garden and into the Tantalus field, until 9pm.

Squamish2015_IMG_9793Based on the success of this year’s event, organizers of the Squamish Valley Music Festival are pleased to announce next year’s Festival will take place August 5th, 6th and 7th, 2016.    Keep watch on SquamishFestival.com to stay up to date on next year’s festival. Check out what you missed this year on Instagram and Twitter @squamishfest #SVMF, and on Facebook & YouTube.

Starsailor and Embrace wrap up NA tour

British rock acts Starsailor and Embrace just wrapped up their co-headlining North American tour this weekend.  Both bands made a splash in the early 2000s but after a few quiet year are back on the road, they made a recent stop at The Imperial in Vancouver. Starsailor was on hiatus from 2009 until 2014 but the regrouped quartet sounded good as ever. Embrace’s last album was in 2006 and the band spent the last few years on solo endeavours their latest group project was a self-titled 2014 album.

At their Vancouver show, the bands played about an hour long set each, covering their hits and a couple of new tracks.  The Imperial is a great small venue and the perfect spot for an intimate show for the bands to reconnect with fans.   Starsailor took the stage first and after their enthusiastically received set the band members met with fans in the lobby, taking photos and autographs until it was time for the Embrace set.  Embrace’s set welcomed some very enthusiastic ex-pat fans who’s boisterous energy filled the room as the band kept the tempo up to encourage the dancing fans.

If you managed to catch the co-headlining tour, you were lucky but keep your eyes and ears out for more from Starsailor and Embrace.

Picks of the Week – May 27, 2015

Wrapping up May just brings us that much closer to Summer. The signs are there as the entertainment season heats up with these picks of the week;

Kids: All week long, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival fills Granville Island with fun and entertainment that’s great for kids of all ages and their family’s

Gig: Singer-Songwriter, Ryan Adams plays the Orpheum Theatre tonight.

Fashion: The Vancouver International Film Festival presents Style In Film screens two festival faves; Dior & I, and Iris on various nights, through the weekend

Club: It’s time to go back to SCHOOL at Celebrities Thursday night, where DJs Sollors and Dreaddy will bring the beats

Beer: Friday night, Vancouver Craft Beer Festival kicks off a week of beer events all over town until June 7th

Alt: Canadian quintet, Walk Off The Earth, bring their alt-ska-pop to the Vogue Theatre on Friday night

Rock: Bif Naked headlines a night of great music on Friday night at the Rickshaw Theatre

Folk: The Barr Brothers bring their folk to the Imperial Friday night

Electro: Morgan Page fills Celebrities Nightclub with electronic music and revellers on Friday night

Stage: It’s the final week for the entertaining, In The Heights on stage at The Arts Club Theatre, Stanley Industrial Alliance stage.

Balls: Check out the new turf at BC Place and catch Whitecaps FC take on Real Salt Lake on Saturday, before the team heads out on an extended road tour.

Dot: Sunday afternoon The Junction hosts The Missing Dot Party, a charitable extravaganza with music from DJ Del Stamp and Empress XLIV Babette Co-Taylor entertaining.

Drag: The final Sunday of the month can be a drag when Katy Hairy and Evita Versace Host Kitsilano’s only drag show, The Sweet & Sticky Show at Displace Hashery

Retro: Here We Go Again, but you won’t be on your own when Whitesnake fills the Hard Rock Casino Theatre on Sunday night

Picks of the Week – February 25, 2015

As we come to the end of February, we find some entertaining picks of the week to lead us into March;

portsidepubBeer: Hit up the Portside Pub tomorrow night for Meat, Beer and Cheese Night Vol 2, presented by Benton Brothers, Cheese Mongers, Parallel 49 & D Original Sausage Company, $20 gets a flight of 4 beer plus meat and cheese samples.

Sing: Irish singer-songwriter John Vincent Morrow plays the Vogue Theatre Thursday night.

Fest: The Talking Stick Festival continues at various location around the City until Sunday.

Dance: Now that Jane Smokr has been crowned Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar, Liberace Thursdays at Celebrities returns to previously scheduled fun and entertainment.

Band: Join fan favourite, The Sam Roberts Band for two nights at the Commodore Ballroom on Friday and Saturday evening.

Retro: #HDFriday starts of with Gingerbear Todd playing the retro video you love on Flashback Fridays from 9-11pm

Tight: Head up to #HDFridays for BootyBox Tight & White Party with DJ Jay Douglas and host Alma Bitches Friday from 11pm

Stage: The Cultch historic theatre welcomes Cadre, a new work presented by the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and Richard Jordan Productions Ltd with the Market Theatre of Johannesburg

Gigs: Acclaimed Canadian bands Stars and Hey Rossetta! play a pair of shows at Vogue Theatre on Friday and Saturday night.

Arts: Chutzpah Festival brings dance, theatre, music and comedy to venues throughout Vancouver until March 15.

Upstairs: Monroe: Saturdays at Heaven’s Door has no cover all night for your evening’s fun.

Pucks: The Vancouver Canucks return from the road to host the St Louis Blues at Rogers Arena on Sunday night.


Current Swell fills the Commodore

Current Swell – Commodore Ballroom – December 28, 2014

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Jon & Roy

It was Victoria night at the Commodore Ballroom on the weekend when indie rockers Current Swell brought a full house to Vancouver.

Kicking off the night was fellow Victoria band Jon & Roy, the night was a welcome post-Christmas night out for most of the crowd judging by the energy in the room.  The always entertaining Jon & Roy brought the crowd out early to heat up the room on a chilly night. By the time they finished their short opening set, the audience was well lubricated for the main event.

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Current Swell

Once Current Swell took the stage the swell of excitement rushed the floor as the fans welcomed the (nearly) local boys.  As singing and smoke filled the air the vibe in the room had a festive feeling of good cheer.   The broadly diverse audience were all feeling the cheer as young and old dances, sang and cheered throughout the night.

Current Swell is next onstage January 16 in Kelowna follow them on Facebook and Twitter.  Jon & Roy rang in the New Year on Saltspring Island watch for their next gig on Facebook and Twitter too

Phillips Backyard Weekender 2014

Philips WeekenderAtomique Productions and Phillips Brewery have once again teamed up for the Phillips Backyard Weekender, three great days of music. While the loading dock and parking lot of a brewery doesn’t seem like the first place one would think of for a concert venue but the Phillips Brewery backlot in Victoria it is a great location.

The Phillips Backyard Weekender, expanded to 3 days this year, packs each evening with entertaining music and food. Friday and Saturday the fun runs 5pm – 10pm then on Sunday, start your funday at 3pm until 8pm. Food Trucks; Tacofino Victoria, Pizzeria Prima Strada, L’Authentique Poutine and Burger and Smokey Joe’s will be on site to handle your sustenance while the Phillips Brewery Beer on Tap Truck will be serving up the fresh suds.

The Weekender line-up is

Friday, July 25th
The Original Wailers with special guests Marcia Griffiths & Judy Mowatt, Five Alarm Funk, Mindil Beach and Kim Churchill

Saturday, July 26th
HOLY F**K • The Funk Hunters, Delhi 2 Dublin and Pigeon Hole

Sunday, July 27th
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Shad, The Budos Band and Jay Malinowski & the Deadcoast

To enjoy the great music, food and beer, grab a flight or ferry and head over to Victoria this weekend for the Phillips Backyard Weekend

Single Day Tickets for the Phillips Backyard Weekender are $34.75 & Three-Day passes are $89.50, available online at TicketWeb



A Pete Seeger Tribute Concert – March 15

PETESEEGERFLYERRecently the world lost a pioneer of folk music and activism, Pete Seeger, long an inspiration to generations’ worth of musicians and activists, including many BC musicians and songwriters. Seeger performed benefit concerts in Vancouver several times, including a well-remembered summer concert at Malkin Bowl, benefiting those evicted from the Downtown Eastside prior to EXPO ’86. The show had Pete performing with a number of Vancouver artists and activist of the day.

In memory of that performance and Seegars decades-long career, the Rickshaw Theatre will play host to a tribute to the artist on Saturday, March 15. Eight popular Vancouver acts will take the stage and sing the songs of Pete Seeger, as well as their own songs influenced by the troubadour. The amazing vocal harmonies of The Sojourners and Company B, the haunting stories of Ben Rogers, the poignant politics of CR Avery, and the contributions of several other of the city’s own troubadours. The house band features Barry Mirochnick(Neko Case, Whitehorse), Paul Rigby (Neko Case, Kathryn Calder), and Rob Becker (Barney Bentall, The Sojourners).

For local presenters Khari McClelland and Anna Hilliar, it felt fitting to rally together this selection of Vancouver’s folk singers and activists, and in the spirit of Pete Seeger, use proceeds to contribute to ongoing music education programming through the Power of Hope and Metaphor facilitators, benefiting the Burnaby Youth Custody Services Centre.

Pete Seeger Tribute Concert takes place Saturday March 15th, 2014 at The Rickshaw Theatre, 254 E Hastings Street. Doors 8pm, Show 8:30pm
Tickets: $15 at the door / $10 advance – available at Highlife, RedCat Records, Zulu Records, Neptoon Records and online at NorthernTickets.com
Proceeds donated to Power of Hope and Metaphor