32nd Annual Mission Folk Music Festival is coming

The 32nd Annual Mission Folk Music Festival returns to the Fraser River Heritage Park in Mission, BC, July 26-28. 

The 2019 festival features an exceptional and diverse roster of artists from bringing sounds from around the world. From Celtic to Country, Fiddles to Folk, over 20 acts are slated to perform at both daytime stages and on the evening main stage in the Park overlooking the Fraser River, just east of Mission.

The Mission Folk Music Festival’s Artistic Director, Michelle Demers Shaevitz has put together a weekend that includes both familiar names, like headliners Michelle Wright, Élage Diouf, John Welsh & Los Valientes, plus scores of exciting new discoveries. Community Voices join the festivities, including a participatory Festival Choir.

The festival kicks off Friday night July 26 with a pay-what-you-can main stage concert featuring a selection of festival artists. Saturday and Sunday (July 27 and 28) sees music on three daytime stages and on the evening main stage. For the full festival artist line-up check out the online setlists.

In addition to the great music, there are both Food and Artisan Marketplace with a license bistro, and a Wee Folks areawith entertainment and activities aimed at the under 12s.

Single-Day, Weekend Passes or Camping Tickets for the Mission Folk Music Festival, are on sale online at missionfolkmusicfestival.ca or in person at Shoppers Drug Mart in the Mission Hills Plaza, 32530 Lougheed Hwy.  The Festival July 26 – 28, 2019 at the Fraser River Heritage Park in Mission, BC.

5 Spring Break Activities for Everyone

Spring Break brings a dilemma for parents to play vacations or activities to keep their youngsters entertained during the school break. Those of us without children can take advantage of many special events during the period as well. While many attractions and activities get filled with children and families, spring break only events can provide some extra activities for everyone.

Here’s 5 limited-time only activities that everyone can enjoy;

Celtic Village & Street Market: Free, fun-filled Celtic Fest Village will bring a touch of the Emerald Isle to Robson Square and Robson Street on March 17-18

Whitecaps FC Irish Day Celebrations: Saturday March 18th join Whitecaps fans at Celtic Village for a noon walk down Robson Street to BC Place where more Celtic entertainment awaits at Terry Fox Plaza then watch your Whitecaps FC host cross-country rivals Toronto FC

Playdome: The annual event returns to BC Place, Wednesday March 22 to Sunday March 26, filling the stadium with rides and carnival games.

Healthy Family Expo: Sunday March 26 finds Vancouver Convention Centre East (Canada Place) filled with hundreds of exhibitors with ideas and products for healthy, sustainable and active living

BC Sports Hall Of Fame All Access: Join the BC Sports Hall Of Fame on an All-Access Experience of BC Place Stadium get underway during spring break continuing through April


CelticFest 2016 is coming

celticfestFrom March 10 to 17, Vancouver will be even greener as the 12th Annual CelticFest brings the Emerald Isle to the city.

While Ireland is often most associated with the Celtic culture, CelticFest celebrates culture from all of the Celtic Nations; Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Cornwall & Brittany.  The Celts shares their culture with the parts of the new world too, with Canada having a strong connection in the Maritimes.
Bringing the Celtic Arts & Culture to the West Coast, CelticFest features, theatre, dance, music and more. Highlighted by the Celtic Village, music stages, entertainment and food stalls, March 12 – 13 on Granville Street and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, along Howe Street from Davie to West Georgia Streets on Sunday March 13th

Some of the other highlights of CelticFest include;

  • Moll, a comedy play, presented by Standing Room Only Theatre March 10, 12, & 14 at St James Hall
  • Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir – Friday March 11 at St Andrew’s Wesley Church
  • CelticFest Ceilidh, music, dance and drinks – Saturday March 12 at The Imperial
  • Sharon Shannon, Irish accordionist & fiddler – Sunday March 13 at St James Hall
  • Whiskey Tastings at Doolin’s Irish Pub – Whiskey 101 – Monday March 14, Whiskey 201 – Tuesday March 15, Advanced Whisky Tasting – Wednesday March 16

The week is packed with many more free and ticketed events, to see all that CelticFest has to offer, check out celticfestvancouver.com

Harrison Festival Of The Arts Kicks-Off

A summer heatwave isn’t the only thing heating up Harrison Hot Springs this week, the 36th Annual Harrison Festival Of The Arts is now underway.  Bringing hundreds of visitors to the village to watch world class local and international talent, the “best little fest in the west’ lives up to its title.
Friday night, the Festival kicked off with a preview “Straight From The Valley” concert at the Memorial Hall, a few hundred patrons filled the hall for a taste of what was to come during the 10 day festival.  The Langley Ukulele Ensemble, UFV Bhangra and The Sabir Sisters showed off the diverse talent that the Fraser Valley has to offer.
LangleyUkuleleEnsemble_2014-07-11, 20 41 51The Langley Ukulele Ensemble is an entertaining collection of 2 dozen youth, part of a wider organization of ukulele bands, who played a selection of classic rock like Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Queen, Hawaiian and traditional Portuguese seafarers standards. Ensemble director, Paul, kept the group on beat and kept the audience entertained with witty jokes and stories throughout the performance. While the show was mostly ensemble instrumental, a few of the youth performed solos and sang some of the traditional songs. For a youth group, Langley Ukulele Ensemble has a mature stage presence and put on a very professional set, a great way to kick off the night.
UFVBhangra_2014-07-11, 21 31 12After a short break the next act was quite different but equally entertaining, UFV Bhangra combines members of University Of Fraser Valley and Bhangra Beat Academy.  From start to finish, the troupe’s high energy dancing and vibrant costumes kept the audience mesmerized.  The set was broken into three parts seeing the male members, female members and the whole group performing.  The combination of traditional Bhangra and current hip hop beats kept the show lively and the non-stop dancing was an amazing show of vitality to keep the audience’s feet tapping.
SabirSisters_2014-07-11, 22 03 17Wrapping up the evening, The Sabir Sisters, a fiddling family originally from the Fraser Valley but now living around the world, reunited for the Festival. The quartet of sisters were backed up onstage by brother-in-law, Mark Sullivan on guitar and John Ford on bodrhan (drum). Sullivan, also a champion fiddler, performed on his own fiddle with Festival organizer Andy Hillhouse on guitar for a couple of tunes mid-set.  Fiddling and singing throughout, The Sister’s selection of traditional celtic and self-penned tunes combined upbeat foot stomping tunes, with classical influenced ballads wound up the evening.
The evening was a diverse teaser for the Festival to come and from the enthusiasm of the audience, they were looking forward to what lay ahead.

The Harrison Festival of the Arts runs until July 20th in Harrison Hot Springs, BC.  Daytime concerts on The Music On The Beach stage, Arts Market and Art Exhibition are free but a $2 daily Festival button shows your support for the Festival.  General admission tickets to the Evenings In The Hall concerts are $25.

Spirit Of The West celebrate 30 years

Spirit Of The West – Commodore Ballroom – March 16, 2013

The perfect performers for a Saint Patrick’s Day weekend, Vancouver legends Spirit Of The West took to the Commodore Ballroom stage before a sold out audience. The boisterous St Paddy’s crowd were ready to party into the night and they got a rollicking sing-along good time. The band, lead by John Mann and Geoffrey Kelly, were in a familiar place as they mentioned this was their 36th performance at Commodore Ballroom and by the sounds of the crowd they were more than familiar with the folk icons. After 30 years of performing together, their banter and stage presence is second nature.  After all these years and shows surely many of the audience members were repeat customers and knew what they were to expect, for some it was a return to their youth or college days. The audience’s energy was fed and perhaps outmatched by the amazingly energetic lead-singer as John Mann lept and danced around the stage. It was indeed a fun time as the Commodore Ballroom’s famous sprung dancefloor got a good workout as everyone bounced and danced the night away.  I’m sure most of them didn’t want the evening to end.

CelticFest Vancouver 2013

Can you hear the pipes? Starting this weekend you should be hearing a lot of pipes and Irish jigs around Vancouver as Celtic Fest gets under way.
The celebration of Celtic heritage kicks off this Saturday March 9th with free entertainment and family fun at The Village at False Creek (Olympic Village) from noon until 5pm. Then follow up with some laughs at Vancouver Fanclub for Celtic Comedy Night featuring Irish comedian Brendan Grace, from 7pm.
Celtic_parade-map-2013Entertainment and activities take over the entire week leading up to Mahoney & Son’s Celtic Village taking over Granville Street between Robson & Nelson. Taking over the street March 16 & 17th, Celtic Village features a Street Market, food vendors, Tom Lee Music Workshops, concerts on the Doolin’s Stage and more fun at Kid’s Celtic Corner. The weekend culminates in the 9th Annual Celtic Fest Parade on March 17th at 11am.  Pipers and Drummers lead the charge as Celtic dancers, musicians, stilt walkers, vintage cars, drill teams and more will wind their way from the corner of Howe & Davie Streets along Howe to Georgia Street, wrapping up at Georgia and Granville Streets.


Celtic Festival Vancouver runs March 9 – 17, 2013.
For information on the full event schedule visit celticfestvancouver.com
While many events are free,  tickets are required for some comedy and concert events

CelticFest Vancouver

Coinciding with Saint Patrick’s Day the annual celebration of Celtic heritage, CelticFest Vancouver brings Celts from all country’s, not just Ireland, to downtown Vancouver. With a wide range of ticketed and free events on offer throughout the downtown core from March 16 – 20, 2011 CelticFest is Western Canada’s largest Celtic Festival.
Dozens of concerts, dances, pub & restaurant specials happen all over the city most of them are free to the public. Check out the schedule to find something nearby and of interest to you!  The Celtic Village & Street Market runs Saturday and Sunday on Granville Street with entertainment, food and vendors sharing the Celtic experience.
The Highlight of the weekend is the CelticFest Parade on Sunday March 20th.  Running from Howe & Drake Streets north to Georgia, ending at Granville & Georgia near the Celtic Village.
Even if there isn’t any Celt in you, head out and get your jig on!