The 34th annual Festival du Bois is returning to Maillardville in Coquitlam this weekend, March 24-26, with a brilliant line-up of artists and performers under the tents at Mackin Park.
Rooted in the French-Canadian community and heritage of the Maillardville area in Coquitlam, Festival du Bois is the largest and most popular celebration of francophone music and culture in BC. The festival presents some of the finest Québécois, francophone, and roots music artists in the Grand Chapiteau (Big Tent), Children’s Tent (Petit Chapiteau) and on the workshop stage in nearby Mackin House. On-site in Mackin Park, audiences of all ages also enjoy exhibits, participatory activities, food truck fare including French Canada cuisine traditionnelle – tourtière, maple taffy on snow, poutine, and other delicacies, and unique shopping. Nearby Mackin House hosts a range of fun and informative workshops.
The festival opens on Friday night, with a contra dance in the Grand Chapiteau (Big Tent) in Mackin Park. The folk dancing event is now a festival tradition as patrons dance to the music of Vancouver’s premiere contradance group, The Sybaritic String Band, with caller, Sherry Nevins. Opening the evening is an exciting double bill featuring Devon and Louis Léger (La Famille Léger) and the music and foot rhythms of Podorythmie.
On Saturday and Sunday, the festival fills its stages with outstanding music artists from BC, Manitoba, Washington State, and Quebec: Les Grands Hurleurs, the “great howlers”, from Quebec; Senegalese soul-rocker, Élage Diouf; Brazilian dance music from Forró do Cana; BC’s own Métis Jiggers; and, celebrating 50 years, Maillardville-based francophone choir, Les Échos du Pacifique; to name just a few of the performers gracing the concert Main Stage and dance floor of the Grand Chapiteau
Festival du Bois partners with the North Fraser Métis Association to present, The Métis Village Experience. The festival feature invites festival-goers to enjoy, explore, learn and appreciate the rich Métis history, art, perspectives and language. Musicians, dancers, storytellers, craftspeople, artisans and others share their culture and traditions.
In the Children’s Tent (Petit Chapiteau), kids and families will get to experience Madame Diva, Will & Seeka, Seeka Sings, Robin Layne’s A Journey Into Rhythm, and Véronique’s Conte d’Afrique avec Mulungie.
Watch for more surprises around the festival site, too, with roving characters and fun activities for all ages.
This year’s Festival du Bois also celebrates Société francophone de Maillardville’s 40th anniversary. The Société is the festival’s presenting organization.
The Friday night Contradance, on March 24 is FREE but reservations required. General Admission, single day passes for the weekend’s entertainment range from $10 for children to $75 for family passes (plus fees & tax) find what’s right for you online.
Sunday, at the park buy an add-on ticket to enjoy a pancake breakfast for $10 (adults) & $5 (children)
With too much entertainment and activities to mention, visit festivaldubois.ca to find the entire line up of artists, details and tickets.