the 42nd Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival
by Leslie Ken Chu
The Vancouver Folk Music Festival celebrates its 42nd year
from July 19 to July 21, 2019. Held annually at beautiful Jericho Beach Park in
Vancouver, British Columbia, the Festival attracts 40,000 attendees over three
days and features 59 musical acts across five daytime stages and two evening
Fans of everything from old-time country, folk, and blues to
string music, pop, and rock will find plenty to enjoy at the Festival. The
artists come from coast to coast in Canada and all around the world.
Ontario's Midnight Shine mix roots, classic, and modern rock with touches of
Mushkegowuk Cree. With an electrifying voice and lyrics like silver arrowheads,
Basia Bulat has become one of Canada’s most conspicuous talents. The music of
Alberta's Corb Lund embraces his Western heritage, touching on cowboy themes
like rough-and-tumble tales of lawless frontier saloons and the somber
realities of running a modern family ranch. Tsatsu Stalqayu (Coastal Wolf Pack)
are a traditional Salish song-and-dance group consisting of over 50 members,
ranging in age from one to 60. They will perform in a workshop of traditional
and modern song and dance. Pablo Menéndez & Mezcla features veteran master
musicians with 30 years under their belts, plus some of the best young
musicians in Cuba today.
The Folk Festival would not be complete without workshops. Catch Our Song is
Strong, which gathers several amazing talents. Singer/multi-instrumentalist
Nano Stern is the voice of a newly politicized generation of Chileans. The
grandson of Jewish refugees fleeing persecution, he was shaped by musical
activists of the Nueva Canción movement. Saskatchewan's Rosie & the
Riveters play gritty, sultry, vintage-inspired folk anthems with titles like
"Gotta Get Paid" and "I Wanna Be King." The band invest 20%
of their merchandise profits in women’s businesses around the world. They've
helped women in Kenya expand their horticulture farms and women in Ecuador purchase
sewing machines for their tailoring businesses. The workshop also includes
talents like BC multi-instrumental folk group Illiteratty and Irish Mythen, who
brings trad-roots storytelling from Prince Edward Island.
Experience these plus 50 other acts at the 2019 VFMF. Discover artists playing
in country, zydeco, and blues traditions and even pushing boundaries with
Korean avant-garde string music.
Along with music, the VFMF will feature a host of other family friendly
activities. Treasures await Festival-goers at the artisan market and folk
bazaar. Grab a meal or snack from tasty food vendors or a refreshing drink from
the adult beverage garden. Take the little ones to the Little Folks Village, a
special kids area.
The VFMF is a registered charitable organization that prides itself on its
values of accessibility, inclusivity, diversity, and strong environmental
practices. Over 1,200 community volunteers help the Festival with everything
ranging from the box office, the beer garden, recycling, and cleaning up.
Single-day tickets and weekend passes for the 2019 VFMF are available
at www.thefestival.bc.ca. Children under 12 attend for free. Discounted tickets are
available for seniors, students, and youth.