This year’s Princeton Traditional Music Festival features an exciting lineup of new talent together with many familiar faces from past years.
Linda Chobotuck from Burnaby is one of the Festival’s new performers. Linda grew up in a singing family and resented being sent to bed when her parents held a hootenany. But this experience left her with an extensive introduction to folk music in both American and British traditions. In that milieu everyone she respected as a musician was also a songwriter, so from an early age she made tup songs. Linda is best known as a singer and writer of labour songs. Her most widely-known song, “Canning Salmon”, which she wrote while working in a cannery in Richmond, has been recorded by several different musical groups.
One group of familiar faces that the Festival is delighted to have back is the Vancouver Morris Men (picture). Morris dancing is a type of folk ritual and traditional dance from England going back over 500 years. It is traditionally danced only by men. After a two-year absence the Festival is delighted to have the Vancouver Morris Men back sharing their gyrations in the streets of Princeton. The group has been together for over thirty years. Go to any street festival in the Lower Mainland and you’ll probably see them dancing with bells ringing and handkerchiefs waving. They have also been known to dance on dark, rainy parking lots on Guy Fawkes Night. Enjoy their “guerrilla” street dancing this weekend.
Dancing, of course, requires music and morris dancing is danced only to live music. The Vancouver Morris Men dance to the strains of button accordion, fiddle or even a tuba. Dancers and musicians spell each other off so that the musicians get an opportunity to dance. This means that the Vancouver Morris Men is blessed with a wealth of fine musicians. Sometimes the musicians in the group, under the name of Rattlebone Band, play for country dances or even just for fun. Rattlebone Band will be performing at the Festival this year and they are as swift with their fingers as they are on their feet. Group singing is a central part of the morris dance tradition. Consequently Rattlebone Band’s performance will feature lots of singing along with the instrumentation
The Vancouver Morris Men and Rattlebone Band are just two of the performing groups appearing at this year's Festival, and the best thing about it is it’s free!
The reason it’s free is because it’s run entirely by volunteers and the performers are donating their talents. To make the festival a success the organizers will need lots of volunteers. If you’d like to get involved, please contact them. Even if you have only a couple of hours available your help would be most welcome. Give them a call and they’ll welcome you aboard.
Admission is FREE. Events are held on several stages in the centre of Princeton and begin on Friday evening with a public street dance and an Irish ceili band. Between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday there's a potpourri of concerts, workshops, and jams.
This event is primarily for and about the performers. Traditional Music lacks venue in the west, so players, singers, dancers, and fans are willing to travel in order to meet up. Professional performers are making personal sacrifices in order to be here, but the many people who come just to listen attests to the unique value of this event. For those new to the Festival please have a look at the Our Story page to learn about how it started and what Traditional Music means to us.
Nestled among rolling hills of ranchland, the little town of Princeton is the gateway to the Okanagan. About 300 km from Vancouver, it is the first town after Hope along the Crowsnest Highway. Summers are hot and dry - just what we like for our festival which takes place mostly in the streets.
In addition to the sponsors, this festival is primarily supported by hard work and artists who perform for free. However, we aim to pay for artist's meals and at least part of their transportation costs. Please consider contributing in order to help maintain this important cultural event.
You can support the continuing operation of the festival by buying a $10 membership.
Every year we need a stage crew, MCs, office staff, and many other important helpers. If you want to be part of this exciting event in this way, please let us know. firstname.lastname@example.org
We encourage the sale of food, crafts, art, and more at the Festival. Please contact the Vendor Coordinator. email@example.com