Eighth Annual

Princeton Traditional Music Festival

Friday 14 to Sunday 16 August ~ 2015



Among the many performers at the Festival this year is a lively musical duo from Portland, Oregon called Shanghaied on the Willamette. Jonathan Lay and Gordy Euler perform songs “plundered from land and sea”, including traditional Celtic, English, and Old-Time American music, especially music of the sea and waterways. They accompany their vocal harmonies with a “fleet” of musical instruments. Jonathan, whose powerful and supple voice can do justice to a gentle ballad or a rough-and-tumble sea shanty, plays guitar, tin whistle, harmonica, and a rollicking bodhran. Gordy is a skilled vocalist and a multi-instrumentalist who easily switches among fiddle, mandola, tin whistle, guitar and banjo. This broad range of sounds allows them to craft exciting and varied arrangements and programs.

The duo’s name, Shanghaied on the Willamette (picture left), comes from the era of sailing ships. In those days it was a common waterfront practice to force men onto outward-bound vessels to serve as sailors. This abduction came to be called "shanghaiing" since Shanghai, China was a typically remote destination. From the mid-1800s and into the early 1900’s, Portland was one of the more notorious shanghaiing ports on the west coast, along with San Francisco, Astoria, and Port Townsend. The Willamette (rhymes with "dammit!") flows through the heart of Oregon’s farmland. Portland is located at the confluence of the Willamette and the Columbia Rivers.

Shanghaied on the Willamette’s first performance together was in the 1992 Work Songs of the Sea Festival in Portland and the duo was formed in the fall of that year. Since then they have performed in festivals, pubs, outdoor markets, and concerts in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

Shanghaied on the Willamette is just one of the many 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.

RDOS    Princeton    BC logo

The Festival

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.

The Scene

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.


The Place

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.

Become a Member

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. volunteers@princetontraditional.org


We encourage the sale of food, crafts, art, and more at the Festival. Please contact the Vendor Coordinator. vendors@princetontraditional.org


Funding for the Festival comes from donations, as well as grants from the Town of Princeton, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, and the Province of British Columbia.

We thank you all!

Festival Audience



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