The term “Celtic music” gets used to describe what is actually a variety of traditional music from a number of different countries. Who the Celts actually were is still a matter of academic dispute. They lived in Iron Age and Medieval Europe and spoke Celtic languages and had cultural similarities. They were reputed to have lived from the Hebrides in western Scotland and as far east as present-day Turkey. In early Modern Europe there were only a few nations that were Celtic and today the only places where Celtic languages are still spoken are the Hebrides, western Ireland, Wales and Brittany in western France. Today “Celtic Music” refers to the traditional music of Scotland, Ireland and Brittany. This year’s Traditional Music Festival features over ten groups who will be performing Celtic music.
Blackthorn (picture left) from Vancouver plays music that is rooted in the musical traditions of Scotland, Ireland and England as well as English and French Canada. From lively jigs and reels to songs with rousing choruses and heart-wrenching airs and ballads, they bring the music to life in a fresh way with their rich harmonies and intricate instrumentation, mixed with humour and fun.
Valerie Cohen and Brad Reynolds play Celtic music on fiddle and accordion and are regulars at musical jams in the Seattle area. Conchordance, a sextet from the coast play an array of instruments and can be heard providing music for contra dances around Vancouver. Barbara and David Denz from cambell River have been making music together for over thirty years. Their specialty is what they call eclectic Celtic music. Their music follows the Celts through their time across Europe and North America and the seas in between.
The Irish wakers from Vancouver perform lively traditional Irish tunes (reels, jigs, polkas, hornpipes) on uilleann pipes, guitar, fiddle and bodhran and harmonize on traditional shanties and other songs. The group plays at festivals, pubs, and fundraisers. Just Tyme from Kelowna consists of Eddie and Elizabeth Plotnikoff who play a variety of fiddle, old-time, country and Irish music and songs. Eddie recently celebrated the release of his new CD of original Celtic/blues fiddle tunes called “Ides of Tides” with its Cape Breton and Irish influences.
Triskele, also from Kelowna, features Myranda O’Byrne on vocals and lap-stringed dulcimer, guitar, bodhran and spoons, Michael Price on mandolin, guitar, harmonica and bodhran and Heather Fenwick on fiddle. Their performances include traditional Irish and Scottish ballads and airs, sea songs and lively reels and jigs. John Walsh from Vancouver performs on uilleann pipes, the characteristic national bagpipe of Ireland. Unlike the Highland bagpipes, which are loud and into which the player blows, uilleann pipes have a sweet sound, powered by air from a bellows under the player’s arm. John Walsh is a regular at Irish sessions in Vancouver. Peter Huron will accompany him on guitar.
The Festival of course begins with Celtic music played at the Friday evening dance by the Psycho Acoustic Ceili Band.
All of these groups and other musicians as well will converge onstage for the one-hour “Irish Session,” which is just one item on the rich menu of music available at the Princeton Traditional Music Festival. The Festival begins at 6:15 pm on Friday 14 August with an opening ceremony and a participatory dance on Veterans’ Way. On Saturday and Sunday there is music from 10 am until 6 pm right in downtown Princeton. It’s all free and everyone is welcome.
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