Since 2008

Princeton Traditional Music Festival

Festival Notes

July 3

As the summer progresses the Princeton Traditional Music Festival gets closer – only five weeks to go. Every year the Festival is fortunate to have new performers who come to share their talents with our community. Katie Green and Karen Hefford from Vancouver are new to the Festival this year.

This duo focuses primarily on the traditional folk music of North America. With the combined power of accordion, fiddle, guitar and two voices, they love tackling all types of traditional music. In July they released their latest album entitled “Settler’s Songs of the Pacific Northwest”. A culmination of research, original arrangements, and some original music, the album uses music as a medium to creatively tell one facet of the province's history. Most recently they embarked on a six-week tour across Canada, working as artists in residence on VIA rail and exploring the traditional folk music of Canada’s East coast.

The kind of music presented at the Traditional Music Festival consists of tunes and songs that have been passed on aurally, from one generation to the next. In the days before any kind of electronic devices people made their own music. They also told stories and these, like the songs, were passed on from aurally. Storytelling is almost a lost art. This year’s Festival is delighted to welcome Nan Gregory, a well-known BC storyteller, to share her talents. Nan has been a professional storyteller since 1984. She tells all kinds of stories, from traditional folk tales through history to her own personal adventures. She has told stories in schools, libraries, museums, theatres, art galleries, nursing homes, hospitals, parks, at conferences, and from the back of a horse-drawn sleigh. Her storytelling career has taken her across Canada, to the United States, Japan and, most recently, New Zealand. When she tells stories she feels connected to her audience and tries to make people feel good about themselves and those around them. When she teaches storytelling she tries to pass the same message to her students whether they be adults or children. Nan says that “As an oral storyteller you must love your audience, you must have a passion for your story and you must have a delight in performing.”

Nan Gregory is an award-winning children’s writer; her first children's book, How Smudge Came, draws on her storytelling techniques and on her knowledge of story forms from around the world. In her retirement Nan is studying singing jazz. She was recently arrested at the Kinder Morgan gates standing up for an honourable reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. Nan’s set at the Festival will be a light-hearted half hour of folk stories and other stories that feature singing.

Come and hear Katie Green and Karen Hefford and Nan Gregory as well as over 120 other new and old performers at this year’s Princeton Traditional Music Festival. The fun begins on Friday, August 17 at 6 pm with an opening ceremony on Veterans’ Square followed by a participatory street dance led by the lively Rattlebone Band. Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and 19 will see music from 10 am until 6 pm on three stages – one outside the Museum, one on Veterans’ Square and one in the Library. No admission is charged and all venues are wheelchair accessible.

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.

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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.


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


Funding for the Festival comes from donations, as well as grants from the Town of Princeton, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, the Province of British Columbia, and the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program of Canadian Heritage.

We thank you all!

Festival Audience



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