Since 2008

Princeton Traditional Music Festival

Festival Notes

July 10

The Princeton Traditional Music Festival, which begins on Friday August 17, tries to present music that would have been heard in the living rooms, parish halls and work places of our forebears. One of the groups performing at this year’s Festival carries on that tradition of homemade music-making.

The Posse is a group of six musicians who live in Knutsford, a tiny rural community located seven kilometres south of Kamloops on Highway 5A. It consists of a few farms and houses, and a campground. The group describes itself as retired elders who enjoy playing music of many different genres. The Posse is a ukulele-based group with some other instruments – guitar, bass guitar, cajon, harmonica, banjolele. They play music at seniors’ homes in the Kamloops area, and have performed at coffee houses, farmers’ markets and community fairs. All are members of the Ukulele Orchestra of Kamloops. For this festival they have developed a set of songs from their own families’ roots.

The home grown music-making tradition is being carried on by Festival regulars, Kim and Kaila Sinclair. Calling themselves Hard Row, this father and daughter duo love sharing the richness of traditional song. Throughout the year they perform separately and unite whenever they can to perform. In the folk tradition they connect the songs of history to tell today’s stories. The songs they explore have survived through time, sometimes changing rhythm and often morphing lyrics to become music relevant for today.

New to this year’s Festival and traveling all the way from California is the duo Jaeger and Reid. Judi Jaeger and Bob Reid combine Jaeger’s Canadian background, striking vocals and intelligent songs with Reid’s California upbringing and his own engaging original tunes. Their artful blending of guitars, ukulele and rich harmonies delivers an intimate performance of deeply meaningful music. KBCS (Bellevue, WA) Radio host Mary Anne (“Auntamama”) Moorman calls their music “smart with heart”.

The group that will travel the farthest to perform at this year’s Traditional Music Festival is Bob and Lew, who come all the way from Auckland, New Zealand. Bob Large has performed here several times and enjoyed it so much that he inspired his singing partner, Lew Black, to join him this year. Bob and Lew have lived most of their lives in Auckland - one from South Africa and one from Liverpool, UK. They have sung together in The Maritime Crew for 23 years and they are resident shanty singers at the Maritime Museum in Auckland. They have a fund of songs from New Zealand, Australia, UK and South Africa – songs of the land, the sea, the people and the history of our countries. Festival organizers are honoured that Bob and Lew like the Traditional Music Festival so much that they are spending their own time and money to share their music in Princeton.

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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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