Since 2008

Princeton Traditional Music Festival

Festival Notes

July 31


This year’s Princeton Traditional Music Festival features a rich diet of Irish Music. Six performing groups will be offering music from the Emerald Isle.

“Clare”ity is a duo that specializes in Irish music, particularly that of County Clare. Fiddler Randy Vic has been immersed in the Irish Music community in Vancouver for many years now. Becky Deryckx who plays the flute, the whistle and concertina, lives in Mount Vernon, Washington. She began playing Irish music in what can only be described as a ‘mid-life crisis’. She and Randy met at an annual gathering of Irish musicians about a decade ago. They discovered a mutually compatible playing style and a joy in the music that has led to a great many happy hours together.

John Gothard is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who has family roots in Ireland. He has been performing his own brand of traditional music for many years. Born and raised in Liverpool, England, John’s style is a mixture of songs he first heard and learned there, together with other songs he acquired after making his own journey to a new life in Canada. John is well-known in singing circles throughout Vancouver and Seattle. During his performance, you will hear traditional songs from the British Isles, many with Irish connections, performed with voice, guitar and English concertina.

The Irish Wakers from Vancouver play lively traditional Irish songs, shanties, and tunes on uilleann pipes, guitar, fiddle and bodhran. The group performs at traditional sessions, pubs, Celtic festivals, and fundraisers.

Patrick Spearing, originally from Northern Ireland, began singing at the Bristol Troubadour Club in Britain in 1967. He came to Canada in 1969 and sang in Irish pubs around the US and Canada and ended up at the Vancouver Folk Song Circle. He performed with Jon Bartlett at the Medieval Inn in 1971, followed by a singing residency at the Blarney Stone in Gastown. Over the past number of years he has participated in folk and Celtic gatherings in Victoria before moving “off the grid” near Lumby.

Harry and Jenny O’Neil perform traditional music (jigs, reels, hornpipes, etc) from Ireland and the British Isles together with songs. Harry played button accordion in a ceili band for over thirty years in England. Now retired, Harry & Jenny divide their time between Ireland, Spain and BC, and have played in sessions, concerts and festivals in Spain, Ireland, the US and Canada.

Coming & Going, which consists of Michael Burnyeat and Don Davidson, plays a variety of fiddle tunes, from Canadian classics, to Irish and Scottish tunes and beyond. Michael Burnyeat is the 2017 BC Provincial Fiddle Champion and a popular young fiddler in the Vancouver area. He leads the Jericho Folk Club jam sessions. Don Davidson is a longstanding musician in the Vancouver folk community.

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.

Tuba bell

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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