Since 2008

Princeton Traditional Music Festival

Festival Notes

Aug 1

The Princeton traditional Music Festival is just over a week away and organizers are getting excited about the upcoming celebrations. The Town of Princeton has declared the week leading up to the Festival as Culture and Heritage Week. A collaboration between the Traditional Music Society, the Princeton Museum and the Princeton Arts Council will be presenting a several days of cultural/heritage events during the week of August 13th to 16th.

On Tuesday August 14 Tim Hall will be giving a presentation called, “On the Ground: Years of Surveying.” Tim is a long-time Princeton resident who worked as a surveyor in the Princeton area during his working life. If your property boundaries are clearly delineated it is likely because of work that Tim has done. As you can imagine, decades of working outdoors as Tim has done, will result in some fascinating experiences. Encounters with wildlife both animal and human, struggles with inclement weather, temperamental employees as well as clashes with the government bureaucracy connected to surveying will result in some pretty interesting and funny stories. In his presentation Tim will share some of his wild and varied experiences as a surveyor.

On Wednesday August 15 George Elliott will be talking about the history of the Granite Creek Preservation Society. The Granite Creek townsite is just southwest of Coalmont on the west side of the Tulameen River where Granite Creek flows in from the west. Granite Creek was the first town in the Similkameen watershed and came into existence because of the Granite Creek gold rush in 1885. For some years it was one of the biggest towns on the British Columbia Mainland with a population in the thousands and plethora of saloons and hotels. Granite Creek even had a Chinatown, as many of the placer miners who came to the area were what were then known as “celestials.” Almost nothing is left of Granite Creek – a few crumbled buildings and a graveyard -- and in order to preserve its history and to keep the site from deteriorating even further due to weather and vandalism, a number of history-minded local people founded the Granite Creek Preservation Society. Thanks to their hard work the site is being improved, maintained and signposted so that visitors can get some notion of the bustling community that once thrived there.

In his presentation George will be talking about the history of Granite Creek and will describe the vital work that the Granite Creek Preservation Society has done and continues to do in order to preserve this exciting part of our local history. George’s passion for and knowledge of this topic as well as the power point visuals he likes to share will make this a fascinating and informative presentation.

On Thursday August 16 John Henry will be giving a presentation called “The BC Working Life.” John is a long-time Princeton resident whose rich and varied work life is like a portrait of the kinds of jobs that have maintained BC’s economy for decades. He has worked as a miner, a surveyor, a fire fighter, a real estate agent, a shop keeper, a park warden and other jobs both numerous and interesting. His strong interest in and familiarity with geography, flora and fauna allow him to connect the work he has done with our local landscape. The variety of jobs he has done as well as the many different types of people he has worked with will produce some interesting stories. Power point visuals will spice up what is sure to be a stimulating journey through a BC working life.

All three of these presentations -- August 14th, 15th and 16th -- take place at the Princeton Museum and begin at 7 pm.

Also taking place during Culture and Heritage Week is a musical performance in the gazebo on Veterans’ Square. At 7 pm on Thursday August 16th Highway 40, a local soft rock ensemble, will be performing an evening of music. So grab a coffee, meet up with friends and relax to the strains of Highway 40.

Then on Friday, August 17th at 6 pm, come to Veterans’ Square for the opening ceremony of the Princeton Traditional Music Festival; stay on for the participatory dance that follows immediately – no previous experience required. And on Saturday and Sunday August 18th and 19th come and hear music on Veterans’ Square, in the library and in front of the Museum from 10 am until 6 pm.

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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