Since 2008

Princeton Traditional Music Festival

Festival Notes


Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.

Thus wrote William Congreve in 1697. But can music change the world? Over the centuries people have sung songs that express pain, dissatisfaction and hope for a better world.

On the Sunday afternoon of the Princeton Traditional Music festival a panel of singers will participate in a session entitled "Songs of Social Change." In it you may hear songs about the environment, songs about unions or songs about equality for women and other minorities. All the panellists are social activists who have lent their voices to various causes.

Linda Allen from Bellingham has been lending her voice and her song-making skills to progressive social causes for over fifty years. She brings commitment and passion to her singing.

Bob Bossin from Gabriola Island has been addressing social issues musically for decades. He was the founder of the group Stringband back in the "folk boom" of the early 1970's. Most recently Bob has produced a Youtube video about the Kinder Morgan pipeline entitled "Only one Bear in a Hundred Bites but they Don't Come in Order."

Linda Chobotuck from Burnaby comes from a family of social activists who had hootenannies in their living room. The protest songs she heard there inspired her to compose her own songs about the working life. Her most well-known song is "Canning Salmon," which she composed while working in a cannery. "Give the Boss His Due," another of her songs, expounds on employer/employee relations and speaks of the advantages gained by workers" struggles in the past.

Jim Edmondson from Vancouver has been singing and composing songs for peace marches, demonstrations and picket lines for decades. He and his partner Madeleine Delittle will be sharing a rich repertoire of songs for social change.

Tim Hall from Seattle is a singer of songs from hither and thither - from old-time to maritime to ragtime. He is an accomplished instrumentalist on guitar, banjo and concertina and a collector of songs that have a message.

Larry Hanks and Deborah Robins from Portland, Oregon combine clear lyrics and beautiful harmonies to get their message across.

Hard Row from Armstrong are the father and daughter team of Kaila and Kim Sinclair. In the folk tradition they sing old songs to tell today's stories.

These are the panellists for the "Songs of Social Change" workshop on Sunday, August 22. They will be joined over the weekend by over one hundred other performers who will be sharing their music over the weekend.

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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!