Since 2008

Princeton Traditional Music Festival

Festival Notes

Larry Hanks and Deborah Robbins

The Princeton Traditional Music Festival has been presented by the Princeton Traditional Music Society since its inception. This year we are delighted to be partnering with the Princeton Community Arts Council who will be the co-presenters of the festival. Their organizational skills as well as their commitment to fostering the arts in our community will be a huge boon to the festival. We look forward to the ongoing partnership of our two organizations.

During the Princeton Traditional Music Festival the town is crawling with musicians. Not all of these musicians are performing in a scheduled slot. In order to give them a chance to "strut their stuff" there will be two open stage sessions at the Festival, one on Saturday afternoon and one on Sunday afternoon The open stage sessions are an opportunity for these fine musicians to share their music and for audiences to hear what they have to offer. It could also be a very exciting, eclectic experience as during the session you may hear anything from the familiar banjos and fiddles to songs from other traditions or instruments you've never heard of. So sit back and enjoy music from the many musicians who are not on the official program but who have nonetheless come to participate in this weekend's musical feast.

The Traditional Music Festival is delighted to welcome back folksinger Larry Hanks from Portland Oregon. He and his wife and musical partner, Deborah Robins perform old American songs with stringed accompaniment and eclectic harmonies. Their repertoire includes songs of the American west, work songs, blues and sentimental songs of times past.

Known as a folksingers folksinger, Hanks has been performing to delighted festival and club audiences for over fifty years with his rough-hewn bass vocals, tastefully spare six and twelve-string guitar accompaniments, and virtuosic Jew's Harp playing.  Listeners respond warmly to his easy, unpretentious mannerisms, and a loving approach to the repertoire he painstakingly selects to reflect the many facets of the human condition.  Larry Hanks brings charm, depth, and a heart full of tenderness to every song he sings. Larry Hanks is known as an "American Treasure," and is the composer of the beloved "Apple Tree Picker's Reel." Larry and Deborah have CDs for sale at the festival.

The Festival begins on Friday 20 August at 6 pm with an opening ceremony followed by a concert by the BC Regiment Band. On Saturday and Sunday August 21 and 22 there will be music on three stages right downtown from 10 am until 6 pm. Admission is free. Covid protocols will be in place and organizers encourage only people who have been fully vaccinated to attend the festival.

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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!