Mary Armitage is both a traditional folk singer and a songwriter and has performed in a variety of venues in the Lower Mainland, both solo and as half of “King’s Shilling” This year Mary pays tribute to the homelands of early immigrants with a selection of traditional and traditionally inspired original songs supporting the theme “Across the Atlantic”. Mary sings a capella and with guitar accompaniment. She encourages audience participation with humour and energy, so bring your best sing-along voices.

It is with great pleasure that we once again welcome Princeton’s Member of Parliament, Alex Atamanenko, to the Festival. Alex has been singing for many years both as a solo performer and with a group called the Balladeers. He performs regularly in seniors’ homes in the Castlegar area.  Alex will be singing Canadian folk songs, songs of the 1960’s folk revival as well as songs in Russian, a language he learned at home.  Alex is joined in his performance by Lawrence Halisheff.

Aviva! is a Raks Sharqi dancer with a twist! Aviva’s love of bellydancing began with her first shimmy about five years ago. Since then she has become wholly immersed in the art form, involving herself in every class, workshop and performance opportunity available. With training from Vancouver dancers as well as from internationally renowned dancers, Aviva is well versed in the art of bellydance performance technique. She draws inspiration from both traditional and fusion styles of bellydancing as well as from her training in traditional and contemporary African Dance. Aviva takes her greatest joy in sharing her love of the art form with others. Visit her website at www.avivabellydance.com

Laura Bassett is a New Hampshire native who grew up with folk music and the sea chanteys of the Mystic Sea Music Festival. After discovering the active folk singing community in Boston, she has since moved to Seattle, where her ballad voice can be heard at pub and chantey sings.  She has a love for collecting songs that tell good stories.  Laura will be participating in the Traditional Ballads workshop.

Caitlin Marie Bell is a New York City-based folk singer from Snellville, Georgia, whose music and storytelling are primarily centred around the roots of the American folk tradition. Classically trained and inspired by the blues, Appalachian, country and classical styles on which she was raised, Caitlin writes songs and arrangements that strive to keep the American folk tradition alive. Caitlin has CDs for sale at the Festival and you can visit her website at www.reverbnation.com/caitlinmariebell

Blackthorn is a Vancouver-based folk group whose repertoire celebrates the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland as well as the folk music of English and French Canada. From lively jigs and reels to heart-wrenching airs and ballads, savour the melodies and intricately woven harmonies that bring this music to life in a new way, mixed with humour and, above all, fun. Blackthorn has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.blackthornband.com

Claire Boucher is a native of Sarzeau on the Rhuys peninsula in southern Brittany. Her involvement in Breton traditions started with dance, followed by traditional singing. She sings songs and teaches dances from her part of the country. She is accompanied on voice and flute by her partner Brad Hurley, who has played traditional Irish and Breton music for thirty years. Visit their website at www.coureursdeminuit.com

Les Canadiens Errants consists of Jasmine Fiona and Chantal Lemire, two Langley Fine Arts School alumni who have reunited to make music together. The duo focuses on traditional Canadian songs, sung with inspiring harmonies, accompanied by ukelele and violin. Jasmine is a ballad singer and an ardent lover of folk music of many traditions. Chantal is a violinist and music theorist. From the coasts of BC to Nova Scotia, Les Canadiens Errants will take you on a trip across Canada in song, stopping in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, and Newfoundland.

Claddach sings traditional and contemporary songs that illuminate social and/or political aspects of the human condition.  Sometimes they choose a song just because they like it and it’s fun to sing with others. They also play Celtic tunes for dancing, hoping to encourage people to get up and dance. Claddach has CDs for sale at the festival.

Dark Willow pairs the sound of the Irish whistle, with the strong voice of traditional and contemporary songs.  David Donaldson is a wonderful composer of traditional-sounding whistle tunes and beautiful waltzes. Ellen van der Hoeven has brought her lovely voice to the Festival several times and accompanies songs and tunes with guitar and mandolin. Together David and Ellen play Scottish, Irish and English songs tunes as well as some original compositions.  This year they will be joined by Tom Rawson, of Seattle, who adds his open back banjo, mountain dulcimer, and vast repertoire of crowd pleasing sing along songs to the mix.

Erratica is an all-purpose, ever-ready kitchen party band. They perform songs and tunes from a variety of folk traditions in a variety of ways and on a variety of instruments. This year regular band members Don Davidson, Jane Slemon and Cameron Stewart welcome Michael Burnyeat as guest fiddler. Erratica has CDs for sale at the festival. Visit their website at www.erratica.ca

Et tu Fluté consists of Irish flute players Brad Hurley and Becky Deryckx. Brad began playing traditional Irish music in the 1970s and has played for dances, concerts and festival workshops all around the east coast. He appears as a guest musician on five CDs and is currently working on a duo CD with Roscommon fiddler Ellis Crean. He has also developed a popular website on the Irish flute at www.firescribble.net/flute. Becky is a more recent addition to the Irish musical tradition. She plays primarily in pub sessions in the Pacific Northwest but travels regularly to the east coast and to Ireland to expand her understanding of the music. Brad was one of her early mentors and they have remained close friends ever since.

John Gothard is a long time traditional singer and musician. During his performances with voice, guitar and English concertina, you might hear anything from sea songs and traditional ballads to songs of Irish immigration to North America.

Rosaleen Gregory was born in England with Irish, Welsh and Scottish ancestry. She first discovered traditional ballads as literature and then discovered that they had tunes.  She has been singing traditional songs and ballads for over fifty years and now has a repertoire of over three hundred songs. She has participated in many ballad workshops in Britain and Canada.  She is a regular contributor to Canadian Folk Music, the magazine of the Canadian Society for Traditional Music, and has recently produced CDs of ballads, which are for sale at the Festival.  Rosaleen will be joined onstage by David Gregory. Visit her website at www.rosaleengregory.ca

Barry Hall has been involved in traditional music since he was a child. Inspired by Pete Seeger, he learned to play the banjo at a young age and at the age of fifteen put out the Folkways LP, “The Virtuoso Five-string Banjo.” Barry is still a virtuoso banjo player. He has also embraced the blues, which he sings and plays on guitar. Barry plays guitar as though it were an extension of his body. This weekend you will hear Barry sing folk blues and banjo instrumentals.

Tim Hall is a singer of songs from varied traditions – from old-time to maritime to ragtime. He is an accomplished instrumentalist on guitar, banjo and concertina and a collector of wonderfully clever and fun songs.

Hard Row consists of Kim and Kaila Sinclair, a father and daughter duo who have been performing together for almost twenty years. With their melodic sound, they sing traditional ballads of love, loss and lament. Kaila’s soaring voice and Kim’s unique guitar styling weave around and through the music they love. With reflection and a sense of humour Hard Row connects their music with the relevance of history and the world today.

Music has always been part of Betty's Hendrickson’s life. Thirteen years ago her husband bought her her first hammered dulcimer, an instrument that she always enjoyed listening to. A few years later she surprised herself by performing at an open mike, and has performed solo and with other musicians ever since. Stewart Hendrickson plays fiddle and guitar, and sings traditional songs from the British Isles and America. He studied voice while majoring in Chemistry. He taught Chemistry for 28 years and then was a research professor before retiring to become a full-time folk musician. He studied classical violin as a kid, but gave it up in high school for guitar and singing. After moving to Washington he picked up the violin again to become a fiddler.  The Hendricksons have CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their websites at www.stewarthendrickson.com/bettyhendrickson.html

In the Family Way is a trio consisting of Rob Corbett along with his son Chris and daughter Emily. The group has performed for many years at family functions and selected venues in the Okanagan and beyond. Their trademark sound features tight harmonies on a variety of traditional songs accompanied by guitar, mandolin, ukulele and harmonica.

The Irish Wakers met at traditional Irish jam sessions at the Wolf and Hound pub in Kitsilano. They play jigs, reels hornpipes waltzes and polkas as well as singing sea shanties and other traditional songs. They perform at pubs, fundraisers and festivals. Visit their website at www.Irishwakers.com

Stuart James is from Princeton and had this to say about his music: “I have been privileged over the years to be part of a grand conversation, of which this festival is an instance, between friends with whom I share a love of traditional music and song. In my case it is the music and song of the British Isles, and of its North American variants, both unaccompanied and with banjo. I think of this music as an act of communion, in the best and original sense of the term; that is to say, as a distillation and embodiment of the collective human experience. I hope to convey to our listeners some of the force of this tradition; of the hold it has on us; and of the pleasure it affords us. If so, I will be inordinately (and no doubt insufficiently) pleased.”

Princeton’s own Kettle Valley Switchmen consists of Jason Gasparetto and Rick Freeman on guitar, and Rick Law on bass. Together they will take us on a walk down south where the blues came from. Jason hails originally from Ontario and has performed in blues, country and rock groups in the US and Canada. Some of his inspirations have been Big Joe Turner, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lightning Hopkins, Robert Johnson and Eric Clapton. Rick Law discovered traditional music at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Toronto and Rick Freeman has enchanted Princeton with his singing and fine blues guitar when playing with the Backdoor Blues Band.

Lemon Gin consists of Lyn Pinkerton and Jim Edmondson who have a flair for singing exquisite harmony renditions of songs of adversity and struggle without taking themselves too seriously. They have been making music together for thirteen years. Lyn pays dulcimer and banjo and Jim plays guitar. They choose their songs carefully from a repertoire of traditional Appalachian and British songs, sea shanties and other songs of work. You’ll want to sing with them. Jim has CDs for sale from his previous group – Three Strong Winds.

Hazem Matar is originally from Saudi Arabia and plays the oud, a lute-like instrument strung similarly to a twelve-string guitar. The oud dates back to ancient times and is played throughout central Asia and North Africa. Hazem has played the oud, for over 20 years. He studied Arabic classical music for oud and vocals with one of Saudi Arabia’s great masters, Ghazi Ali. Well-known for his technique and musical spirit in his home city of Jeddah, Hazem brings the Arab world’s rich musical tradition to Princeton. Hazem plays with a Middle Eastern jazz-rock fusion quartet called Tarab, whose CDs are for sale at the Festival. Visit the group’s website at www.tarab.ca

Michael and Don are Michael Burnyeat on fiddle and Don Davidson on mandolin. In 2010 twelve-year-old fiddle student Michael was asked to sit in on the Celtic jams at the Jericho Folk Club in Vancouver. Two years later he became the lead fiddler at those sessions. When asked to perform elsewhere, Michael asked Don Davidson to join him on mandolin. Michael and Don continue to play at the Jericho jams. As a duo they have performed at farmers’ markets, at UBC’s Apple Festival and at the Tipper Restaurant supper series.

Janet Michael is a Newfoundland-British Columbian. Although she has spent a great deal of her life in the theatre, music has always been a huge part of her life’s purpose. She is overjoyed to have this opportunity to share her unique musical heritage and some of the songs she has made inspired by that heritage.

Orville Murphy and Jerry Middaugh play old-time and traditional songs about the “good old days” of the civil war, prohibition, the Depression and World War II. Orville is originally from Kentucky where he learned to tell stories from Uncle Jim. He learned to play Gospel, hymns and blues on the harmonica from his grandmother and his aunt. Jerry Middaugh is originally from Ohio and has deep roots in Appalachian music. He sings and plays guitar, banjo and mandolin. Murphy and Middaugh have CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.MurphyandMiddaugh.com

North by West consists of Jon Bartlett, Rika Ruebsaat, Simon Trevelyan and Henk Piket. The group has been singing together for many years and is well-regarded in the maritime music community. They have sung at festivals on both coasts. They are all Honorary Life Members of the Vancouver Folk Song Society and are among the founding members of the VFSS ShantyCrew. North by West has CDs for sale at the Festival. Sing along with them!

Orkestar Slivovica is Vancouver's home-grown Balkan Brass band, playing wedding and festive music from Serbia, Macedonia, and other distant and mysterious lands, where it is known as Trubachi and no such occasion is complete without it. The 8-12 piece brass ensemble plays and sings a diverse repertoire, from insanely fast dance tunes to heart-wrenching songs, often in crooked rhythms and exotic scales. Orkestar Slivovica has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.orkestarslivovica.org

Oxygen Orkestar from Nelson plays its own, sometimes comic, version of Balkan brass music, a genre that originated in 19th century Serbia when military bands began playing local folk music. The group is an assorted mix of mustachioed snappy dressers who play trumpet, soprano sax, trombone, tuba and snare drum. Sometimes they wander offstage and get lost in the crowd, but just follow the upbeat music and dancing girls and you will find them. Oxygen Orkestar will have you dancing in the street.

Port na Gael means “tune of the Gael”, and that’s exactly what this four-piece group plays – mostly Irish most of the time. From four-part harmonies to spirited reels, the group’s focus is on traditional music with vitality, sometimes updated with original arrangements, but always true to its roots. The occasional foray into Canadian, Scottish and English songs provides a folk influence to the lively mix.  Port na Gael has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.facebook.com/portnagael

The Friday evening ceili is a friendly dance that can be enjoyed by all. Dance to toe-tapping traditional Irish music played by Annie Brown on fiddle, John Gothard on concertina and Dave Marshall on guitar. The fun-loving Keri-Ann Thor will teach all the dances, making them accessible to all. No experience is required and you will feel like an expert ceili dancer by the end of the evening.

The Rabbleberries came together for Victoria’s 2005 Tall Ships Festival. They liked each other’s company so much that they thought up a band name and kept singing together. Sharon Hazelwood is a long time singing activist. She and Karen Gillmore are also members of the vocal quartet Virgo Rising. Alan O’Dean teaches autoharp, plays guitar in open tuning, and writes songs as though he were somebody famous. They will be joined by Ron Gillmore in his first appearance at the Festival. The Rabbleberries has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.rabbleberries.ca

Jeannette Angel is a performance artist and scholar currently living with her family in Kelowna. She comes from a French background and grew up in Manitoba where she attended the Festival du Voyageur for years. Jeannette considers singing as part of a way of life, a form of communication and a natural way to share with family and friends. Jeanette sings a capella and will be sharing her rich repertoire of French-Canadian songs.  Jeannette will also be joined by her mother Barbara Angel and daughter, Eva Rae Angel-Fox. Together they call themselves Les Racines, which means roots, and we welcome them to their first appearance at the Festival.

Brian Robertson is perhaps best known for his finely crafted songs about the west coast based on a lifetime of living and working there. His work life has been varied – commercial fisherman, cabbie, engineer, economist and historian – and from that springs the variety and depth of his subject matter. He is a purveyor of some fine songs about work, love, travel, local history and the blues as well as being a singer of rousing shanties. When he’s not singing solo, Brian is a passionate Celtic musician, performing with the Irish Wakers and as a frequent guest with The Jocelyn Band. Brian has CDs for sale at the Festival.

Chris Roe has been a lover of traditional music since she first heard the Chad Mitchell Trio in 1963. She has been a Morris dancer, a student of early music, a harp player and an active member of the maritime music community in the Puget Sound area. Her main passion is a capella singing. She welcomes audience participation. Chris has CDs for sale at the Festival.

Sarah Jane Scouten is based in Montreal but comes originally from Bowen Island. She composes modern folk and country songs that draw on Bluegrass, old-time and folk traditions. Sarah tours all over Canada with her music. This will be her third time at the Festival where she will be singing traditional songs picked up on her travels. Sarah has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit her website at www.sarahjanescouten.com

Shanghaied on the Willamette is the lively musical duo of Jonathan Lay and Gordy Euler. They perform songs “plundered from land and sea”, including traditional Celtic, English, and Old-Time American music, especially music of the sea and waterways. They accompany their vocal harmonies with a “fleet” of musical instruments including fiddle, bodhran (Irish drum), guitars, mandola, tin whistles, harmonicas and banjo. Shanghaied on the Willamette has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.shanghaied.biz

Helen Shilladay began singing quite by accident in pub sessions in Derbyshire several years ago. She quickly got hooked on the companionship, the traditional songs and, of course, the beer.  She soon became a regular on the vibrant Derbyshire folk scene. Singing solo and with her duo, “Fair Game”, she has supported Anthony John Clarke, Bob Fox and her friend and mentor Lester Simpson. She also sang at festivals. Her choice of songs generally falls under the themes of sex or death (sometimes both), which gives her a large repertoire to choose from.

Skweeza has been performing together for six years. The group brings a love of traditional European music and song. You are likely to hear anything from Ladino ballads of the Sephardic tradition to Roma songs in Serbo-Croatian and perhaps a tune or two from the rural villages of England and France. Skweeza consists of Andrea Georgiev on guitar and vocals, Judith Heather on accordion and vocals and Rich Williams on melodeon, guitar and vocals.

Soft Focus consists of Marian Buechert and Steve Britten who have been performing together for thirteen years.  Marian has been singing traditional songs for almost thirty years. The duo has performed at the Northwest Folklife Festival, the BC Renaissance Fair, on radio and at many venues in the Lower Mainland. They look forward to the Princeton Traditional Music Festival as one of the musical highlights of the year. Soft Focus has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www3.telus.net/softfocus

Sound & Fury Morris has been dancing around Seattle and the Pacific Northwest since the waning days of the last century. Morris dance traditions date back hundreds of years, their origins lost in the mists if time. Morris is a street performance tradition, typically seen outside local pubs. When the dancing is over the dancers retire to the pub to enjoy the finest ales and ciders on tap!

Phillip Tidd has been singing a capella traditional songs for more than fifty years. Raised in England in the 1950s and ‘60s, he was greatly influenced by the folk revival. A regular at the Vancouver Folk Song Society in the 1970s, he now lives in the Shuswap and sings at coffee houses. He recently spent time in England and was a regular at the Devizes Folk Club there. He is currently learning to play concertina. This year Phillip intends to focus his performance on songs with what are called “floating verses”, that is, verses that seem to float around such that they appear in several different songs.

Triskele Celtic Duo features Myranda O’Byrne on vocals and lap-stringed dulcimer and Michael Price on mandolin and harmonica. Both of them play guitar, bodhran and spoons. Their performances include traditional Irish and Scottish ballads and airs, sea songs and lively reels and jigs. Triskele has performed on radio and at festivals and special events in the Okanagan and elsewhere. In the winter months they teach music to children in a small Mexican fishing village. Triskele has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.triskele.shawwebspace.ca

Without a Net consists of David Lowther (who sings and plays things you strum) and his wife Mary (who sings and plays things you blow into).  Together they perform a mixture of traditional klezmer music -- traditional dance music from eastern European Jewish communities -- and original songs with a frequent political bias.  Without a Net has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.withoutanet.ca

The Festival presents concerts by individual performing groups and also workshops.  A workshop focuses on a particular topic and is presented by a panel of singers and musicians who are on the stage at the same time.  A host will introduce the panel and guide the workshops.

TRADITIONAL BALLADS from the Child Collection
Saturday 11:30 - 1 pm, Vermilion Stage
Ballads are songs that tell stories.  Traditional ballads are ones that have been passed down over hundreds of years telling stories of love, murder and passion.  Today’s balladeers are Rosaleen Gregory, Hard Row, Chris Roe, and Emily & Lyn Van Lidth de Jeude.

Saturday 12 - 1 pm, Museum Stage
Emerging from the field calls and chants of slavery days, the Blues became a popular commercial music among blacks in the 1920’s and 30’s until it eventually spilled over to embrace us all.  Sharing this music today are Jason Gasparetto, Barry Hall, Orville Murphy and Henk Piket.

Saturday 1 – 2 pm, Museum Stage
This is a participatory workshop designed to tap into your childhood memories. It focuses on informal games such as “Red Rover”, or rhymes such as “Eeny Meeny Miney Mo” that you learned as a child. It also focuses on summer camp songs such as “Fire’s Burning” or “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More”. Host Rika Ruebsaat will get the ball rolling by sharing a few of her own memories in hopes that she’ll trigger yours.  She will then call upon audience members to share the songs, rhymes and games of their own childhoods. You don’t need to be a singer or even remember all the words. This is not a performance but a conversation between the past and the present.

Saturday 2 – 3 pm, Gazebo next to Vermilion Stage
In the days of the tall ships sailors used to sing songs called “shanties” while they worked.  Shanties provided the rhythm that went with a particular job as well as giving sailors extra “oomph” to raise a sail or haul up the anchor. They’re great fun to sing along with, so join the throng under the gazebo! John Gothard, North by West, Shanghaied on the Willamette, Phillip Tidd, Brian Robertson and many more.

Sunday 10 –11 am, Museum Stage
France is the motherland of “La Francophonie” and Quebec, Acadia, Louisiana, and many other places are its children.  Sharing this music today are Jeanette Angel, Claire Boucher and Lyn Pinkerton.

Sunday 10:30 - 12 pm,Vermilion Stage
There are many jokes about banjos, but when played well they are a joy to the ear.  This session features five banjo virtuosos who will delight you with their frailing and fingerpicking.  Barry Hall, Tim Hall, Stuart James, Dave Marshall and Jerry Middaugh.

Sunday 1 – 2 pm, Vermilion Stage
Put a bunch of passionate Celtic fiddlers, guitar players, flautists, pipers, and the like on stage together and see what happens!  Blackthorn, Claddach, Et Tu Fluté, Stewart Hendrickson, Irish Wakers, Stuart James, Port na Gael, the Psycho Acoustic Ceili Band, Chris Roe and Triskele.

Sunday 3 – 4 pm, Museum Stage
The fiddle is the powerhouse of the band and the centrepiece of the session. Today’s fiddlers are Gerry Bradley of Port na Gael, Annie Brown of PsychoAcoustic Ceili Band, Mary Brunner of The Irish Wakers, Michael Burnyeat and Rosie Carver of Blackthorn.

I'm happy to announce the performers at this year's Festival:

Jeannette Angel, Mary Armitage, Alex Atamanenko, Aviva Bellydance,
Caitlin Marie Bell, Blackthorn, Claire Boucher & Brad Hurley, Les
Canadiens Errants, Claddach, Dark Willow with Tom Rawson, Erratica, Et
Tu Flute?!?, John Gothard, Rosaleen Gregory, Barry Hall, Tim Hall, Hard
Row, Stewart & Betty Hendrickson, In the Family Way, Irish Wakers,
Stuart James, The Kettle Valley Switchmen, Lemon Gin, Hazem Matar, Janet
Michael, Michael & Don, Murphy and Middaugh, North by West, Orkestar
S(livovica, Oxygen Orkestar, , Port na Gael, Psycho Acoustic Ceili Band,
The RabbleBerries, Brian Robertson, Chris Roe, Sarah Jane Scouten,
Shanghaied on the Willamette, Helen Shilladay, Skweeza, Soft Focus,
Ikrom Sulaymonov, Phillip Tidd, Triskele Celtic Duo & Friends, Emily &
Lyn Van Lidth de Jeude, Without a Net

Bios will follow very soon, and a schedule for the three stages.

Rika Ruebsaat, Artistic Director

The Princeton Traditional Music festival is in the enviable position of having more musicians who have applied to come and perform than we have space for. Considering that we don't pay performers, that is pretty amazing. We have been blessed this year with traditional musicians we've never heard of applying to perform.

In some ways our position is /un/enviable because we now have to say no to people, something we've never had to do before. Last fall we sent out an email to all past performers saying that we planned to lower the number of performers (we were overwhelmed with numbers last year) and increase performance times for larger groups. Some of our regulars volunteered not to apply this year to make way for new blood. We are most grateful to them and will welcome them back on the program in the future. Those performers who applied and whom we plan to leave out this year are all people who have performed at several Festivals already. Again, we will welcome them back on future programs. We are delighted that many of them plan to come to the Festival anyway to be part of our musical community.

The deadline for this year's performer application is the end of May so we still have applications coming in.  Since we're already over-full, I hope there aren't too many more because that increases the number of people we have to say no to. I think next year we'll make the deadline earlier. In June we will decide on our list of performers and begin posting information about them on the website.

  Rika Ruebsaat

This just in. An e-mail from Jon Bartlett.

Hi Ole:

You suggested earlier that the website really ought to have some changing material to keep people interested - a good idea!  Attached is the first of a series that Rika and I will write in turn each week. Please post!  Can they be easily archived so people could go back and see last week's, etc?


Yes indeed! And you will find the attached story, now titled "I’m back from India", posted in a new forum called "The Story Unfolds". Subsequent stories will be listed with the newest at the top and readers can comment under each one if they wish.

Click here to check it out now.

We are now asking for performers to contact us about coming to play. Our stages will run on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm and, of course, there will be the Friday night dance too. This is a free festival and is intended to bring together musicians and other performers who study and enjoy traditional music. Performers are chosen on a first come first serve basis, so we don't know who will be there yet. The most keen and dedicated artists can be expected to return, but there are always surprises. This is part of the excitement of the festival.

The application forms for the 2013 festival are now available. Download the pdf and mail it in. If you wish to send it in by e-mail, you can download the .doc and edit that.

NOTE: This year the deadline for applications is May 31.

Print out and mail in:
Princeton Traditional Music Society
PO Box 2451
Princeton BC
V0X 1W0

Download and edit, then e-mail:

We are very interested in hearing about people's experience at the Festival. If you didn't fill out a feedback sheet while you were there, please take the time to download the pdf and mail it to us, or just cut and past the following text into an e-mail and send it to feedback@princetontraditional.org

---------- Princeton Traditional Music Festival 2012 Feedback Sheet ----------

1 - What I liked:

2 - Suggestions for next year:

3 - I heard about the Festival (chose all relevant):
- in the local paper
- on CBC
- word of mouth
- by poster
- on internet
- other (where?)
4 - I live in:
- the Princeton area
- the lower mainland
- another part of BC (where?)
- another part of Canada  (where?
- the US (where?)
- elsewhere (where?)

5 - Would you like to be on the e-mail list?(Y/N)

6 - Would you like to help next year? (Y/N)
- Name:
- Phone:

    ---------- send: to feedback@princetontraditional.org ----------

We now have a complete schedule. You can print this out to keep in your pocket when you come. Of course the comprehensive program will be available at the festival as well.

2012 SATURDAY and SUNDAY schedule

Once again we will see Princeton musicians in Homegrown Traditions, hosted  by Larry Saidman.

This music swap, consisting of Princeton musicians and singers performing traditional material, was presented with astounding success last year!  This year everybody’s back, and with some new faces.

Returning are:

RICK FREEMAN: Rick has enchanted Princeton with his unique singing and fine blues guitar when playing in Princeton’s  Backdoor Blues band.Lots of traditional and modern blues influences.   

STUART JAMES:  Stu is banjo player who incorporates American Appalachian frailing into his hybrid style, and plays and sings some fine English and Irish Traditional songs.

CORRY OERLEMANS: Corey grew up in his family with Dutch and German traditional music.He played many instruments in jazz bands in Ontario, but his main love is trumpet.

BARBARA BUSHEWSKY: Barbara, of Cowboy Coffee/Coco’s Bistro, last year sang a politically significant song of Jewish origin from 1147.  This year?  Maybe the Bell lyre.

ALLEN, THE TROUBADOR: Allen doesn’t just sing about the disenfranchised, he does something about it!   He contributes his fine country singing and solid guitar playing to so many great causes, and is a driving force behind our Crisis Unit and Food Bank.

HENRY RUEL: Henry keeps the Princeton music scene alive through the Back Door jams and coffeehouses.  He is sensitive to whatever percussive sound might enhance any song.

RICK LAW: Rick discovered traditional music at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Toronto.  He’ll be helping out on bass, and will also sing a traditional song or two.

HUGH MONEY: Hugh is veteran of logging camps as well as being a wealth of information about harmonicas.  As part of The Alley Cats, he is in demand at various seniors’ centres.

New additions:

PATTYANN:  Patti loves to sing the old hymns she sang with her family growing up, but she has expanded her range to inspirational songs of all kinds.   You’ll love her beautiful voice!

JASON GASPARETTO: Jason just moved to Princeton from Sault Ste Marie.  He plays a mean slide guitar and loves the blues, his main influences are Robert Johnson and Eric Clapton. 

SOPHIA MILNER: You’ll love Sophia’s great soulful voice and song style, influenced by Stompin Tom, Hank Snow, Hank Williams, and blues artists such as BB King & John Lee Hooker.

And a few surprises, no doubt!

The Festival presents concerts by individual performing groups and also workshops.  A workshop focuses on a particular topic and is presented by a panel of singers and musicians who are on the stage at the same time.  A host will introduce the panel and guide the workshops.

Sunday 1 – 2 pm, Vermilion Stage
Put a bunch of passionate Celtic fiddlers, guitar players, flautists, pipers, and the like on stage together and see what happens!  Claddach, ErRatica, Stewart Hendrickson, Lynn Graves, Bryn Wilkin, Nathan Hayward, Randy Vic, Becky Deryckx and the Psycho Acoustic Ceili Band.

Saturday 11 - 12 pm, Museum Stage
Ballads are songs that tell stories.  Traditional ballads are ones that have been passed down over hundreds of years telling stories of love, murder and passion.  Today’s balladeers are Rosaleen Gregory, Sarah Scouten, Penny Sidor, and Phillip Tidd.

Sunday 3.30 – 4.30 pm, Vermilion Stage
Emerging from the field calls and chants of slavery days, the Blues became a popular commercial music among blacks in the 1920’s and 30’s until it eventually spilled over to embrace us all.  Sharing this music today are Mike Ballantyne & Rick Van Krugel, Mike & Nakos Marker, Henk Piket, and Barry Truter

Sunday 3.30 – 4.30 pm, Museum Stage
France is the motherland of “La Francophonie” and Quebec, Acadia, Louisiana, and many other places are its children.  Sharing this music today are, Suzanne Leclerc, Lyn Pinkerton, Chris Roe, Judith Heather & Rich Williams, and Rika Ruebsaat.

Saturday 2 - 2:30 pm, Gazebo next to Vermilion Stage
In the days of the tall ships sailors used to sing songs called “shanties” while they worked.  Shanties provided the rhythm that went with a particular job as well as giving sailors extra “oomph” to raise a sail or haul up the anchor. They’re great fun to sing along with, so join the throng under the gazebo! Jon Bartlett & Rika Ruebsaat, John Gothard, Dick & Carol Holdstock, Henk Piket, Chris Roe, Phillip Tidd, Simon Trevelyan, Barry Truter, and many more

Sunday 11 - 12 pm, Museum Stage
There are many jokes about banjos, but when played well they are a joy to the ear.  This session features five banjo virtuosos who will delight you with their frailing and fingerpicking.  Stuart James, David Lowther, Dave Marshall, Cameron Stewart and Bryn Wilkin.

Sunday 2.30 – 3.30 pm, Vermilion Stage
Everything here from tiny harmonicas to huge accordions!  Chris Roe hosts, and is joined by accordion players from the Orkestar Slivovica and from Something About Reptiles, Alison Humphries, Ben Meti, John Gothard, Phillip Tidd, and Rich Williams

Saturday 12 - 1 pm, Vermilion Stage
With the Arab Spring, the student struggle in Quebec and our own struggle here in Princeton for quality health care in mind, the songs of the ninety-nine per cent were never more relevant.  Here to share them with you are The Diggers, Mike Marker, Lemon Gin and members of the Solidarity Notes Labour Choir.


Mary ARMITAGE - The ways of women
Alex ATAMANENKO and Lawrence HALISHEFF– Russian folk songs
Jon BARTLETT and Rika RUEBSAAT – BC and Canadian songs
CHOIR SLOVENIA – Slovenian folk and sacred songs
CLADDACH – Songs from BC and the British Isles, Celtic tunes
Karel CREPNJAK – Slovenian accordion player
DARK WILLOW – songs and tunes of Britain and Canada
DIGGERS – songs and stories of labour history and struggle
DOC AND NAK – Traditional American songs
ERRATICA – songs and tunes from a variety of traditions
FRASER UNION – Folk, mainly Canadian
John GOTHARD – Traditional songs from the British Isles
Rosaleen GREGORY - Traditional songs from the British Isles
Betty HENDRICKSON – Traditional tunes on hammered dulcimer
Stewart HENDRICKSON – Irish slow airs and songs with fiddle and voice
HOKUM STEAMERS – Acoustic ragtime blues, hokum jug band songs and gospel
Dick and Carol HOLDSTOCK – Traditional songs from California
IN THE FAMILY WAY – Traditional folk songs in three-part harmony
JASMINE FIONA – Traditional songs popular with children
KING’S SHILLING – Torn Away – traditional songs of the convict, slave and conscript
LEMON GIN – Traditional and nibbling social commentary
LITTLE MOUNTAIN STEP & CLOG – Traditional English clog dancing
Ben METI – Albanian accordion
MORGAN & GRAVES – Songs and tunes from a wide range of traditions
ORKESTAR SLIVOVICA – Serbian, Macedonian, Roma wedding and dance music
PASTIES ‘N’ PORRIDGE – songs and stories from Scotland
PSYCHO ACOUSTIC CEIILI BAND – playing for the Friday evening dance
Tom RAWSON – Humorous stories, user-friendly songs and acoustic folk philosophy
Chris ROE – Ballads, banter and box tunes from America and Britain
Larry SAIDMAN & Robin COTTLE – Old-timey North American music
Sarah Jane SCOUTEN – Canadian roots, country and folk music
Penny SIDOR – Traditional songs from a fine singer. A ton of fun!
SKWEEZ – traditional songs and tunes with squeezebox, guitar and whistle
SLOVENIAN FOLKLORE DANCERS –Traditional Slovenian dancing and singing
SOFT FOCUS – Vocal/string duo with songs from Britain, US and Canada
SOLIDARITY NOTES LABOUR CHOIR – Labour songs and songs of social justice
SOMETHING ABOUT REPTILES – East meets west in this Turkish/Gypsy cabaret band
STAB THE CAT – Pipe tunes and traditional songs from Britain
Phillip TIDD – Traditional ballads, sea songs and more
VAZZY – Energetic French-Canadian and Métis songs and tunes
Randy VIC and Becky DERYCKX – Irish traditional music
WITHOUT A NET - Traditional klezmer music and songs
ZEELLIA – a Slavic “soul” band complete with hurdy-gurdy

New Additions:
Vancouver Morris Men
Mossyback Morris Men
Tim Hall
Stuart James
Alison Humphries
Local Ale
Rattlebone Band

The dates of the 5th annual Festival are August 17 to 19.

Those dates fall on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and the format of the festival will be similar to last year. However, we will have to wait for the official announcement from the festival coordinator in order to get more details.


Edit: Just to avoid confusion, note that this is from last year's (2011) festival .

On Thursday, August 18 there will be a musical "hors d'œuvre" to the Festival at Manning Park.  It is the 100th anniversary of BC Parks and in celebration there will be a musical shindig at Lightning Lake on the afternoon of Thursday, August 18th.  Performers lined up so far are Bob Webb -- shanty singer, banjo player extraordinaire, etc. -- Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat.  All three of these people are appearing at the Traditional Music Festival.  At Lightning Lake there will also be a string quartet and probably the Princeton Town Band.  We're also trying to get the Princeton Highland dancers, so it should be a great warm-up shindig for the Festival.  More details to come as plans develop.


It looks like we now have all spots filled. There are 43 acts booked, and that means over 100 performers. Acts were chosen on a first come first served basis, but if you missed the boat please don't hesitate to put in your application next year - hopefully a little earlier. Still, nothing is completely fixed until show time, as there is always the possibility of a cancellation.

2011 Festival performers. THIS IS IT!

* MIKE BALLANTYNE www.mikeballantyne.ca
* JON BARTLETT & RIKA RUEBSAAT http://jonandrika.org
* MARIAN BUECHERT  http://www3.telus.net/softfocus
* CHRIS CORRIGAN  www.chriscorrigan.com.
* DARK WILLOW  http://web.me.com/whistler4/DavidsMusic/
* FLIP & ZEKE http://flip.Breskin.com and http:// zekehoskin.com.
* FRASER UNION www.fraserunion.com
* STEWART HENDRICKSON http://stewarthendrickson.com
* THE HOLDSTOCKS www.holdstocks.com/
* THE IRISH WAKERS www.irishwakers.com.
* FELIX POSSAK www.banjo.ca
* SOLIDARITY NOTES LABOUR CHOIR www.solidaritynotes.ca
* SONGTREE www.myspace.com/songtreeduo
* VANCOUVER MORRIS MEN www.vancouvermorrismen.org
* VAZZY www.vazzy.ca


Hello folk music & folk dance lovers:

The /Princeton Traditional Music Festival/ in southern BC is one of the  musical highlights of my year. As you may know, Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat pour their passion, commitment and energy into the event each year. They pull the festival off on a shoe-string budget so that many of us can enjoy a  wonderful  weekend of free music and dance in late August.

A little financial help from some us will help make this year's festival an even greater success. That's why I'm inviting you all to a Benefit Concert for the Festival on Saturday June 18th at 8pm, at the Friends Meeting House in Vancouver (1090 West 70th Ave. near the Oak Street Bridge) featuring Jon and Rika, Eric and Betty Armstrong and King's Shilling. Please mark this date down on your calendars.

Come and have a great time! Sing with us and sample some of the great music that will be featured at this year's festival. Admittance by donation. If you feel inclined, bring a musical item that can be auctioned off on the evening. Reserve a spot with me ASAP as we may fill up fast!

Simon Trevelyan
simontrevelyan (at) telus.net

This year is the 4th annual. Judging by the way things are going it will be even more popular than before. If you would like to come and perform, get in your application as soon as possible. There is a link at the top of this page.

All plans are not finalized, but expect a similar festival to last year's. Here is what Jon wrote then:

The Festival takes place as usual on two stages in the centre of Princeton, and begins, as last year, with a public street dance and an Irish ceili band.  Saturday and Sunday are given over, between the hours of 10 am to 6 pm, to a potpourri of concerts, workshops, panels and jams.

Music won’t just be found on the stages – mini-jams and guerilla dances are liable to happen anywhere in town culminating in a Saturday evening town-wide party.

The Festival is free, though it asks its audiences to help with donations.  It is supported by the Town, the local District and by a federal grant from Heritage Canada, and is an all-volunteer festival – all the performers, the organizers and the volunteers do it for the love of the music.

It's going to be a lot of fun, so start making your plans!