Twelfth Annual

Princeton Traditional Music Festival

Friday 16 to Sunday 18 August ~ 2019

Audience in Veteran's Square

Read the biographies of this year's performers here. Some of them have web sites, so please take the time to click on the links and see what they have to show you there.

There are many favourites coming back. We do however make sure that there are new performers every year.



Doukhobor a capella singing originated in Russia in the early 1800s prior to the migration of the Doukhobors to Canada in 1899. This style of singing relies upon the oral transmission of the melody without written musical notes. Doukhobor repertoire is divided into psalms, hymns and folk songs. The themes of the compositions range from prayerful contemplation to others honouring major events and leaders of Doukhobor history. The Amalgamated Doukhobor Choir from Castlegar is drawn from various Doukhobor choirs that have been performed at events in Canada, USA, and Russia, singing in honour of peace and freedom, to celebrate or commemorate life.


Mary Armitage returns to Princeton once more this year, bringing us a selection of traditional songs from across the British Isles on the theme of “True Heroes/Heroines”. Her musical experience covers a span of five decades, which explains her ease with the audience, and pleasure at their participation. She accompanies herself on guitar and banjolele. Mary is currently the president of the Vancouver Folk Song Society and she performs regularly at the club. More information about her can be found at Her CD of mostly original songs, “Second Chances” is available at the Festival Booth.


Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat are the founders of this festival and have been singing together for over forty years. Their repertoire ranges from sea shanties and traditional ballads to logging and mining songs. Their particular love is the songs of BC. They have collected songs and history in the Princeton Archives dating as far back as 1900. The result of this research is two books: Dead Horse on the Tulameen: Settler Verse from BC’s Similkameen Valley, and the award-winning Soviet Princeton: Slim Evans and the 1932/33 Miners’ Strike, and a CD, “Now It’s Called Princeton: Songs and Poems from the Upper Similkameen” which contains 27 Similkameen songs and poems. All of these items will be for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at


Laura Bassett grew up in New Hampshire and has found herself in Seattle, WA after wandering much of the United States. She performs with the shanty group Strikes a Bell, and her ballad voice can often be heard at shanty sings and pubs. Inspired by her time traveling with Ringling Brothers, she has gathered together songs of circus, sideshows, and spectacle to share this year.


Bob Large and Lew Black are two friends who have lived most of their lives in Auckland, NZ - one from South Africa and one from Liverpool, UK. They have sung together in The Maritime Crew for 23 years and they are resident shanty singers at the Maritime Museum in Auckland. They have a fund of songs from New Zealand, Australia, UK and South Africa – songs of the land, the sea, the people and the history of our countries. They have two CDs available for sale.


For 50 years Bob Bossin, the founder of Stringband and the author of “The Maple Leaf Dog”, “Dief will Be the Chief Again”, “Show Us the Length” (and many more) played across Canada and through much of the world. Earlier this year Bob retired but couldn’t resist coming back to Princeton. His final video, “We don’t want your pipeline”, has been viewed by thousands since its release this spring. Visit his website at


Sandi Cleary, Brenda Johnson and Gloria Fraser have been singing together for some time and first came together in an auditioned choir singing jazz. Then they discovered their joint interest in folk, old time/bluegrass and gospel. Chanteclair sing a capella; their repertoire is varied, from the Wailin’ Jennys, to the Oysterband, and everything in between.


Says Linda: “I grew up in a folkie family with a mother who came from a parlour singing tradition and was an early disciple of the folk revival. Surrounded by folkies, everybody I respected as a musician was also a songwriter, so from an early age I also wrote music. I’m not very prolific, but I’ve been doing it a long time and it adds up. After sleeping, people actually spend most of their time working, so I am perhaps best known as a singer and writer of labour songs, the most widely recorded of which is “Canning Salmon”, which I wrote while working in a cannery in Richmond. I am currently a librarian with Burnaby Public Library, but under normal circumstances I promise not to sing the date-due-stamping shanty.”


A native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Randy Vic, a fiddler, moved to Vancouver in 1992, and has been immersed in the Irish music community there for many years now. Becky Deryckx, who plays the flute, the whistle and concertina, lives in Mount Vernon, Washington. She began playing Irish music much more recently, in what can only be described as a ‘mid-life crisis’. She and Randy met about ten years ago on San Juan Island at an annual gathering of Irish musicians. They discovered a mutually compatible playing style and a joy in the music that has led to a great many happy hours of tours together. Hip!!


Michael Burnyeat and Don Davidson play 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. Together they are Coming and Going.


The Digitary Dos are a Vancouver-based English country dance band who play the music that would have been enjoyed by dancers of all ages and backgrounds back in the “Old Country,” from the village fair to the stately ballrooms of the Regency period. The name might sound suspiciously like “Didgeridoos,” but that’s only because the group contains a wayward Australian. The tunes and songs they perform date from the Medieval period, from Playford’s English Dancing Master (1600s), from the Jacobean uprising and all the way up to the present day, helping keep English country dancing popular into the 21st century.


John Gothard is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who 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 for the British Isles, many with Irish connections, performed with voice, guitar and English concertina.


Nan Gregory has been telling stories professionally for countless years – since 1984. You do the math. She tells all kinds of stories, from traditional folk tales through history to her own personal adventures. She’s told across Canada and the USA, in New Zealand and Japan, in schools, churches, union meetings and festivals and wherever there are ears to listen and hearts to hear. She’s an award-winning children’s writer, and in her retirement is studying singing jazz. She was recently arrested at the Kinder Morgan gates standing up for an honourable reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. Festival will be a light-hearted half hour of folk stories and other stories that feature singing. Visit her website at


Katie Green and Karen Hefford are a duo from Vancouver who focus primarily on the traditional folk music of North America. With the combined power of accordion, fiddle, guitar and two voices, they love tackling all types of traditional music. In July they released their latest album entitled “Settler’s Songs of the Pacific Northwest”. A culmination of research, original arrangements, and some original music, the album uses music as a medium to creatively tell one facet of the province's history. Most recently they embarked on a six-week tour across Canada, working as artists in residence on VIA rail and exploring the traditional folk music of Canada’s East coast. Visit their website They have two CDs for sale at the festival.


Rosaleen Gregory from Nelson was born in England with Irish, Welsh, Scottish and French ancestry. She discovered traditional songs in books, recordings and from musical friends. Some songs she sings a cappella and some with guitar accompaniment or clarinet played by her husband, David Gregory. Rosaleen has participated in many festivals and workshops in Britain and Canada but her favourite festival is Princeton, because of all the varied traditional performers. Rosaleen has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit her website at


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 wonderfully clever and fun songs.


Hard Row is the father and daughter team of Kim and Kaila Sinclair who enjoy the richness of traditional music. Throughout the year they perform separately and unite whenever they can to perform. In the folk tradition they connect the songs of history to tell todays stories. The songs they explore have survived through time, sometimes changing rhythm and often morphing lyrics to become music relevant for today. They are excited to be performing again at Princeton Traditional Music Festival. The have a CD available for sale at the Festival. Visit their website


Sharon Hazelwood is a founding member of women’s quartet Virgo Rising; still occasionally playing, they are among Vancouver Island’s finest harmonisers. Sharon met Alan O’Dean while in search of an autoharp mechanic. He taught her its timeless fascinations, yet she also plays the tenor guitar, the bodhran and other percussive instruments, utensils and toys. O’Dean’s roots lie in the country picking and blues guitar, clawhammer banjo, Celtic mandola, thumb piano and diatonic autoharp. His is a voice of the West in its diversity and blending warmth. They are the core duo of the RabbleBerries: the Gilmores didn’t make it this time, but the duo cooks along just fine with a dash of humor, a pinch of irony. They have two CDs available for sale.


The Irish Wakers from Vancouver perform 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. They are thrilled to be back performing at Princeton. Visit their website at


Judi Jaeger and Bob Reid are a duo from North California. They combine Jaeger’s Canadian background, striking vocals and intelligent songs with Reid’s California upbringing and his own engaging original tunes. Their artful blending of guitars, ukulele and rich harmonies delivers an intimate performance of deeply meaningful music. KBCS (Bellevue, WA) Radio host Mary Anne (“Auntamama”) Moorman calls their music “smart with heart”. They have one CD available for sale. Visit their website at


Kelowna-based Colin Jordan has been part of the Vancouver folk scene since the 1980’s. His eclectic mix of folk blues, fingerpicking guitar and popular traditional songs, blend with his own brand of humour.


Jugbandits is made up of Graeme Card, Colleen and Victoria Talson and John Hewson. From Victoria, they came together with the sole purpose of finding songs to “jugify” in that old jug band tradition, with washboard, kazoos, banjo, ukes, guitar, string bass, clog shoes, and mandolin. The songs are drawn from ragtime to skiffle, old time country to blues, folk to swing.


The songs David Kessler sings are surrounded by the odd stories of how and where he learned them and what he had to trade for them. He uses these stories to explain where in his brain the songs live. With memories of growing up in New England, living in Israel, hiking in Scotland, marching in Basel, sailing in various countries, drinking in various bars, opening various books, etc. He has co-founded a shantysing, a rum cruise and the Single Malt and Song Society. He co-produced the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony and created The Child Book of Etiquette, which will be for sale at the festival. Visit David’s website at


Inspired by John A. Lee’s book Roughnecks, Rolling Stones and Rouseabouts, Jill King has put together a set of song and story from the early colonial days of her native New Zealand – with an occasional skip and a hop over the Tasman Sea to Australia, where she has also lived.


Liberty consists of Harry and Jenny O’Neill, Nils Chase and Bob Cameron. Harry and Jenny have played traditional music (jigs, reels, hornpipes, etc.) and songs from Ireland and the British Isles for many years. Harry played button accordion in a ceili band in England for over 30 years. Nils Chase, from Kamloops, is an accomplished fiddle player and has played in bands in the Kamloops area. Bob Cameron is from Salmon Arm and plays mandolin and guitar. The band’s name, “Liberty”, is taken from an American old-time reel.


Lyn Pinkerton and Stoney Bird have been playing together for the last four years. Lyn is a university professor and Stoney a former oil company lawyer, so they know a lot about oppression! The songs of the working people have always been their sharpest statement, and the one statement that cannot be destroyed. You can burn books, buy newspapers; you can guard against handbills and pamphlets, but you cannot prevent singing!


Madeleine De Little, Jim Edmondson and Simon Trevelyan were part of the British diaspora of the last century, far from home and scattered to the winds. They miraculously found each other over 25 years ago and have been seeking solace singing together and having a jolly good time.


Mamo consists of Mallory Manley and Morgan Bartlett who met while working the bar at a downtown pub, open late and roaring busy. One of the ways they would get through the long night was to sing along to every song they knew on the radio… but the pub was so loud no one really ever heard their voices over the din. One night they got close enough to hear someone ALSO singing the harmony to the pop song melody…they looked around to see who else would DARE, locked eyes, squealed with joy, and the rest is history!


Mike Marker from Bellingham, Washington performed at folk clubs in Britain, was a crew member on the sloop Clearwater in New York State and an artist in residence in Oregon schools. He was an instructor at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and has played at many festivals throughout the Cascadia region and beyond.


Ellen van der Hoeven from Vancouver and Tom Rawson from Orcas Island, Washington are song collectors and folk singers who love to sing – especially when there are lots of other folks around who want to sing with them! Join Ellen and Tom for some humorous stories, user-friendly songs and acoustic folk philosophy that’s guaranteed to leave you smiling. Armed with banjos, penny whistles, mandolins, and other weapons of mass delight, Ellen and Tom will have you singing along in no time. Tune up your vocal chords: you’ll need ‘em! They have two CDs available for sale at the festival.


North by West consists of Jon Bartlett, Rika Ruebsaat, Simon Trevelyan and Henk Piket. They will be joined this year by Bevan Bartlett. 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!


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 and Jenny divide their time between Ireland, Spain and BC, and have played in sessions, concerts and festivals in Spain, Ireland, the US and Canada.


William Pint and Felicia Dale provide a decidedly different entertainment in the world of maritime music. Dynamic vocals and instrumental fireworks, early music to modern, traditional sea shanties to contemporary songwriters, heart wrenching to downright silly, with powerful harmonies and dramatic instrumental work on guitar, hurdy-gurdy, octave mandolin, penny whistles and fiddle. Well researched, authentic and from the heart! They have CDs available for sale at the festival.


The Posse describes themselves as a group of six retired elders who enjoy playing music of many different genres. The Posse is a ukulele-based group with some other instruments – guitar, bass guitar, cajon, harmonica, banjolele. They play music at seniors’ homes in the Kamloops area, and have performed at coffee houses, farmers’ markets and community fairs. All are members of the Ukulele Orchestra of Kamloops. For this festival they have developed a set of songs from their own families’ roots.


Michael Pratt is a singer, concertina player and fiddler from Vancouver. Michael draws on his Irish roots and on the British folk revival in which he was involved in the early ‘70s before coming to Canada. Michael has performed at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival four times with Tête à Tête, Celtic Traditions and other bands playing traditional songs and tunes. Now he also performs many of his own songs reflecting life on the West Coast.


Rattlebone Band is part of the Morris dance scene in Vancouver. The band members are also members of the Vancouver Morris Men and they are as swift on their feet as they are with their fingers. Rattlebone plays rollicking English jigs, reels and hornpipes as well as throwing in the odd song. The band often puts on ceilidh dances and will be leading the Friday evening dance at this year’s festival. Visit their website at


Murray and Christine MacDonald will play traditional British music from drinking songs to ballads and lullabies, with mandolin, guitar and banjo. They have been playing since they were about twelve years old. Murray leads music groups and teaches guitar and mandolin. Christine is a Girl Guide Music Advisor for Fraser Skies Area from Delta to Hope, leading singing for small and large groups. Christine and Murray have performed in BC and Arizona. Ravensong plays regularly at two Seniors’ Homes in the Lower Mainland.


The Relative Miners are Bevan Bartlett, Morgan Bartlett and Stephen Ruebsaat. Coming from a family with a rich musical tradition, the three of them have been involved in music since childhood, with outputs ranging from hip hop to Balkan brass, to heavy metal. They will be performing mostly traditional songs with a focus on North American songs. Expect rich harmonies, sweet slide guitar and probably a pun or two.


Based in Guanajuato, Mexico, RevoluSon is made up of a group of five very talented young musicians from various regions in Mexico including Vera Cruz, Oaxaca and Morelos. The project was started by singer León Méndez in about 2007 and has gained steam as the ideal group came together to share their passion for traditional Cuban Son, Changui and other regional dance rhythms. Included in their diverse repertoire are many original pieces composed and arranged by León Méndez and Miguel Mendoza. They are very active members of the musical community in Guanajuato, participating in numerous cultural events, television appearances, collaborating with other local artists and touring the state. The goal is to deliver authentic, high energy dance music to suit any stage or audience.


Brian Robertson is perhaps best known for writing well-crafted songs about his beloved west coast. He has two CDs for sale – “Saltchuck Serenade”, and his latest, “Times and Places”, which features fine songs about love, travel, BC history and the blues. Apart from being a noted singer of rousing shanties, Celtic music is another passion, and he regularly appears as a guitarist and vocalist for the Irish Wakers and other performers. Visit Brian’s website at


Chris Roe has been a lover of traditional music since her teenage years in the mid ‘60s. She has spent time as a Morris dancer, a harp player, a student of early music and an active member of the maritime music community in the Puget Sound area. Her main passion is a capella singing and she welcomes audience participation. Chris first came to Princeton in 2007, and is very happy to be back here again!


The lively musical duo of Jonathan Lay and Gordy Euler perform songs and tunes “plundered from land and sea”. This includes traditional Celtic, English, and Old-Time American music, with an emphasis on songs of the sea and maritime music. Their vocal harmonies are accompanied by a “fleet” of acoustic instruments, including fiddle, bodhran (Irish drum), guitar (6 and 12 string), mandola, tin whistles, harmonica and banjo. They first performed at the Princeton Traditional Music Festival in 2013 and this is their fourth appearance. They released their fourth CD, ‘Lighthouse’, in 2016. All four are for sale at the festival. Visit their website at


Initially attracted by the intoxicating combination of the music, the bonhomie and the beer, Helen Shilladay fell in with the Folk and Morris crowd in Derbyshire and began to sing. Her love of traditional English music grew – particularly in the dark, the desperate and the downright bawdy – in other words – most of it! Emigrating 4,700 miles failed to cure her addiction and she found a new Folk family in BC. She organizes the Chilliwack Folk Circle twice monthly, runs sporadic harmony workshops, and performs occasionally if anyone is kind enough (or foolhardy enough!) to ask.


Solomon Jinks and the Cavaliers from Seattle consists of Tim Hall, Chris Roe and David Kessler, all seasoned performers and stalwart participants in this festival. They describe themselves as,”Three performers of ill-repute attempting to sing three different songs at the same time. High jinks ensue!” Be prepared for lots of fun and some fine singing.


Barbara Jackson and Earle Peach are two singers of love songs. Love has many faces, especially throughout the ages – songs are like a key to how it changes. They will sing and tell stories of love songs from 1300 to the present, all in the language of folk. They have a CD available for sale at the festival.


Patrick Spearing 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.


Simon Trevelyan’s set this year will focus on Bothy ballads. Harsh rural conditions in the NE of Scotland gave rise to a distinct music genre – the Bothy ballads. These songs were evolved and were sung in the out houses or small stone buildings that housed the farm labourers. Most of the songs were about farming, working the land, courtship or the loss of love. The Broadside ballads became popular when the printing press became more available. The words of the songs were printed on large sheets of paper and were sung to familiar tunes. Hangings, fair grounds and the court were popular venues for these songs.


Morris dancing is a very old type of dance from England, traditionally danced only by men. The Vancouver Morris Men have been dancing together for nearly forty years. Go to any street festival in the Lower Mainland and you’ll probably see them dancing with bells ringing and handkerchiefs waving. They have also been known to dance on dark, rainy parking lots on Guy Fawkes Night. Enjoy their “guerrilla” street dancing this weekend and visit their website at


Vazzy performs traditional songs from Acadia and Quebec, original compositions and refreshing arrangements of seldom heard toe-tapping tunes, from the French-Canadian, Metis, and Canadian fiddle traditions. Suzanne Leclerc is originally from St Quentin in the Restigouche highlands of New Brunswick, from the last of the large farming families (she has 15 brothers and sisters!) that used to be the norm in French Canada. With her vocals, harmonica and percussion, Suzanne brings a unique and original perspective to the music, songs and ballads of “la Francophonie”. Bryn Wilkin, originally from Ontario is a confirmed “Francophile” who delights in learning from the source, from various musicians willing to share with him, and digging up old repertoire from archives (virtual and otherwise) to play on fiddle and a few other stringed things! Vazzy has CDs for sale at the festival. Visit their website at


David and Mary Lowther live in Mesachie Lake in the middle of the temperate rain forest on Vancouver Island. David sings and plays things with strings, while Mary sings and plays things you blow into. They play a mixture of traditional klezmer music and original songs with a frankly cynical inclination. After twenty years of marriage to a clarinet player David has learned to tune his banjo to an open Bb. Only recently did he discover that other banjo players consider him an eccentric. Mary wonders what took them so long. They have one self- titled CD for sale.


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.

Slivovica Band

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, and the Province of British Columbia.

We thank you all!

Festival Audience



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