Thirteenth Annual

Princeton Traditional Music Festival

Friday 20 to Sunday 22 August ~ 2021

Audience in Veteran's Square

Read the biographies of the 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.


(updated Aug 6)


A Force of Nature from Saltspring Island combines Michaela Cunningham's virtuoso concertina with fiddle sensation Annie Brown supplemented by traditional songs from Simon Trevelyan.


Linda Allen from Bellingham is a collector of songs as well as a songwriter deeply rooted in tradition. Her songs bring alive the voices of pioneer women, suffragists, Rosie the Riveter, immigrants and so many more. Her passion for politics and history are at the heart of her music but she also sings songs of healing informed by her musical hospice work. Linda will have CDs for sale at the festival. For more information about her work and her many recordings please visit her website at .


Allie and McLeod are Allie Ryser and MacLeod Cushing from Blaine in Washington State. They are an instrumental duo who play accordion, fiddle and guitar and whose repertoire highlights the musical traditions of Canada, England, Scotland and the US. They are regular performers at craft and farmers' markets and festivals as well as buskers at Robson Square and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Allie and McLeod will have CDs for sale at the festival.


Alex Atamanenko and Dan Shlakoff from Castlegar have performed together for a number of years in the Castlegar area. Their performance will consist of traditional Russian songs as well as songs from North America.


Graham Baldwin is a founding member of the Vancouver Morris Men and the Rattlebone Band. His performance will include traditional as well as more modern songs from Britain about the seasons and life's struggles. Graham accompanies himself on guitar and melodeon.


Bevan Bartlett from Vancouver grew up surrounded by traditional songs, of which he says, "One of the magical aspects of these old songs is the container they create for fostering connection in the here and now -- the physical and sensory experience of entering a song with another person, the sense of being in communion with something bigger (history? Ancestors? The eternal human condition?) or simply a good reason to gather. Traditional music has brought some wonderful people into my life. This year I will be joined in harmony with some of those people."


Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat are the founders of this festival and have been singing together for over forty-five 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: Sl im 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


Robert Bertrand from Merritt started playing blues at the age of twenty, first as a vocalist and harmonica player. At twenty-one he began learning delta style blues and American primitive guitar instrumentals. His influences include Robert Johnson, Mississippi Fred MacDowell, John Fahey, Leo Kotke and Brian Jones among others. Robert has CDs for sale at the festival.


Bob Bossin from Gabriola Island founded the iconic Canadian folk group Stringband, with whom he recorded such classis Canadian songs such as "Tugboats," "The Maple Leaf Dog," "Show us the Length" and "Dief will be the Chief Again." Bob's books, articles and videos have won a shelf full of honours. Bob has been a life-long activist. For many years he participated in and chronicled the campaign to save Clayoquot Sound. His 2021 Earth Day video, "Pass it Along" has been viewed by over 20,000 people. Bob has CD s and a book for sale at the festival. Please visit his website at


The British Columbia Regiment Band from Vancouver has been in existence since 1899. They have provided ceremonial music for civic events ever since. They usually perform in house for the Regiment and in a normal year they perform to tens of thousands of people. Their largest audience was 440,000 people at the Appledorn Parade in the Netherlands.


Michael Burnyeat from Vancouver has appeared often at this festival and we're delighted to have him back. He is a fiddler who plays with numerous Celtic, Folk and Country bands throughout the Lower Mainland. He is the founder of the UBC Fiddle club and is a two-time BC fiddle champion. In 2018 and 2019 Michael was a finalist in the Canadian Grandmasters Fiddle competition. Michael's first solo CD will be for sale at the festival.


Bushy Park from Vancouver is an all-woman country band that flips the gender on traditional favourites in a fun and sassy way. Their songs tell stories of real people that live outside the lines. The group is a collaboration between four accomplished independent musicians who are completely blessed out to be in an all-woman band together. They express their joy through harmony and humour by singing country old time classics together with a sprinkling of original songs. Bushy Park has CDs and T-shirts for sa le at the festival. Please visit their website at


Linda Chobotuck from Burnaby grew up surrounded by folk music with a mother who came from a parlour singing tradition and was an early disciple of the folk revival. Back then everyone Linda respected as a musician was also a songwriter, so from an early age she also wrote music. She says, "I'm not very prolific but I've been doing it for a long time so it adds up. After sleeping, people spend most of their time at work so I am perhaps best known as a singer and composer of labour songs, the most widely reco rded of which is 'Canning Salmon,' which I wrote just out of high school while working in a Richmond cannery."


Barry Cole from Bellingham is self-taught on autoharp, recorder, tin whistle, dulcimer, fiddle mandolin. Banjo, saxophone, guitar and six other instruments. He is also a singer and collector of ballads. He likes to sing with fiddle and autoharp and to jam with other musicians. He is also a dance musician and caller.


Countercurrent, a contra dance and folk music band from western Washington, consists of Alex Sturbaum and Brian Lindsay. The duo features driving guitar, foot percussion, lyrical fiddle and harmony vocals. In over ten years of playing together Brian and Alex have developed a style that brings forth the joy and nuance in the music they play. The combination of Brian's tasteful tune-smithing and Alex's punchy rhythms and gifted songwriting is not to be missed. As they spread their music cross the northwest an d beyond, Countercurrent continues to push their own boundaries with new compositions, lively arrangements, lush harmonies and driving grooves to keep you dancing along. Countercurrent has CDs for sale at the festival. Please visit their website at


Digitary Dos are a seven-piece band from Vancouver. Their ever-changing personnel includes new and old performers from the British Isles and other countries. They have been performing English Country Dance music in various guises (and disguises) for ten years. They play dance tunes and airs from the 16th to the 20th Centuries.


John Gothard from Brackendale is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who has been performing traditional music for many years. Born and raised in Liverpool ("The Capital of Ireland"), John's style is a mixture of English and Irish traditional songs together with other songs he acquired after making a new life in Canada. John is well-known in singing circles throughout the Pacific Northwest. John's performance includes both a capella songs and songs with guitar accompaniment.


Rosaleen and David Gregory from Nelson have an extensive repertoire of traditional songs, which they love to share. They met at Keele University in England in the 1960s and brought their varied heritage to Canada shortly thereafter. They have been active in the Canadian Society for Traditional Music for many years. Rosaleen contributed a regular column to the Society's magazine introducing readers to the power, beauty and relevance of traditional ballads. Rosaleen and David love the Princeton Traditional Mu sic Festival for its integrity and spirit of camaraderie. Rosaleen has CDs for sale at the festival. Please 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.


Larry Hanks and Deborah Robins from Portland 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. Larry Hanks is known as an "American Treasure," and has been performing to international audiences for over 55 years. He is the composer of the beloved "Apple Tree Picker's Reel." Larry and Deborah have CDs for sale at the festival. Please visit their website at,


Hard Row from Armstrong -- the father and daughter team of Kaila and Kim Sinclair - are lovers of the richness of traditional music. Throughout the year they each perform on their own and perform together whenever they can. In the folk tradition they sing old songs to tell today's stories. The songs in their repertoire have survived through time,sometimes changing rhtthm and often morphing lyrics to become relevant for today. They are excited to be performing again at the Princeton Traditional Music Festiva l. Hard Row has CDs for sale at the festival. Please visit them on Facebook:


Hercinia from Seattle is named for a mythical glowing bird that travels through the mountains. The group brings the same otherworldly quality to their music. They first played together at the 2019 Vachon sessions and have since created a sound both innovative and timeless, driven by Laura Bassett's clear vocals and thoughtful song selection, Richard Reeve's powerful bass and the textures and arrangements of Alex Sturbaum and Brian Lindsay. Together Hercinia aims to bring to life old and new songs that you m ight not have heard before.


Jaeger and Reid are from Oakland, California. Some of the best discoveries are made by accident. That's what happened with the fusion of musical talents of Judith Jaeger and Bob Reid. They unexpectedly found perfect harmony while standing next to each other at a music camp in 2015. Their musical spark caught fire, was noticed by those around them and a wonderful collaboration was born. They combine Judy's Canadian roots, striking vocals and intelligent songs with Bob's California upbringing and his own orig inal, engaging songs. Their artful blending of guitars, ukulele and rich harmonies deliver an intimate experience of meaningful music. Jaeger and Reid have CDs for sale at the festival. Please visit their website at


Jasmine Fiona from Aldergrove is an a capella singer enchanted by the melodies of many traditions but with a special affection for Appalachian ballads and laments. Her performance will focus on the ancient songs carried by Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English immigrants to the Appalachians. These songs have survived and evolved through the generations with the musical influence of indigenous and enslaved people giving their melodies a depth more haunting than those left behind in the old country.


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


Singer-songwriter Leah Williams has been playing music most of her life. Her musical talents have been heard in various groups performing both original and traditional music. Wind specialist Mark Dowding has been performing professionally for fifty years in genres as diverse as folk fusion, Gypsy jazz and Motown. Leah and Mark have been performing together for over twenty years bringing stories to life with thoughtful and expressive lyrics woven through a carefully crafted instrumental tapestry. They will be joined on fiddle by Annie Brown.


Lyn Pinkerton from Vancouver will be sharing European and North American traditional ballads. Some of these are funny and some are tragic. Lyn will be joined onstage by musical friends.


Lynn and Michael from Vancouver have been singing together for decades. The marriage of Lynn's Quebecois background and Michael's British/Irish roots, together with their rich voices creates beautiful music. They will be singing a combination of traditional and more modern songs. Lyn and Michael have CDs for sale at the festival. Please visit their website at


How great to sing with you again! Come and join us for a rip-roaring singalong of traditional folk songs.


Nakos Marker has been performing at the Princeton Traditional Music Festival since its inception when he was sixteen years old. At the time he performed with his late father, Mike Marker. He has since come into his own as a resophonic guitarist and singer. Expect blues, country and more than a few wild cards from American tradition.


My American Boyfriend consists of Ellen Van der Hoeven from Vancouver and Tom Rawson from Orcas Island, Washington. Ellen and Tom are song collectors who love to sing, especially when there are lots of other folks 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. T une up your vocal cords; you'll need 'em.


North by West consists of Bevan Bartlett, Jon Bartlett, Henk Piket, Rika Ruebsaat and Simon Trevelyan. 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. Some of them are Honorary Life Members of the Vancouver Folk Song Society and are among the founding members of the VFSS Shanty Crew. Sing along with them!


Henk Piket from Princeton is a seasoned folkie who cut his teeth during the folk boom of the 1960s. He usually performs with the Fraser Union quartet, who have appeared several times at this festival. Accompanying himself on guitar, Henk's repertoire consists of "chestnuts" from the folk revival as well as a few surprise songs.


Rattlebone Band plays for English ceilidh, English country and contra dances. However, it also performs concerts with an eclectic selection of songs and tunes, usually with a strong British Isles influence but also some reflecting our Canadian heritage. Besides a regular concert, Rattlebone Band will also be playing and dance calling for the Festival's Friday evening street dance. Visit their website at


Relative Miners are Bevan Bartlett, Morgan Bartlett and Stephen Ruebsaat. Coming from a family with a rich musical tradition, these three have been involved in music since childhood, with outputs ranging from hip hop to Balkan brass to heavy metal. This will be their fifth year performing mostly traditional songs from North America. And, as usual, expect rich harmonies, sweet slide guitar and wholesome family dynamics.


Brian is perhaps best known for writing well-crafted songs about his beloved west coast. He has two CDs for sale at the festival - Saltchuck Serenade, and his latest, Times and Places, which features songs about love, work, travel, BC history and even some blues numbers. Apart from leading his own trio, Brian is a noted singer of shanties, appearing on occasion with Princeton Porch Party, and frequently provides backup guitar to fiddlers at sessions and performances. Please visit his website at


Chris Roe comes to Princeton from Olympia, Washington, with a smorgasbord of songs and tunes from wide ranging sources. Her choices range from medieval to contemporary, including some original songs, but the emphasis is always on the power of a song to convey a good story. Chris has CDs for sale at the festival. Please visit her website at


Harley Rothstein from Vancouver has been teaching and performing music based on his infectious love of the traditional and folk music of many regions. His varied experience includes singing in a classical choir, directing liturgical services and leading rousing sing-alongs at teacher gatherings. A solo vocalist with guitar, Harley performs in a style that makes it easy and enjoyable to sing along. Some of the songs will be familiar, others will be new and all will move and delight you.


Savoir Faire from Vancouver performs traditional folk tunes and songs from Europe and Canada. Led by an old-fashioned button accordion, other instruments include fiddle, flute, tambura, guitar and percussion. And, of course, vocal cords.


Shanghaied on the Willamette from upstate Oregon is the lively musical duo of Jonathan Lay and Gordy Euler. They perform songs and tunes "plundered from land and sea" including traditional Celtic, English and old-time American music with an emphasis on songs of the sea. They accompany themselves with a "fleet" of instruments including fiddle, bodhran, guitars. Mandola, tin whistle, harmonica and banjo. Shanghaied on the Willamette have CDs for sale at the festival. Please visit their website at


Helen Shilladay from Gabriola Island says she was "a relative newcomer to the world of folk. My first memories are of the voices of the folk revival heroes Maddy Prior, June Tabor and others. Only much later in a cozy pub in Deryshire did I finally join the folk family by plucking up the courage to sing. In folk songs I find friendship, community, joy, and a connection to our ancestors that gives us resilience for future hard times - just what we need right now!"


Penny Sidor says that "There is a song for everything. Songs inhabit me and I inhabit them." A singer since childhood, a songwriter since the age of 55, Penny was inspired by the folk revival of the 1960s. She traveled, played festivals and coffeehouses, then settled in Toronto to do a music degree at York University. "That experience fed my life - musically, intellectually and in every other way. Everything I learned turns up in my music." In 1985 she moved to Vancouver, living in the lively musical commun ity near Commercial Drive and finding a home in the Vancouver Folk Song Society. In 1998 she moved to Gabriola Island where dogs and gardening took over her life. But the songs are still alive. Her performances are warm, heartfelt and full of fun. Penny has CDs for sale at the festival.


Alex Sturbaum from Seattle is a one-of-a-kind performer. Steeped in musical traditions from both sides of the Atlantic, Alex's love for the music and joy in playing it is evident in every note. He is a powerful instrumentalist, a gifted songwriter as well as an interpreter of traditional songs He puts on an engaging show, accompanying old and new songs on guitar and bouzouki and getting the audience involved as much as possible. Alex has CDs for sale at the festival.


Introducing Tradpoles! For the first time ever Princeton is hosting a children's open mic session. Are you under eighteen and would like to perform a traditional song? If so, you are invited to perform it at the festival, and if you have a backing band, bring them along to support your performance. The way this works is that during the festival Kris and Naomi will be recruiting under-eighteen kids who are at the festival. There will then be a Saturday run-through/rehearsal to get ready for Sunday's performa nce. On Sunday at noon the "Tradpoles" will perform the songs they have chosen and practiced. Kris and Naomi will be circulating so if you're interested, please ask festival organizers, your parents and friends to help locate us.


Under Beech Wood is a place in winter where two Vancouver musicians, unable to meet indoors during covid, huddled to play a little "contraband" live music under a huge and protective beech tree. As winter turned into spring and restrictions eased, the duo grew to four and then to six with each bringing their experience of Irish, English and French traditions to the mix. From these roots the group is branching out, combining sounds anew as the world opens up again.


The Vancouver Morris Men were formed in 1982. Their goal was to maintain English folk traditions, specifically Morris dancing. The group uses its performances to celebrate the changing of the seasons throughout the year. Spring and summer is when they perform South Midlands (Cotswold) Morris while Welsh Border Morris and Molly are performed during the autumn and winter. Watch for their waving handkerchiefs and hear their bells as they perform guerrilla dances in the street during the Festival. Please visit their website at


The Wheat in the Barley is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. This multi-cultural, multi-instrumental group has toured BC and Alberta extensively. They breathe new life into traditional tunes and are sometimes accused of fiddle abuse. The tunes are spattered with a handful of traditional songs and originals composed by Steve Gidora. The Wheat in the Barley has CDs for sale at the festival. Visit their website at:


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!