Thirteenth Annual

Princeton Traditional Music Festival

Friday 16 to Sunday 18 August ~ 2020


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 workshop.


SONGS OF CANADA Host: Maura Volante

Saturday noon 1 pm, Museum Stage
From songs of the lumbering camps of the Ottawa Valley and the west coast to centuries-old ballads from the Atlantic Provinces, this workshop will take you on a cross-Canada journey in song. Todays singers are Jon Bartlett & Rika Ruebsaat, Bob Bossin, Linda Chobotuck, Rideau Rounders and Ian Robb.

IRISH SESSION Host: Brian Robertson

Saturday 12:30 1:30 pm Vermilion Stage
Put a bunch of passionate Celtic fiddlers, guitar players, flautists, pipers, and the like on stage together and see what happens!


Saturday 2:30 3:30 pm Museum Stage
While CEOs and corporations float in a stratosphere of riches, much of the world struggles on the ground just trying to get by. Everywhere, including Canada, the gap between the rich and poor is getting wider each day and the weather is getting weirder. Before you get too depressed about it, take heart in these songs that speak of the struggle for a better world. Todays singers are Bob Bossin, Linda Chobotuck, Madeleine & Jim, Mike & Nakos and Ian Robb.


Saturday 4 5 pm Library
The Vancouver Folk Song Society, a sister organization to the Princeton Traditional Music Society, celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2019. This session will feature performances and reminiscences by new and long-time VFSS members.

THE BLUES Host: Barry Truter

Saturday 4:30 5:30 pm Vermilion Stage
Emerging from the field calls and chants of slavery days, the Blues became a popular commercial music among blacks in the 1920s and 30s until it eventually spilled over to embrace us all. Sharing this music today are Robert Bertrand, Jook Joint Jokers, Mike & Nakos, Henk Piket and Barry Truter.

TRADITIONAL BALLADS from the Child Collection Host: Chris Roe

Sunday 11 am noon 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. Todays balladeers are Rosaleen Gregory, Tim Hall, Tim Jenkins, Ian Robb and Chris Roe

SHANTY SESSION host: Simon Trevelyan

Sunday 1:00 1:45 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. Theyre great fun to sing along with, so join the throng under the gazebo!


Sunday 3 - 4 pm Museum Stage
We are blessed this year with a wealth of free reed musicians. You will hear concertinas, harmonicas, button accordions, piano accordions and melodeons. Todays musicians are Graham Baldwin, Robert Bertrand, Peter Brunning, Ian Robb, Chris Roe and Jenny White.

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.


The Place

Nestled among rolling hills of ranchland, the little town of Princeton is the gateway to the Okanagan. About 300 km from Vancouver, it is the first town after Hope along the Crowsnest Highway. Summers are hot and dry - just what we like for our festival which takes place mostly in the streets.


In addition to the sponsors, this festival is primarily supported by hard work and artists who perform for free. However, we aim to pay for artist's meals and at least part of their transportation costs. Please consider contributing in order to help maintain this important cultural event.

Become a Member

You can support the continuing operation of the festival by buying a $10 membership.


Every year we need a stage crew, MCs, office staff, and many other important helpers. If you want to be part of this exciting event in this way, please let us know.


We encourage the sale of food, crafts, art, and more at the Festival. Please contact the Vendor Coordinator.


Funding for the Festival comes from donations, as well as grants from the Town of Princeton, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, the Province of British Columbia, and the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program of Canadian Heritage.

We thank you all!

Festival Audience



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