Thirteenth Annual

Princeton Traditional Music Festival

Friday 20 to Sunday 22 August ~ 2021


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.


IRISH SESSION - Host: Brian Robertson

Saturday 12:00 -1:00 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 12:00 - 1:00 pm Museum Stage
We are blessed to have singers from many varied traditions at the festival. In this session you will hear songs in French from both sides of the Atlantic, songs in Russian, songs from the Balkans as well as other songs in languages you may never have heard before. The multi-lingual crew in this session consists of Alex Atamanenko, Lynn McGown, Rika Ruebsaat and singers from Savoir Faire.


Saturday 1:30 - 2:30 pm Museum Stage & Sunday 1:30 - 2:30 pm Museum Stage
As you will have noticed, during the Festival Princeton is crawling with musicians. Not all of these musicians are performing in a scheduled slot. The open stage sessions are therefore an opportunity for these fine musicians to strut their stuff and for audiences to hear what they have to offer. It could also be a very exciting, eclectic experience as during the session you may hear anything from the familiar banjos and fiddles to songs from other traditions or instruments you've never heard of. So sit back and enjoy music from the many musicians who are not on the official program but who have nonetheless come to participate in this weekend's musical feast.

SONGS OF THE SEA - Hosts: Shanghaied on the Willamette

Saturday 3:00 - 4:00 pm Vermilion Stage
Sailors sang songs when they were off watch -- songs about the girls on shore, about shipwrecks or about other aspects of a sailor's life. You'll also hear songs about fishing on the west coast. Sharing this rich musical culture will be, John Gothard, David Kessler Michael Pratt, Chris Roe and Shanghaied on the Willamette.

TRADITIONAL BALLADS from the Child Collection - Host: Rosaleen Gregory

Sunday 10:30 - 11:30 am 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 Bevan Bartlett, Jon Bartlett, Rosaleen Gregory, Jasmine Fiona, Rika Ruebsaat and Penny Sidor.

TRADPOLES - Hosts: Kris & Naomi

Sunday noon - 1:00 pm Museum Stage
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 performance. 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.

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. They"re great fun to sing along with, so join the throng under the gazebo!


Sunday 1:45 - 3:30 pm Vermilion 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. Today's singers are Linda Allen, Bob Bossin, Linda Chobotuck, Tim Hall, Larry Hanks, Hard Row and Madeleine & Jim.

SQUEEZEBOXES - Host: Chris Roe

Sunday 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm Museum Stage
We are blessed this year with a wealth of squeezebox players. You will hear concertinas, button accordions, piano accordions and melodeons. Today's musicians are Graham Baldwin, Tim Hall, Chris Roe, Ans Steenman and Alex Sturbaum.

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!