BC or Bust
Folk at home
WHAT: Vancouver Folk Music Festival at Home
WHEN: Through July 25
COST: By donation
WHAT: Mission Folk Music Festival
WHEN: 7pm-10pm July 23-25
COST: By donation
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Grab your passport, because it’s time to cross the border. You won’t need a suitcase or road snacks for this aural adventure, but you will need to set some time aside to make the virtual visit to Canada a worthy one.
During typical summers, the journey to the scenic shores of Jericho Park to attend the annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival probably would’ve involved a whole lot of advance planning—from timing your crossing through Blaine or Sumas just right, to remembering to pack sunscreen, to sussing out the typically loaded lineup and deciding how best to manage your time upon arrival.
However, this year’s “Vancouver Folk Musical Festival at Home” calls for residents of Canada and the United States to sit tight just a little longer. Although vaccinations have ramped up in both countries since the VFMF board cancelled the in-person action in March, an event that typically draws thousands of people to its multiple stages each day couldn’t move forward without risking the safety of community members, staff, contractors, artists, vendors, sponsors, suppliers, patrons and festival supporters.
That’s the bummer news. The much-better news is that “VFMF @ Home” features 13 different shows that were filmed for this year’s festival. Through July 25, pick and choose, or binge-watch all of them in one fell swoop. Choose from Blue Moon Marquee, Buckerfield’s Band, Tim Hearsey Music, Locarno, Khari Wendell McClelland, Kathleen Nisbet, Marin Patenaude, Dawn Pemberton, Jocelyn Pettit Band, Paul Pigat and the Grand Koolios, Redbird, Tsatsu Stalqayu (Coastal Wolf Pack) and Vashaan Music (Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra).
“Showcasing a dynamic mix of musical styles and genres from some of BC’s finest artist—from meditative Persian song, to blues, to Mexican son jarocho, to funky soul dance, it’s all free for you to enjoy at your leisure,” organizers say. “The shows were filmed at various Vancouver venues, which adds and extra-special flair and vibe to each experience.”
If you dig what you see and hear, consider making a donation of any size so you can head back to the beach in 2022.
Keep the giving spirit in mind for the 34th annual Mission Folk Music Festival, which is also online this year, and is also being offered gratis. The second annual “Folk at Home” takes place July 23-25, with three mainstage concert evening showcases highlighting an eclectic range of musical talent from Canada and beyond, including West My Friend, Liam Docherty, Kara-Kata Afrobeat Group, Talisk, the Shari Ulrich Quartet, Moskitto Bar, and more.
“Festival audiences will experience a showcase of everything from down-home roots music to sounds from the global melting pot, to chamber folk, blues and Celtic, a fusion of West African kora and flamenco, and so much more,” festival director Michelle Demers Shaevitz says of the event that usually fills Fraser River Heritage Park in Mission, BC every July. “We warmly welcome back the audiences who have supported the festival for more than 30 years, and invite new folks to join us.”