Valdy is performing in Sidney on his “month-versary” with his wife Kathleen. They have been married for 32 years. (Handout)

Valdy is performing in Sidney on his “month-versary” with his wife Kathleen. They have been married for 32 years. (Handout)

Legendary folk singer Valdy returns to Sidney for fourth show in four years

If self-sufficiency in the face of adverse weather is a Canadian trait, then Valdy was certainly living up to it when he spoke to the Peninsula News Review.

At the time, Salt Spring Island was covered in snow. His power was out, so he had a fire going and he was making coffee and hot water on a propane burner outside.

Valdy pointed out that while he uses amps, he is still a folk singer who produces everything “in an analogue and acoustic manner,” so his signature sound “does not require any power source to make it work.”

The 72-year old singer is playing his fourth show in four years at the Mary Winspear Centre on Jan. 13. His concert in Sidney is his “month-versary” with his wife of 32 years, Kathleen, “so I thought I might focus on love songs for this one, just because it’s a special day for us.”

The big anniversary is August 13, but they observe it each month “to celebrate our love as the year goes along.”

He moved from Victoria to Sooke and bought five acres of waterfront when he was 25. It was the early 1970s, and he met many Vietnam draft dodgers there, which he said really influenced his music in those years politically and philosophically.

Now, he said, “I tend to be a little less obscure,” citing a recent tribute to Stompin’ Tom Conners or the fire in Fort McMurray as examples.

As a bit of a Canadian folk icon, Valdy had a memorable Canada 150.

On July 1, he performed with a choir of over 100 kids between the ages of 8 and 15 where they sang O Canada in both official languages, as well as a new song that Valdy wrote himself called “We Are The Future.”

Valdy said it was written with young singers in mind, because it reminds their elders to “be careful with this planet because [kids will] get it when we’re done.”

The folk singer has won two Junos and has been inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005, and he still tries to play 200 shows a year, but Valdy said “it’s just a target; I seldom make it.” He actually thinks he plays between 140 and 160 a year.

At 72, he has no plans to slow down, saying “it does the soul good to sing.”

It’s good for my soul and I do encourage other people to join me when I’m in concert,” he said.

“It always lifts the room when there’s more than one voice.”

Valdy is performing at the Charlie White Theatre on Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m. For info and tickets, visit tickets.marywinspear.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health has confirmed the first long term care facility outbreak in Greater Victoria at Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich. (Google Maps)
Island Health records first long-term care COVID outbreak in Greater Victoria

Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich confirms one positive staff member

Itty, a Siamese cat, has been missing since a house fire in Victoria’s Fernwood neighbourhood on Friday, Nov. 27. Her owner says she has white fur with blonde and grey markings. (Facebook/ROAM)
Cat goes missing after house fire in Fernwood neighbourhood

‘Itty’ has white fur, blonde and grey markings and blue eyes

The Saanich Fire Department Station #2 C-Battalion members (left to right) firefighter Clayton Tilon, firefighter Bonnie Fiala, firefighter Zay Hamilton, Capt. Dawrin Schellenberg and firefighter Charlie Rivers show off their BC Emergency Health Servicecs Vital Link Award. (Photo courtesy Darwin Schellenberg)
Saanich firefighters receive Vital Link Award from paramedics for life-saving CPR

Award issued to C-Battalion, civilian for help saving cardiac arrest patient in June

An aerial view over Oak Bay. (Black Press Media File Photo)
An aerial view over Oak Bay and the Marina. Oak Bay residents pay the highest taxes on Vancouver Island. Don Denton/Black Press
Oak Bay secondary suites study considers units old and new

Secondary suites draft report due in new year

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

Most Read