Putting the squeeze on classical tunes

Accordion parade helps promote Sixth International Victoria Accordion Festival

Toronto-based Quartetto Gelato will be playing July 21 at St. Andrew's Church as a part of the Sixth International Victoria Accordion Festival running from July 19 to 22.

Toronto-based Quartetto Gelato will be playing July 21 at St. Andrew's Church as a part of the Sixth International Victoria Accordion Festival running from July 19 to 22.

What makes a loud noise when you squeeze it and loves a good bellow? No, it’s not the beginning of a bad joke. It’s an accordion.

From July 19 to 22 the Sixth International Victoria Accordion Festival will be taking place around town and hosting some of the top accordion acts in the world.

Friday night is Russian night and will feature a concert by world-famous accordionist Alexander Sevastian, from Minsk, Belarus, at St. Andrew’s Church (680 Courtney St.). Sevastian has won four international accordion competitions and played with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

On the Saturday night, Toronto-based Quartetto Gelato will be performing at St. Andrew’s. The group, which features Sevastian on accordion, is a crowd favourite. On oboe, violin, cello and, of course, accordion, along with tenor vocals, the quartet serves up a variety of world and classical music styles.

“They are so famous and so popular, particularly in this city,” festival director Aleksandar Milojevic said. “We’re sure people will appreciate their concert.”

Another highlight is the Accordion Parade, a first-time event for the festival. The parade kicks off from Market Square at 1 p.m. on the Saturday and will see squeezebox players coming together to play and parade through downtown to Centennial Square and back.

“Just imagine if you have many orchestras together, that’s the sound that you get,” Milojevic said.

All accordion players are invited to take part in the parade, but are asked to arrive at noon to prepare.

Most exciting for organizers is that this year’s festival is a precursor of sorts to what will prove to be the big event in 2013.

The success of the festival over the past five years was one contributing factor to Victoria being named host of the 66th Coupe Mondiale event in 2013. This will be the first time that the world’s biggest accordion event has been held in Canada and it will run from Aug. 17 to 25. Hundreds of accordionists and even more visitors from all over the world are expected to attend the event, which takes place in a different country every year.

“People are so happy,” Milojevic said. “So that means that we’re doing something good here in Victoria.”

For Milojevic one of the best parts of the festival is seeing the younger players getting involved and falling in love with the instrument, and seeing accordions begin to regain a popularity they haven’t enjoyed since the rise of rock and roll.

“Accordions became a not very cool instrument with all the electric guitars and drums and everything that youngsters could express themselves differently with. But now it’s picking up again,” Milojevic said. “We have kids seven years old or eight years old competing, which is amazing and you don’t see everyday, everywhere.”

Tickets for the Sevastian and Quartetto Gelato concerts are $25, $20 for seniors and students. The workshop is $25 per person or $30 at the door. Tickets are available at Tempo Trend Music and Long and McQuade, by phone at 778-433-8700 or by email at contact@bcaccordion.ca.

For a full schedule go to bcaccordion.ca

 

Just Posted

Sasha Perron of Langford is preparing to run a half marathon on Saturday, 10 kilometres Sunday, 21.5 km on Tuesday and so on until he’s totalled 216 kilometres. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Indigenous man to run 215 kilometres, plus one for children waiting to be found

Donations to Sasha Perron’s fundraiser to benefit Indian Residential School Survivors Society

Saanich Neighbourhood Place is hoping to open the doors to its new centre in July, pending final council approval. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich childcare agency awaits final approval on much-needed new facility

Saanich Neighbourhood Place keen to open new centre this summer, expand options for community

A patio built by The Village is shared by three eateries in Estevan. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay eateries sharing communal patio space in Estevan Village

The Village invested $25,000 in streetside patio, hopes to make it permanent

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

An SUV sits where it crashed through the front window of the 2:18 Run store in Fairfield Plaza, after the driver appeared to lose control on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Phil Nicholls)
Driver crashes through front window of Victoria running store in Fairfield

Phil Nicholls of 2:18 Run said crash sounded like an earthquake at first

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read