Victoria’s folk festival adds international flavour

FolkWest gives second year a go

The Milk Carton Kids

The gates closed on Saturday during last year’s first annual FolkWest Festival, capping off a successful day in Royal Athletic Park for organizers – but they couldn’t have predicted just how electric the night show that followed would be.

FolkWest artistic director Oliver Swain found himself swept up into the moment when Irish band Martin Nolan, Pierre Schryer and Adam Dobres packed Logan’s Pub and brought the house down with a dance set.

“That dance floor was just pumping so hard and that was as thrilling to me as anything that happened on the main stage,” said Swain, who will take his banjo, bass and vocal stylings to Logan’s with Emily Braden during the first night of the festival, Aug. 10. “Those little moments just came out of nowhere.”

Swain will continue his long history of performance with Braden the following day when he joins the powerhouse vocalist on the main stage.

FolkWest forges ahead into its second year with 23 performance troupes and almost 40 hours of programming – including a mix of international and local performers at Royal Athletic Park and three bands nightly at Logan’s once RAP’s gates close. Emily Braden and the Deepdowns, the Breakmen and Caravan headline the pub Friday through Sunday.

“There’s a lot of great local talent and many of them are in demand all over the world,” Swain said. “The concept of the festival is that we have all this great local talent that we want to mix in and celebrate.”

In an effort to bring a platform for traditional and contemporary folk music back to Victoria following the loss of Rootsfest and FolkFest events in 2002 and 2006, respectively, Swain, along with friends Bryan Skinner, Joelle May, Kelly Sherwin and Adam Bailey, began fundraising in 2009. The Lower Island FolkFest Society gained official status in May, 2010.

Last August’s event had a stronger focus on local musicians – a decision based partially on a desire to promote local performers and somewhat on the budgetary confines of launching a festival.

FolkWest 2012 builds on last year’s success – the event drew 4,500 visitors over the weekend, supported by a crew of 300 volunteers – and includes more international headliners alongside Victoria acts, such as The Archers and West My Friend.

L.A.’s The Milk Carton Kids and Joy Kills Sorrow of Boston are on the lineup, along with the gypsy jazz of Caravan (Marc Atkinson, Chris Frye, Joey Smith and Daniel Lapp), the West African amasumbou music of Aboubacar Camara and Doundounba and Adonis Puentes Band.

“What we really try to do is get together, celebrate and enjoy great, great music in this beautiful city and everything that we have to offer. Bring your family, bring your friends and come celebrate.”

The celebration includes local artisans, food vendors curated by the Island Chef Collaborative and plenty to keep the kids entertained with Merlin’s Sun Puppetry, Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, Sunshine Clowns and the award-winning children’s artists The Kerplunks on the bill.

“We’ve figured out just about every way to have fun on a field, all the different ways you can have fun with grass between your toes.”

More information can be found on the FolkWest website at FolkWest.ca.

Just Posted

Lone wolf eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Hundreds of foreign species continue to wash along B.C. coast following Japanese tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather in downtown Victoria for Extinction Rebellion climate protest

The rally is the kickoff to the Global Climate Strike Week of Action

Church bells to ring for 11 minutes in support of Global Climate Strike

Each minute to signify years left to drastically reduce greenhouse gas pollution

Four charges approved in Saanich hit and run that left woman in coma

‘This was a significant crash that caused serious injuries,’ say police

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Most Read