Discovering new artists from around the world and enjoying quality music keep audiences returning each year to the Mission Folk Music Festival, says artistic director Francis Xavier Edwards.
Edwards credits loyal crowds and a dedicated volunteer base to the success of the festival, now celebrating its 28th year.
“(The festival) is not driven by money. It’s driven by an artistic vision and a vision of community,” he said.
This year’s event starts today (Friday) and runs through Sunday at Fraser River Heritage Park.
Edwards said the festival is supported by between 300 and 350 volunteers – about 80 per cent of whom will return next year – and attracts approximately 7,000 attendees over the three days.
Most festival-goers come from across B.C., but the event also attracts many from Washington State, Oregon and California.
Edwards said a lot of people enjoy the “discovery” of the festival and listening to diverse artists that they otherwise would not be able to see live.
For example, Edwards said he is particularly looking forward to Saturday night’s performances, which include Haya from Inner Mongolia, Ialma from Belgium/Galicia, Volosi from Poland and Black Umfolosi of Zimbabwe.
The Mission Folk Music Festival also features the Music BC Stage with a showcase of emerging B.C. artists Mindil Beach, Jocelyn Pettit, Lydia Hol and The Lion, The Bear, The Fox.
Edwards said another highlight is Sunday night’s finale performance featuring Canadian folk legend Sylvia Tyson.
The festival site features four stages of music as well as workshops, a Folk Art and Import Market, food concessions, a licensed bistro and camping facilities.
The music begins at 6 p.m. Friday and at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. (Gates open at 11.)
For tickets and more information, including the full concert schedule, visit missionfolkmusicfestival.ca or call 604-826-5937.
MAIN STAGE EVENING CONCERT SCHEDULE
Friday, starting at 7 p.m.:
Mindil Beach, B.C.
Jocelyn Pettit Band, B.C.
Meghan Yates and the
Reverie Machine, U.S.
Gallus Brothers, U.S.
The Lion, The Bear, The Fox, B.C.
Saturday, starting at 6 p.m.:
Haya, Inner Mongolia
Black Umfolosi, Zimbabwe
Sunday, starting at 6 p.m.:
Schryer Nolan Dobres Trio,
Lydia Hol, B.C.
Bongoziwe Mabandla, South Africa
Ross & Jarlath, Scotland/Ireland
Sylvia Tyson, Ontario