Amazing music and great weather are bringing out the crowds to this year’s Mission Folk Music Festival and Fraser River Heritage Park.
Now in its third day, the MFMF – like every year – starts with a good idea and everything else is planned around it, says Francis Edwards, artistic director.
One of the most unique elements of this year’s show is the Women of Song category. Mary Gauthier, Eliza Gilkyson, and Lynn Miles are all highly acclaimed songwriters who have had their music performed by different artists.
They travel a lot, explained Edwards, and have never performed together. But that changes this weekend.
“Now they have the opportunity to play together on one stage,” said Edwards. “It’s a unique project you won’t find anywhere else.”
The trio will be playing on the main stage tonight (Sunday).
While Edwards continually tries to find ways to improve everyone’s experience at the festival, he notes there is never one big name or event during the festival.
“I want to see artists and audiences connect,” he explained. “We introduce new artists to audiences and audiences to artists. We’re not a celebrity-based festival.”
MFMF offers a broad range of music with the help of hundreds of volunteers who do everything from selling tickets to setting up tents and stages, and serving food. Volunteers also pick up musicians from the airport and arrange stays for some in local homes.
Edwards notes festival organizers try to limit the environmental footprint at the park, and he reminds everyone to bring their refillable water jugs as plastic water bottles will not be available at the park. Instead, there will be water stations to help quench your thirst and reusable canisters available to purchase.
Canadian blues icon Jim Byrnes closes out the three-day festival tonight (Sunday).
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Day Stage, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
11:30 a.m. Prohibition Era
12:45 p.m. The Flying Gwitch’in Fiddler
1:45 p.m. Iskew
2:45 p.m. The Gallus Brothers
3:45 p.m. Briga
4:45 p.m. Balkan Blast Orkestar Slivovica
11:30 a.m. Director’s Choice, TBA
12:30 p.m. When All Hope is Gone A Sad Song Says So Much
1:30 p.m. Delta Time
2:30 p.m. Pure Pacific Blue … Grass
3:30 p.m. Troubadors in Curious Times
4:30 p.m. Oliver Swain’s Big Machine
11:30 a.m. Gospel Session
1 p.m. A Mexican-Mediterranean Affair
2:30 p.m. The Spring Standards
4 p.m. Irish and Scots — A Seisiun
Main Stage*, 6 p.m. to Close
• Viper Central
• Crow Quill Night Owls
• Women of Song: Eliza Gilkyson, Lynn Miles, Mary Gauthier
• The Sojourners
• Jim Byrnes