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Labour Day weekend brings folk festival to Cumberland

Old fashioned folk fest held in heart of historic village
Veda Hille

The upcoming Labour Day weekend brings the second annual Perseverance Folk Festival. Join the Cumberland Museum & Archives and friends for a sweet little old fashioned folk festival in the heart of the historic village.

The festival was launched in 2021 as a low key affair but this year the invitation is being extended with open arms to residents and visitors for two days of stories and songs “that fit between the cracks,” shared between friends and neighbours and passed down through generations, stories and songs about the messy and beautiful human story.

Friday, Sept. 2 features the one-woman musical Cougar Annie Tales that revolves around the life of Ada Annie Jordan, who settled in the remote and wind-swept Clayoquot coastal rainforest in 1915. She had 11 children, outlived four husbands, ran a general store, post office and mail-order garden nursery from her home, and was famous for trapping and killing 70 cougars. The indomitable spirit of this west coast pioneer lives on in Katrina Kadoski’s show with stories, letters and photos interwoven with original songs on guitar and banjo. Tickets are $15 for Saturday passholders, and $20 for everyone else. Doors at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 3 features non-stop music from 2-10 p.m. from Veda Hille, West My Friend, The Fits, Jesse Waldman, The Blackwood Two, Nice Verde, Senyuè, a Rebels and Radicals Story time tent, an all site licence and interactive craft tables.

Hille is a Vancouver musician, composer, theatre maker and performer whose work circles around the natural world, amazement and the unknown, and the intricacies of human relationships. She strives for a connection through weird detail, the universe visible through a microscope. All fancy language aside though, Hille chases down the songs that are in her head and delivers them to the world, beautifully.

In the modern musical landscape, it’s rare to hear something as put-together as three-piece Cascadian folk outfit West My Friend - something so layered, deeply symphonic, and mysterious in its own winking way while still courting an edge of disaster. This third-wave indie prog chamber folk-roots trio has over 700 shows under their belt, and mingles guitar, mandolin and accordion with interweaving harmonies. Simple is safe, but complex is fiery, intricate, and ultimately more rewarding.

From the suburban sprawl of Thornhill, Ont. to a cross cross-country journey to the mountains, ocean, and into the arms of Vancouver’s Commercial Drive music scene, the West Coast continues to inspire Waldman’s lush imagery, sublime melodies, and outstanding technique. Whether he’s banging out the blues on his 1959 Harmony Stratotone Jupiter or crooning an acoustic-folk tune, Jesse never sounds like he’s doing anything other than baring his soul.

Senyuè is a queer Chinese Canadian performer, producer, facilitator and expressive arts therapist who uses music to create space not only for their truths and those of their ancestors, but for other Chinese Canadians, other members of the queer community, and other folks from marginalized communities - with the hope of inspiring others to find their voices and tell their stories.

Nice Verde’s music is a sunny and uplifting mixture of originals, and traditional folk music from Cuba, Colombia and beyond. They play combinations of Cuban tres, accordions, guitar, harmonica and vocals. Inspired musically by their travels around the world, they defy genres to create their own indie world folk.

On the banjo, fiddle and acoustic guitar, The Blackwood Two play an engaging blend of original folk songs and traditional numbers delivered with old-time charm. Thoughtful songwriting – heavily guided by a mutual fascination of traditional music – drives the duo’s unique, yet familiar feeling sound. Warm tones and sunny melodies whisper cosmic hints from a bygone era.

The festival is held in the territory of the K’ómoks First Nation at the #6 Coal Mine. Bring a blanket, a picnic and your family for a day of music from local and visiting artists. Saturday tickets are $40 each. Those 16 and under are free. Well behaved dogs permitted if on leash and restricted to your blanket. Parking available at Dunsmuir and Sutton Road (CRI lot), and behind the museum and cultural centre.


West My Friend
Jesse Waldman
Cougar Annie Tales

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