Vancouver is hosting the 18th annual Canadian Folk Music Awards from March 30 to April 2, and the Rogue Folk Club has teamed up with Music B.C. for an expansive showcase of B.C. artists as part of the entertainment line-up.
It’s part of the CFMA export buyers program and takes place at the home of the Rogue, Mel Lehan Hall at St. James.
The event opens CFMA weekend on Thursday, March 30, and the expansive evening of entertainment includes two song circles and two full sets by featured artists.
Tickets are available at roguefolk.bc.ca or by calling 604-736-3022.
You can also buy tickets there to watch the whole event via livestream.
Here’s who you’ll get to see:
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. PT – Songwriters Circle
Stephen Fearing is an acclaimed singer-songwriter who released his first recording in 1986. He is also part of the Canadian folk supergroup Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, along with Colin Linden and Tom Wilson.
Meg Tennant has spent most of her life on the “wet coast,” releasing two solo albums and one as a part of the group August. She has also been in the popular duo The Lingo Sisters with Janet Lillian Russell.
Yael Wand recently returned to the spotlight after releasing three highly-praised albums in the mid to late 2000s and then stepping back for a decade to focus on home and family. Her new album is nominated for two CFMAs.
Tom and Kalissa Landa are the mainstays of popular local bands The Paperboys and Locarno. They deliver a mix of Irish, Mexican and folk music as well as material of their own, on guitar, fiddle, jarana, banjo and vocals.
8:05 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. – concert
Early Spirit will lead you through the musical mosaic of their own unique west coast “rockin’ folkin’ rollin’ azzin’ Celtic swing-grass”. The ensemble is Gabriel Dubreuil (fiddle), J. Knutson (guitar, vocals), Aiden Goheen (bass) and Ben Kelly (drums). Peter North of the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival calls them “one inspired quartet that delivers superb stand-alone concerts. Exceptional instrumentalists [and] fine singers armed with a deep songbook that draws on all sorts of influences.”
9:05 p.m. to 10:05 p.m. PT – Songwriters Circle
Valdy has recorded 16 albums and 22 singles and has four gold records. He’s sold nearly half a million albums worldwide. His seven Juno nominations resulted in two Juno Awards. Valdy has toured Canada for 46 years, and he has worked in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA. His stint with the Hometown Band was one of many career highlights.
Lydia Hol is a vocalist and guitarist who deftly combines early ‘60s soul, folk, and lush psychedelic rock. Beatroute calls her “a burgeoning songwriter who has a way with words,” but she’s also got an undeniable knack for penning some irresistibly timeless grooves.
Pat Chessel’s rootsy vocal style and mostly-original music falls solidly under the broad umbrella of Celtic. His skills as a guitar player, singer, songwriter, and performer have been honed and refined since he was in his teens. Today, he performs over 200 shows annually.
Kathleen Nisbet and Steve Charles are the enigmatic duo fronting Viper Central. These East Van luminaries are an international touring act with sweet n’ crunchy harmonies and tight melodic breaks that’ll make your heart soar, your feet shuffle and your blood curdle. The traditions of Métis fiddle, Appalachian old-time, gospel, rockabilly and bluegrass have influenced their ever evolving style.
10:10 p.m. to 10:55 p.m. PT – Concert
What can we say about Jim Byrnes that you haven’t already heard? Not much. Singer. Songwriter. Guitarist. Actor. Radio host. Voiceover guy. All round Vancouver personality. He’s one of those colourful characters that makes our city a little more fun to live in. By age 13, Jim was singing and playing blues guitar. His first professional gig was in 1964. Over the years, he has had the great good fortune to appear with a virtual who’s who of the blues. From Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker to Taj Mahal and Robert Cray, Jim has been on the blues highway for almost 50 years. He moved to Vancouver, B.C. in the mid ’70s. In 1981, he put together a band that became a staple of the local music scene. In 1986 the Jim Byrnes Band played 300 nights. Jim Byrnes’ fame as an actor comes from his too-numerous-to-mention TV and movie roles, highlights including television’s Wiseguy and Highlander series, and his national variety show The Jim Byrnes Show. Jim is one of Canada’s best-loved musical icons, and he has the ability to charm audiences beyond their wildest dreams