Festival Artists 2024
Vishtèn Connexions | PEI
La Famille LeBlanc | NB
The celebrated LeBlanc clan has been a musical family for at least 6 generations. They perform 19th Century tunes deeply rooted in Celtic and Acadian traditions, tunes mostly unknown to other Celtic nations such as Ireland, Brittany and Scotland. Today, Robin LeBlanc, accompanied by his wife and three daughters, continues this tradition. The three LeBlanc sisters jig and, with their mom, sing along to their father’s violin as he plays the same dance tunes as his great-grandfather before him. Come experience (and dance to) the alive and thriving traditions of Acadia with the LeBlanc family.
Collage Trad | BC
Don’t miss this dynamic musical melting pot of fiddle traditions mixed with swing, jazz, a touch of rock, folk - and pure energy. Six Western Canadian music virtuosos with strong traditional music roots have come together to deliver a fresh take on trad sounds – music that’s complex, cohesive, uplifting, and totally engaging. This creative collaboration is led by fiddler, Gabriel Dubreuil. Gabriel is joined by fellow fiddlers Mark Sullivan and Serena Eades, with Andy Hillhouse (guitar), Allan Dionne (drums/accordion) and Wynston Minckler (bass).
Missy D | BC
This vibrant femcee has been rapping in French and English since she was 11 years old, serving as both inspiration and sister to fellow dreamers, and winning over the hearts of music lovers from all walks of life. From the 3 corners of the motherland (Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe) to Vancouver, she has performed at a variety of music events and festivals and released two recordings. Her latest, the bilingual Case Depart (2023) is described as “A nostalgic collision of pop, hip hop and R&B” with relatable stories and “great musicality” (CITR).
The North Shore Celtic Ensemble | BC
The North Shore Celtic Ensemble (NSCE) is a dynamic community of young musicians from North Vancouver. What started as a purely Celtic ensemble in 1998 has evolved over the years into a spirited no-boundaries exploration of the music that inspires them – a meeting place for youth to share and explore music together. Their own original compositions draw on Celtic, classical, jazz and folk influences blended with creative arrangements of more traditional Celtic tunes. Seven CDs celebrate their music and west coast roots. NCSE offers a full-spectrum musical experience that defies labels and spans conventional genres, wowing everyone who sees them.
La Famille Léger | WA
La Famille Léger is an old school family band who plays Acadian and French-Canadian music from Eastern Canada. Based in Seattle, they perform at Contra Dances, concerts, festivals, and even dinner parties. Devon Leger plays fiddle, Dejah plays piano, guitar, sings and step dances, and patriarch Louis plays accordion, fiddle, spoons, and sings. If you’re up for great dancing music that’s been handed down through generations in the New World, great music from the backwoods and kitchen parties of Québec and New Brunswick – La Famille Léger are a must-see for you!
Robin Layne & The Rhythm Makers | BC
With roots in rhythmic traditions from around the globe, this groove-heavy ensemble delivers music that transcends traditional bounds. Blurring the lines between jazz and folk, they carve out new territory for the marimba at the forefront of their sonic landscape. Since forming in 2015, Robin Layne and The Rhythm Makers have been filling dance floors around Vancouver and beyond. They’re led by JUNO-nominated percussionist Robin Layne, the beating heart of the group, who has immersed himself in rhythmic traditions from Cuba to West Africa and Mexico. Get ready for their groove to getcha!
The Sybaritic String Band w/ caller Maureen Collier
The Sybaritic Stringband is Vancouver’s premier contradance band. They’ve been kicking off the festival with a Friday night dance in fine style for the past few years, and whenever they hit the stage, the dancers know it’s time to get a partner and kick up their heels!
Contradancing is a fun and friendly social dance, and in the hands of the Sybs, everyone is invited to join in and have fun. Dance caller Maureen Collier teaches and leads dances for people of all ages and abilities. Come and catch the Sybs and Maureen at the opening dance on Friday night – and don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes!
Drawing from a deep well of musical experience, the Sybaritic Stringband has been providing danceable music for Vancouver contradances literally for decades. Our new fiddler, Sheila Allan, joins Leith Davis (piano & fiddle), Claire McCague (recorders & saxophone), Rob McGregor (mandolins) and Scott Alpen (bodhran & trumpet) to enliven your feet with a spirited blend of tunes. Prepare to dance the night away to their energetic mixture of styles and sounds.
Métis jigging originated in the Red River area in Manitoba, but BC has its own tradition. It is a unique and exciting combination of First Nations dancing and Scottish and French-Canadian step-dancing, along with reel, jig, quadrille and original tunes and steps. At Festival du Bois, dancers Fergus Dalton and Olivia Lamirande will perform with local fiddlers Kathleen Nisbet and Matthew Cook Contois, and other musicians.
It all started in a backyard cabin as a group of talented gals were getting together to play tunes, share steps and party – sort of like a home away from home for wayward step dancers. Before they knew it, they were a band! Podorythmie is known for their high energy and good time performances of French Canadian music and dance. Fiddle, accordion, songs and lots of hard shoe step dancing interspersed with crankie (moving panorama) shows make their performances unique. Come join Sue Truman, Pascale Lelong, Julia Derby, Prairie Wolfe, and Cil Pierce.
Will’s Jams | BC
Will's Jams is children's musician Will Stroet, a Juno-nominated singer-songwriter, CBC Kids TV star, educator and dad who creates multilingual music that ignites imagination and motivates movement for the young and young-at-heart. Drawing from his own experiences, Will creates songs and stories that entertain the whole family. Through witty wordplay and catchy choruses, he inspires kids to be active, healthy, creative, community-minded and engaged in the world through educational music in English and French. Expect Will and his band to deliver a show full of fun actions, jokes and high-energy rock-pop tunes with sing-along choruses.
Monsieur André | QC
A one-man dynamo, André Thériault sings the beautiful songs of the grand French Canadian folk tradition – the music of La Bolduc, Félix Leclerc, Pierre Daigneault and others – with passion and humour. His mission is to keep French Canadian traditional music’s greatest singers and songs alive for the next generation to enjoy. Sing along with him to Alouette, hear Leclerc's The North Train and other favourites along with original tunes written in the tradition. M. André has traveled across country with his voice, guitar and harmonica to bring people together, share a rich tradition, and to laugh and sing!
Lyne is a multidisciplinary artist who loves children’s literature, rhythm and music. She is a little ball of creativity on two legs. A Monster of a Day is her first children’s book. Her biggest wish is to inspire as many parents as possible to be gentle and loving towards themselves. Originally from Québec, Lyne has been living in the mountains of British Columbia for many years.
Marie-Claude started to personify Marieclown, and learned how to sculpt balloons, 27 years ago in Québec when she worked for an entertainment agency. Since then, Marieclown has always followed her and participated in many events in both Québec and in BC. Having become a part of her, the character also plays a part in her daily profession as a kindergarten teacher.
This poetic character on stilts will have you dreaming, dancing and celebrating in style. Kids of all ages should prepare to be thrilled and amazed. Acrobatic stilt-dancer, choreographer, interdisciplinary artist and educator Isabelle Kirouac creates original and unique acrobatic stilt animations. From street improv to live on-the-spot moments of wonder, her work is engaging and dynamic – integrating dance, acrobatics and other elements into her one-of-a-kind performances. She has performed extensively across Canada, the USA, Mexico, Colombia and Europe, creating her own stilt performances and performing in a range of renowned acrobatic stilt companies.
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