Now that summer is rapidly approaching, it is time to consider some activities to help relax and unwind and forget all about work or school. Why not pack a picnic, load the family into the car and head into Vancouver to spend a few hours sitting in the park, enjoying the music from the 2 major festivals that are held there every year. Let's have a look at what is in-store for you if you decide to visit any of these festivals.
TD Canada Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival
When: June 26 - July 5
Where: all over Vancouver
More info: http://www.coastaljazz.ca/
For 10 days again, Vancouver will host this fabulous jazz festival for the 24th time. Organized by the Coastal Jazz & Blues Society, this event, which is visited every year by more than half a million jazz-lovers, will host around 1800 international artists that will perform over 400 concerts on 40 indoor and outdoor stages. Make sure you check out the website and sign up for e-news so that you don't miss any important information regarding this wonderful event.
Even though it is called the Jazz Festival, the style will vary from Indie and Experimental, through Electro, Hip Hop and Dance to Funk, Swing and of course all the kinds of Jazz possible. There will be some rare extraordinary performances such as the one named "Ice Hockey: Canada vs. Sweden Featuring François Houle and Mats Gustafsson + 12" on Sunday, June 28 from 8pm at Roundhouse. Never heard of such a connection as improvised music and international ice-hockey match? Well, there will be two teams per six musicians plus two referees performing an exhibition game on stage, naturally competing each other, with spectacular visuals developed especially for this occasion (championship game). Sounds crazy, doesn't it?!
Vancouver Island MusicFest
When: July 10-12
Where: Comox Valley
More info: http://www.islandmusicfest.com/
Another great festival, whose vision is to create "a rural, family friendly, sustainable and successful music event that puts the Comox Valley on the cultural map and involves thousands in a rich celebration of music and community." This non-profit, volunteer driven & on-site camping event has been running every summer since 1995. Not only can you look forward to over 200 performers, but many workshops and 'kidzzones' will also be prepared.
Let's have a look at some of the performers. While it's difficult to pick just a few, I have to mention at least Bryan Bowers and HAPA.
Bryan Bowers is a legendary autoharp player, singer and song-writer who was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame in 1993. If you've never heard of autoharp, you better go on youtube to find out what it is about!
HAPA's contemporary Hawaiian music combines Portuguese and Spanish influences, harmonies of traditional church choirs and American acoustic folk. Surprisingly, it all works very well together, creating a blend of music that evokes a place described as "heavenly" by many people.
Both festivals will undoubtedly be spectacular events that would be a real shame to miss. Hope you will enjoy as much as them as you can!