Princeton hosts Western Canada’s only festival devoted exclusively to traditional music

From a Doukhobor choir to folk singers, singer songwriters, Celtic music and the British Columbia Regiment Band, the Princeton Traditional Music Festival is one of the most unique festivals in B.C.

This totally free festival brings in musical talent from across North America to celebrate all things traditional music, and is the only festival in Western Canada that exclusively features traditional music. The streets of downtown Princeton, B.C. close to cars and the festival takes over the streets.

Founded by Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat, the festival is considered a testament to their life long commitment to this form of music. They are singers of traditional song and scholars of ballads, shanties, and other folk songs. The Princeton Traditional Music Festival, and its success, is a testimony to their passion and hard work.

“We have been singing songs of British Columbia for over 50 years. The songs and the history behind them is our passion. Some of the songs we sing were collected in Princeton during the last century. We decided it would be wonderful to share some of this musical culture in the place in which it was born. It was also an opportunity to invite our extended, international musical community to come to Princeton and party,” explains Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat.

“Traditional music is music that has been passed on orally from one generation to the next. It’s music that comes out of communities and is about everyday life. Examples of traditional music are sea shanties, murder ballads, logging, mining and fishing songs as well as dance

tunes on instruments such as fiddles, banjos, accordions and harmonicas.”

Bartlett and Ruebsaat said those attending the festival for the first time this year can expect to hear music that they’ve probably never heard before (songs from B.C. history, a Doukhobor choir, songs from the Republic of Georgia etc.).

“It’s a great way to spend the day meandering through picturesque downtown Princeton, hearing w onderful music, meeting other visitors and stopping for a meal or a milkshake,” adds Ruebsaat.

A loyal following have been attending the festival for years and say they keep coming back because the festival feels like a big neighbourhood party, that’s welcoming friendly and congenial where they can hear music that they can’t hear anywhere else.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bridge replacement to get underway in Sicamous

Three projects, including the replacement of the Solsqua-Sicamous bridge, may affect traffic

Shuswap Theatre moving outdoors for weekend of in-tents fun

Comedic, uplifting plays being staged for Walk-About Theatre, Aug. 28 and 29

Syrian from Shuswap witnesses devastation in Lebanon

‘Three, four, five minutes later, smoke covered the whole area…’

Morning Start: Women can give birth after they die

Your morning start for Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020

Video: SUV burns alongside the highway near Salmon Arm

Footage of the burning vehicle was posted to Youtube.

Federal Conservative leadership candidate skirts COVID-19 rules at Kelowna rally

Derek Sloan held a rally in Kelowna that had more than 50 people, which is against health orders from the province

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

South Okanagan restaurant ranked among world’s best by TripAdvisor

The Hooded Merganser was ranked within the top 10 per cent of all restaurants by TripAdvisor reviews

Highway 97 upgrade option for Peachland faces 20-year delay

Peachland council disappointed by highways department decision

Kelowna Hells Angels prospect charged with assault, choking

Jason Townsend, 43, was charged after allegedly choking a woman last weekend

Most Read