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Summer Festivals In British Columbia, Canada

This year’s line up will bring, among other things, African musicians to the shores of Burrard Inlet, renowned jazz bands to downtown Victoria clubs, Scottish cowboys to the Cariboo country, and rock and roll bands to the edge of the world.

This year’s line up will bring, among other things, African musicians to the shores of Burrard Inlet, renowned jazz bands to downtown Victoria clubs, Scottish cowboys to the Cariboo country, and rock and roll bands to the edge of the world.

A good place to start? Feel the rhythm and take in a host of performing arts festivals throughout BC – with everything from world music at a seaside park to concertos on the beach.

Big names and legendary crooners will set the scene late June at the TD Canada Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Elvis Costello and Tony Bennett are among this year’s performers at the 10-day event, which promises to attract 500,000 music-lovers to over 400 performances. Also on the musical horizon, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival– one of the world’s leading folk and roots events — will welcome bands from around the world to beautiful Jericho Beach Park in July.

Across the water in Victoria, you can catch top jazz acts at JazzFest International in June, or an array of international blues musicians at the Vancouver Island Blues Bash on Labour Day weekend. For something more intimate, check out the Hornby Festival on beach-blessed Hornby Island, off the east coast of Vancouver Island. Described by one writer as “one of the most interesting little festivals in the world,” and “an eclectic sampler of Canadian culture,” this nine-day festival, held in the community hall and outdoors by the seaside, presents about a dozen classical, folk, world, and jazz concerts, with a little dance and film, in early August.

Back on the mainland, the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, based in Sechelt, welcomes well-known scribes to Canada’s longest running summer writers’ festival.

For something completely different, check out the Cariboo Highland Games in Quesnel, where Scottish pipe bands, a scotch tasting contest, celtic trivia, ‘haggis’ hurling, highland dancing competitions and caber tossing celebrate the locale’s Celtic side.

Almost 4,000 participants will take part in more conventional sports at the BC Summer Games in Kamloops in late July. Thirty-five events, from archery to wrestling, feature in this biennial event.

One of the most intriguing events promises to be the Edge of the World Music Festival, held in the village of Tlell on Haida Gwaii in early July. Folk, roots, blues, rock, country and comedy acts from the islands and beyond perform at this outdoor event.

International Jazz Festival, June 23-July 2 (www.coastaljazz.ca)

Vancouver Folk Music Festival, July 14-16 (www.thefestival.bc.ca)

JazzFest International, Victoria, June 23-July 2 (www.jazzvictoria.ca)

Vancouver Island Blues Bash, September 1-4 (www.jazzvictoria.ca)

Hornby Festival, August 3-12 (www.hornbyfestival.bc.ca)

Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, Sechelt, August 3-6 (www.writersfestival.ca)

Cariboo Highland Games, Quesnel, June 9-10 (www.cariboohighlandgames.com)

BC Summer Games, Kamloops, July 27-30 (www.bcgames.org)

Edge of the World Music Festival, Tlell, July 7-9 (www.edgefestival.com)

To learn about dozens of other festivals in BC this summer, visit www.HelloBC.com.


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