Accordion blends with tango in multi-faceted festival

World Accordion and Tango Festival includes the first Trophée Mondiale competition held in Canada

With a new name and a new focus this year, the World Accordion and Tango Festival promises nine days of entertainment and workshop options for lovers of this reedy instrument and passionate dance.

The addition for the first time in Canada of the Trophee Mondiale (World Trophy) competition will bring to Victoria hundreds of bright young accordion stars from around the globe, each looking to make their mark.

Along with the annual festival goings-on, which include soloist and ensemble concerts, skills workshops and industry education opportunities, participants can immerse themselves in all things accordion between Nov. 10 and 15.

“This is B.C.’s largest off-season music festival,” says event organizer Aleksandar Milosevic, who has overseen the change from the Victoria International Accordion Festival to the current combined event. “We’re expecting several hundred visitors coming from out of town, from as far away as India, Korea, China, across Europe, Brazil and Argentina.”

International tango stars Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo from Argentina are among the featured dance performers for the World Accordion and Tango Festival. Photo contributed

The tango portion of the week, Nov. 16-18, features some renowned tango performers, including Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo from Argentina and Beltango Ensemble from Europe, among others.

Dance events, known as milongas, happen each evening at 7:30 at three different venues. Tango workshops are scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at The Baumann Centre (925 Balmoral Rd.), 3 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Polish White Eagle Hall on Dock Street, and 3:30 and 5 p.m. at the Solwood Studio, 1303 Broad St. Tickets for tango events are available on the festival website.

Accordion fits into many genres

Victoria’s Mary Ross Klektau, an extremely versatile and experienced accordion player who has performed in numerous genres, including Scottish country dancing. She’ll lead one of the presentations on the week, touching on history and the specifics of accompaniment for accordion.

Many people might pigeonhole the instrument into the European cultural role in which it began, she says. But with elements of classical, chamber music, jazz and more, the festival will demonstrate the versatility of the accordion and its players.

“I think you’ll get people saying, ‘I didn’t know accordions could sound like that,’ Ross Klektau says. “My biggest thing is to educate people that accordions shouldn’t be stereotyped at all.”

Variety of shows and workshops throughout the week

The main venues for the festival are the University of Victoria School of Music and Oak Bay High’s Dave Dunnet Theatre, with First Metropolitan Church, The Baumann Centre, White Eagle Polish Hall and Royal Victoria Yacht Club also on the venue roster.

Throughout the festival, more than 200 performers will take part in dozens of concerts, workshops, dance nights, lectures and exhibitions. Milosevic points to the 50 hours of free programs, including the World Accordion Conference, and the Accordion Museum to be displayed by Tempo Trend Music at the UVic’ School of Music Nov. 11-14, as ways the public can get involved.

“It’s like having two festivals back to back,” Milosevic says.

For more information and to purchase tickets, you can visit watf.ca. Tickets are also available at Tempo Trend Music, Munro’s Books, Long & McQuade, Ivy’s Bookshop and Tanner’s Books.

————————-

Live music

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

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt/cropped to fit)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)
Regional Housing First Program strikes another chord in Greater Victoria

Affordable housing partnership grants will help house over 100 people on income assistance

Online reservation service, First Table, allows Victoria diners to have dinner at half-price if they’re willing to be flexible about when they go. (Black Press Media file photo)
New reservation service allows Victoria residents to dine out at half price

First Table gives Victoria diners 50 per cent off when they book tables during off-peak hours

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Most Read