Artistic Director Nellie Quinn with her fiddle. Quinn will perform at fundraisers for the festival but will work behind the scenes at the festival. (Nellie Quinn)

Summer Folk Festival set to sweep Sidney

Folk ‘N Fiddle Festival is seeking volunteers and sponsors

Folk ‘N Fiddle Festival is an ambitious festival set to sweep Sidney May 31 and June 1.

The organizers are seeking business sponsorship and help from volunteers as they look to grow it into the biggest cultural event in Sidney’s calendar.

The people behind the Folk ‘N Fiddle Festival have joined up with the Deep Cove Folk Music Society (DCFMS) to create a new group to plan and run the festival.

Bob de Wolff is a member of the society and president of the new group. He previously served on the board of the Calgary Folk Festival, which has a volunteer staff of 2,000, and thinks Sidney is a great fit.

“It’s the right time, right place, right community,” he says.

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Festival Artistic Director, Nellie Quinn, grew up in North Saanich and had the idea to start the event. She is herself an established fiddler who has travelled around the world making music.

“We want to make it a little getaway,” says Quinn, “We want it to be about equal opportunities, so whatever age, economic background or cultural background someone comes from, we plan to offer free concerts, as well as the paid ones, and hope it will be a wonderful new opportunity for people to be part of.”

“Yes, we’re hoping people come up for the whole day,” agrees de Wolff.

The organizers are seeking the support of the town to make the festival live beyond the walls of the Mary Winspear Centre, where the main acts will perform. Quinn says there will be stalls, local vendors, food trucks and a photographic show to help create the festival vibe in town. Some coffee shops have agreed to host free concerts leading up to and during the weekend, and The Sidney Museum has offered to host concerts.

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The organizers hope for over 1,000 visitors to Sidney and say they have booked some exciting acts to play at the Mary Winspear Centre, including the ever popular Denis Donnelly.

Quinn, who teaches music in Sidney and spent four years teaching in the North West territories, hopes to bring the experiences she gained travelling in Europe and North America, with Celtic rock bands, to the festival.

With the support of de Wolff and DCFMS, the festival is bringing together all the regional folk and fiddle societies across Greater Victoria as well as inviting international–caliber acts to perform.

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“Folk music is so inclusive,” says de Wolff, “Mongolian, Ukranian, Indiginous music – all are welcome.”

Due to the scope and scale of the undertaking, organizers are seeking help from volunteers and offer sponsorship opportunities to local businesses. For more information and to see the schedule visit folknfiddle.ca

To purchase tickets at $49.50 call the Mary Winspear Centre 250-656-0275.

If you would like to be a sponsor or volunteer leading up to or during the festival contact Quinn at director@folknfiddle.ca or de Wolff at volunteers@folknfiddle.ca.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

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