A ton of support for the Traditional Music Festival

One of the things that makes the music festival special is the fact that it’s run entirely by volunteers – including the performers.

Aviva! The Raks Sharqi belly dancer who performed during the weekend

The dust from this year’s Princeton Traditional Music Festival is beginning to settle, which gives me the opportunity to thank all those who made the Festival possible.  The people and organizations mentioned below demonstrate that the Festival is truly a community event.

One of the things that makes the Princeton Traditional Music Festival special is the fact that it’s run entirely by volunteers – including the performers.  This year we had 44 performing groups, which added up to over 100 individual performers, all of whom who donated their talents to the Festival.  A big thank you to all of you for bringing so much pleasure to the people of Princeton and to all our visitors.

Putting on a festival takes lots of planning and organization.  The Festival organizing committee began its work in February with monthly meetings.  As the Festival approached, the workload and number of meetings increased until the week of the Festival, when we were all running around madly trying to get everything done.

Thank you, Jon Bartlett, Festival Coordinator, who chaired all the meetings and with whom the buck stopped.  Thank you, Derek Winter and Stuart James who were the site coordinators, to Mary Masiel who coordinated the stage managers, to Johanna Nott who found billets for out of town performers, to Ole Juul who was our webmeister, to Rosemary Doughty who was the vendor coordinator, to Darnella Armitage who kept communication lines open between the Festival and town council and to Pat Schmunk who worked tirelessly coordinating all the activities in the Festival office the whole weekend.  All of these people did much more than their job description indicates both before and especially during the Festival.  They are a keen and competent crew and it’s been a pleasure working with them.

The hour-by-hour work of the Festival was done by a host of volunteers – stage mangers, MCs, office staff, hat sellers and lifters and movers of chairs, stages and whatever needed shifting.  To all of you a big thank you! And a special thanks to all those who billeted out-of-town performers.  These people opened their homes to strangers and said goodbye to them as dear friends.  Both the performers being billeted and the Princetonites who put them up had nothing but positive things to say about the experience.

The expenses of the Festival were paid for by generous grants from the Town of Princeton, Area H of the RDOS, the BC Government and the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program.  We are also very grateful to all the people attending the Festival who so generously donated money. To all of you a big thank you!  The Town also provided a tent, street closures, port-a-potties, garbage bins and the use of Veterans’ Square. A huge financial boost was provided by all the businesses and organizations to whom we are very grateful for purchasing ads in the program guide.

We thank the Princeton and District Museum and Archives for the use of their lawn for the Museum Stage, for the use of their electricity for the sound system and for the availability of their washrooms.  Thank you to Valley First Credit Union for the free use of their tents and to Lori Thomas, the Chamber of Commerce and the Princeton Ambassadors for their help with publicity. The Princeton Arts Council has been partnering with the Festival since it began. We thank them for selling Festival hats at the Sunflower Gallery.

This year we had two new non-amplified stages, one in the library and one at Golden Hills Grocery. When we spoke to the staff at the library they immediately set wheels in motion not only to allow us to have performances in the library, but also to publicize the Festival throughout the Okanagan Regional Library system. A big thank you to the Princeton and the regional librarians. Thank you also to Jai for his enthusiastic support for the open stage at Golden Hills.

This year we had more street vendors than ever before. We thank them for their contribution to making the Festival more festive by their presence

The Similkameen Spotlight has been a partner of the Festival since its inception.  Every year the editor has generously published a series of submitted articles publicizing the Festival.  For that we are very grateful.   We are also very grateful to Lisa Carleton for her wonderful work designing and laying out the Festival Program Guide.

Lastly we would like to thank the people of Princeton who have so enthusiastically embraced the Princeton Traditional Music Festival.  Without your support it couldn’t happen.  If you have any feedback you’d like to share, any suggestions for next year, or if you’d like to get involved or billet a performer next year, please contact us. 250-295-6010 or princetonfestival@telus.net

Rika Ruebsaat – President

Princeton Traditional Music Festival Society



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