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

Priest Camp near Summerland was created in 1845

Agreement formed between Grand Chief Nicola (1793-1859) and Father Giovanni Nobili (1812-1856)

Princeton snow removal costs top $40k in December

Costs of snow removal to the Town of Princeton skyrocketed in December.… Continue reading

Province says it is monitoring AIM’s road maintenance

The provincial transportation ministry is working closely with new road contractor AIM,… Continue reading

Princeton – a Prince Town in waiting?

The Town of Princeton has been waiting 160 years for a Royal… Continue reading

RCMP release photos of man wanted in Princeton armed robbery

RCMP have released photos and a description of the man suspected of… Continue reading

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Kelowna’s Tess Critchlow gears up for World Cup at Big White

Critchlow is a professional snowboarder competing for Team Canada in the boardercross competition

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read