Home Vancouver Monthly Calendar Festivals and Events in Vancouver in 2019 Vancouver’s Festival du Bois Francophone Festival in Coquitlam

Vancouver’s Festival du Bois Francophone Festival in Coquitlam

Festival Voyageurs in Costume

Featuring a weekend of French Canadian music, food and festivities in Coquitlam, the Festival du Bois is Metro Vancouver’s premier Francophone festival.

In 2019 it took place on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of March 22-24.

Coquitlam Francophone Festival

The Festival du Bois takes place in Mackin Park in Coquitlam, about a 24-km drive from downtown Vancouver. It’s a great event and British Columbia’s largest francophone festival. It’s a lot of fun!

Festival du Bois Tent Venue

When and Where

The festival has been occurring in late February or early March since 1989. A year ago it was later than usual though and happened in late March. 2019 was similar. The dates for the 2019 event were March 22nd, 23rd and 24th.

The Festival du Bois is held in Mackin Park, at 1046 Brunette Avenue, just a few blocks from the Coquitlam IKEA store. It’s a 10-minute walk from IKEA and 5 minutes from Canadian Tire. You are actually allowed to park at IKEA during the festival and then take the free shuttle to the venue.

(Note: If parking at IKEA, park on the lower level in section J or K in the southeast corner of the facility. You can then catch the free shuttle (from the west end of IKEA in A section by Wooldridge Street) to and from Mackin Park every 15 minutes or so between 10:30 am and 9:00 pm on the Saturday and from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm on the Sunday.)

Festival du Bois 2019 LogoFESTIVAL DU BOIS TICKETS

For tickets to the festival in 2019, and for more information, see the official Festival du Bois Website.

What to Expect

At the Festival du Bois you’ll find crafts and other activities for the kids, French Canadian foods for sale, information tables from various organizations, and a variety of great musical performances throughout the weekend.

Popular foods for sale include, as one might expect, poutine, crepes and traditional snow-hardened maple syrup candy.

If you like French Canadian folk music (which can be lots of fun and is the festival’s main draw), or want a chance to practice your French (but it’s not compulsory), then the festival can be very interesting, especially if you’re from French Canadian heritage.

Festival du Bois at Mackin Park

Festival du Bois Admission

At about $20 for adults, $13 for seniors and students, $8 for children ages 5 to 12, and $50 for a family of 4, ticket prices are quite reasonable.

2019 Hours of Operation

In 2019 the Festival du Bois was open at the following times:

  • Friday, March 22 – enjoy the Contra Dance in the Grand Chapiteau (Big Tent) in Mackin Park from 7 pm to 10 pm. The Sybaritic String Band performed live.
  • Saturday, March 23 – 11:00 am to 8:30 pm
  • Sunday, March 24 – 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

Festival du Bois 2019 LogoFESTIVAL DU BOIS TICKETS

For tickets and additional information, see the official Festival du Bois Website.

Festival Admission Prices

Below are the admission prices for 2019 if you paid in advance online. Tickets at the gate were about $2 extra per person or $5 for a family. Tickets for the pancake breakfast on the Sunday could be purchased on the day (March 24th) for between $5 and $10.

  • Friday Night: By Donation
  • Saturday & Sunday (March 23 or 24):
    • Adults (18+): $20
    • Students & Seniors: $13 per day
    • Children (ages 5-12): $8 per day
    • 1-Day Family Pass: $50 (2 adults & 2 children under 13 years of age).
    • Little Folk (under 5 years of age): free.

TIP: If you purchase your tickets online you’ll save a couple of dollars.

Accordionist Serge Duchesne

Festival Du Bois Activities

At the Festival du Bois there are food vendors, community organization information stalls, and games and other activities for children. There is also an Opening Night Contra Dance party on the Friday night and live entertainment all weekend.

Opening Night Contra Dance

The Opening Night Contra Dance takes place from 7:00 until 10:00 pm on the Friday at the festival’s Mackin Park venue at 1046 Brunette Avenue. Admission last year was $10 at the gate or $8 in advance. In 2019 though it was by donation, which was awesome!

The Contra Dance event is a family-friendly event that involves a style of folk dancing in lines of couples. Back to provide the live music for the event’s third year in 2019 was the Sybaritic String Band which specializes in contra dancing.

Note: The Contra Dance is open to people of all ages. It is a family-friendly event that’s recommended for adults and “children who like dancing with adults” (which means there aren’t separate little kids’ activities). It’s a lot of fun!

A few hundred people attend the Contra Dance event. Instructions are provided in English, mixed with a bit of French, and then everyone does a particular dance. New instructions are then provided for a new dance, participants go through the steps, and then everyone dances once again.

The dances are simple, fun and lively. Mostly people dance in pairs, and folks are encouraged to switch partners from time to time.

For more information about the Friday event click Opening Night Contra Dance.

Contra Dancing at Festival du Bois
Contra Dancing in the Grand Chapiteau

Festival Entertainment

The Festival du Bois opens on the Friday night with a Soirée Contra Dance in the Grand Chapiteau with live music by The Sybaritic String Band.

On the Saturday and Sunday each year the festival features a wide range of musicians from as far away as Cape Breton and beyond. Performers in 2019 included the following:

  • Les Tireux d’Roches – a Folk music quintet from Quebec.
  • Shauit – an award-winning Innu singer and songwriter from the Maliotenam area of northern Quebec.
  • Seconde Nation – an Acadian Folk music quartet from New Brunswick.
  • Vishtèn – a trio of musicians from Prince Edward Island and the Magdalen Islands who specialize in a mix of Acadian and Celtic tunes.
  • Comté de Clare – an Acadian trio from Baie Sainte-Marie in southwestern Nova Scotia.
  • Alpha Yaya Diallo – a West African singer and guitar player.
  • Jou Tou (André Thibault and Qiu Xia He) – a pair of Lower Mainland-based world music musicians.
  • André Thériault – a French Canadian singer who shares the tunes La Bolduc, Félix Leclerc and other famous francophone Canadian musicians.

Click Festival Program for more information.

Vancouver's Festival du Bois
Live Music in the Grand Chapiteau

2019 Festival Schedule

Below is the schedule of events for the Festival du Bois for the Saturday and Sunday in 2019 (with most performances running for between 30 minutes and up to one hour).

(Note: Times and performer details are subject to change.)

Saturday, March 23, 2019

On the Main Stage in the Grand Chapiteau

  • 11:45 amJou Tou
  • 12:30 pmSalutations Officielles (Official Welcome)
  • 1:15 pmComté de Clare
  • 2:20 pmLes Tireux d’Roches
  • 3:20 pmSeconde Nation
  • 4:20 pmShauit
  • 5:45 pmAlpha Yaya Diallo
  • 7:10 pm – Vishtèn

In the Petit Chapiteau/Children’s Tent

  • 12:00 pmLa Boussole
  • 1:00 pm – Jean-Pierre Makosso
  • 2:00 pmWill Stroet
  • 3:00 pmAndré Thériault
  • 4:00 pmPodorythmie

Ateliers/Workshops at Mackin House

  • 1:00 pmJou Tou
  • 2:00 pmAlpha Yaya Diallo
  • 3:00 pmComté de Clare
Will Stroet
Children’s Entertainer Will Stroet

Sunday, March 24, 2019

On the Main Stage in the Grand Chapiteau

  • 9:00 am – Mass / Messe
  • 10:00 am – Pancake Breakfast
  • 10:30 amAndré Thériault
  • 11:30 amSeconde Nation
  • 12:30 pm – Les Tireux d’Roches
  • 1:30 pmShauit
  • 2:30 pm – Comté de Clare
  • 3:45 pmVishtèn

In the Petit Chapiteau/Children’s Tent

  • 12:00 pmLa Boussole
  • 1:00 pmPodorythmie
  • 1:50 pmWill Stroet
  • 2:40 pmAndré Thériault
  • 3:30 pmJean-Pierre Makosso

Ateliers/Workshops at Mackin House

  • 12:00 pmVishtèn
  • 1:00 pmSeconde Nation
  • 2:00 pmLes Tireux d’Roches
  • 3:00 pmShauit
Podorythmie (from Washington State)

Traditional Menu Items

There is lots of food available at the festival. There are food trucks and various vendors, plus a canteen-style venue in the Grand Chapiteau. Prices are all reasonable.

In 2019 the menu at the food station in the Grand Chapiteau included pea soup, pork & beans, a slice of tourtière (meat pie) and sugar pie all for $5 each. Other menu items included a “Lumberjack Plate” with an assortment of items for $13 and bread with pork pâté for $4. Juice was $1 and pop, coffee and tea were $2.

At the festival’s bar in 2019, beer was $5 and glasses of wine were $6.

Festival du Bois Bar Folk
Folk in Plaid at the Festival du Bois Bar

Mackin House Museum

If you’re at the Festival du Bois anyway, walk across the street and visit the Mackin House Museum while you’re there. Also, as you’ll see, at set times there is live entertainment at the historic site during the festival.

Built in the early 1900’s, the heritage building was the home of the General Manager of Fraser Mills, at one time the largest sawmill in the British Empire. Admission is by donation. Expect to stay for just a few minutes, unless there during a performance.

The Mackin House Museum is normally open Tuesdays to Fridays (11-5 pm) and Saturdays (12-4 pm). It’s also open from noon until 4 pm on Sundays in the summer. Admission is by donation.

Other Information

For more information about the festival, including their schedule of performances, check out the Festival du Bois website.

For other Lower Mainland festivals throughout the year, check out the Vancouver’s Best Places’ Festivals and Events Calendar.

And for other things to do in March, check out the March Events Calendar.