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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 2020 it took place on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of March 6th to 8th. Bands performing this last year included Blackthorn who played at the festival on the Saturday. Details for the 2021 festival are to be determined.


For full details see the official Festival du Bois website.


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!

For an idea of what to expect at the event check out the following short video that we took last year. The band playing at the dance in the video is the Sybaritic String Band. The musician performing at the end is Shauit. As you’ll see from this clip, the festival can be a lot of fun.



When and Where

The festival has been occurring in late February or early March since 1989.

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.)

Dates and details for the 2021 festival are to be confirmed due to the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus.


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. They are usually less expensive if you buy them online in advance as well.


2020 Hours of Operation

In 2020 the Festival du Bois was open at the following times (if the event does take place, 2021 will likely be similar):

  • Friday, March 6 – 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 7 – 11:45 am to 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, March 8 – 9:00 am to 4:30 pm


Festival Admission Prices

Below are the admission prices for 2020 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 8th) for between $4 and $8.

  • Friday Night: Free but limited amount so register in advance online
  • Saturday & Sunday (March 7 or 8):
    • 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.


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


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 is free but it is recommended that you register in advance online as only so many people can enter the park.

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 fourth year in 2020 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. For an idea of what to expect at the event, check out the following video.



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 2020 included the following:

  • Yves Lambert Trio – a passionate and lively musical trio from Quebec.
  • Tipsy 3 – from Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, these three ladies play traditional music using the fiddle, the piano and the accordion.
  • Cristian de la Luna – a Columbian music performer who sings in French, Spanish and English.
  • Le Flo Franco – a rapper who mixes in Caribbean sounds to his music.
  • Blackthorn – a Celtic band from British Columbia made up by four amazing musicians who create original traditional music.
  • Isabelle la Wonderful – a performer and comedian who specializes in magic shows, balloon animals and face painting.

Click Festival Program for more information and to see a full list of performers.


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


2020 Festival Schedule

Below is the schedule of events for the Festival du Bois for the Saturday and Sunday in 2020 (with most performances running for between 30 minutes and up to one hour). The lineup of performers in 2021 will be comparable.

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


Saturday, March 7, 2020

On the Main Stage/Grand Chapiteau

  • 11:45 amThe Sybaritic String Band
  • 12:30 pmSalutations Officielles (Official Welcome)
  • 1:00 pmBlackthorn
  • 2:10 pmTipsy 3
  • 3:20 pmBeauséjour
  • 4:30 pmChristian de la Luna
  • 5:40 pmLe Flor Franco
  • 6:50 pm – Yves Lambert Trio

In the Petit Chapiteau/Children’s Tent

  • 12:15 pmMadame Dive
  • 1:30 pmIsabelle le Wonderful
  • 2:45 pmWanda Jemly

Ateliers/Workshops at Mackin House

  • 12:30 pmTipsy 3
  • 1:30 pmBeauséjour
  • 2:40 pmCristian de la Luna


Festival du Bois Tent Venue


Sunday, March 8, 2020

On the Main Stage/Grand Chapiteau

  • 9:00 am – Mass
  • 10:00 am – Pancake Breakfast
  • 10:30 amTipsy 3
  • 11:35 amRoger Dallaire, Daniel Gervais et Jeremiah McDade  
  • 12:40 pmBeauséjour
  • 1:45 pmCristian de la Luna
  • 2:50 pmLe Flo Franco
  • 3:50 pmYves Lambert Trio

In the Petit Chapiteau/Children’s Tent

  • 12:00 pmGriotte la Polyglotte
  • 1:00 pmRoger Dallaire, Daniel Gervais et Jeremiah McDade
  • 2:00 pmDenis Leclerc
  • 3:00 pmMadame Diva

Ateliers/Workshops at Mackin House

  • 12:00 pmTipsy 3
  • 1:00 pmGriotte la Polyglotte
  • 2:10 pmRoger Dallaire, Daniel Gervais et Jeremiah McDade
  • 3:10 pmDenis Leclerc


Accordionist Serge Duchesne


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 2020 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 there is beer and wine available.


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.